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Brain box

This craft is in relation to the Celebrating difference and neurodivergence - part 5” article by Joanna Grace

You will need:

  • A box with a closure mechanism (that isn’t immediately obvious to the children) or a plastic tub with a lid that you can screw on. Rope, cord, ribbon, wool. A selection of different small items to stimulate the child’s curiosity.

 

Instructions

1. Make holes in the side of the box, thread the ribbon, cord, rope or wool through the holes, and knot together on the inside. I tied all of mine onto a curtain ring to make it easier for me. On the outside of the box fasten a different curiosity inducing object on the end of each thread.

2. Prepare several boxes and vary the lengths of the different threads, so that, for example, if on one box the large button is on a long thread, on another box the large button is on a short thread.

3. Before sharing the activity, open the box and pull all the threads from the inside so that all of the curiosity objects are pressed against the outside walls of the box.

4. To share the activity:

Simply offer the boxes for exploration. Allow the children to discover for themselves that the boxes, although appearing similar, have different properties inside which means that they get a different experience on the outside. 

5. Decorate the lids of the boxes with pictures of brains. Talk about how all of our brains work differently on the inside, meaning that some of us are good at some activities and others of us are good at other activities. 

Pineapple fried rice

Pineapple fried rice

What do you need?

 

  • Shredded wheat

  • Pineapple

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 bowl of frozen peas

  • 1/2 bowl of cooked rice

  • Garlic

  • Soy sauce

  • Chinese 5 spice powder

     

Instructions

1. Heat some oil, crack 3 eggs and add into a wok

2. Mix the eggs, then leave to cool until it forms an omelette

3. Remove onto a board and chop the omelette into small pieces. Leave this to one side for now

4. Ask an adult if they can prepare the pineapple ready for you to chop

5. Chop the pineapple fingers into pieces. Then leave the pineapple to the side

6. Cut the ends off the garlic and crush the segments into a garlic crusher

7. Put the garlic into the wok and fry on a medium heat

8. Add one teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice powder

9. Pour in a tablespoon of soy sauce and add to cooked rice

10. Add the frozen peas then mix

11. The rice should be a lovely brown colour. Mix and put on the hob on a high heat and keep stirring

12. Add the chopped pineapple and the chopped omelette

13. Mix it all together and cook on a high heat for around 5 minutes

14. Serve this into a bowl

Feelie box craft

Feelie box craft

This craft is in relation to the Celebrating difference and neurodivergence - part 4” article by Joanna Grace

You will need:

  • A large cardboard box
  • An old T-shirt 
  • A selection of different items to feel

 

Instructions

1. Cover the box with the T-shirt

2. Cut two holes in the sides of the box, level with where the sleeves of the T-shirt meet the box

3. The children will be able to reach down the T-shirt sleeves to feel the contents of the box and the fabric of the sleeves will stop them from being able to peek inside

4. Place something to explore inside the box and invite different children to feel it - and to describe what they feel and what they think about it

5. You could try the following:

Cotton wool, peeled soft fruit - like grapes or tomatoes (dropping them into boiling water makes their skin easy to peel off) something gooey or slimy, like slime, gak or a homemade playdough, feathers, polystyrene, ice cubes

6. A feelie box is essentially a container that isolates our sense of touch. Consider how you could create a similar experience for other senses, like tasting with a blindfold on or closing your eyes and listening

Best ever chocolate nests

Best ever chocolate nests

What do you need?

 

  • Shredded wheat

  • Chocolate

  • Mini eggs

  • Cake cases

     

Instructions

1. Heat some oil, crack 3 eggs and add into a wok

2. Mix the eggs, then leave to cool until it forms an omelette

3. Remove onto a board and chop the omelette into small pieces. Leave this to one side for now

4. Ask an adult if they can prepare the pineapple ready for you to chop

5. Chop the pineapple fingers into pieces. Then leave the pineapple to the side

6. Cut the ends off the garlic and crush the segments into a garlic crusher

7. Put the garlic into the wok and fry on a medium heat

8. Add one teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice powder

9. Pour in a tablespoon of soy sauce and add to cooked rice

10. Add the frozen peas then mix

11. The rice should be a lovely brown colour. Mix and put on the hob on a high heat and keep stirring

12. Add the chopped pineapple and the chopped omelette

13. Mix it all together and cook on a high heat for around 5 minutes

14. Serve this into a bowl

Lemony lemonade

Lemony lemonade

What do you need?

  • 10 x lemons
  • Sugar
  • Sparkling water

Instructions

1. Wash the lemons

2. Cut the lemons into halves

3. Squeeze the lemons, twist and turn until all the juice is out

4. Add a cup of sugar and stir

5. Pour in a bottle of sparkling water and mix

6. Enjoy the best ever lemonade!

Reveal pictures – part 2

Reveal pictures – part 2

This craft is in relation to the “Celebrating difference and neurodivergence - part 3” article by Joanna Grace, and was created with her son imagining what his baby brother might be thinking about. This is similar to the activity associated with the previous article.

 

These reveal pictures are great for making displays out of. (We would love to see your displays if you do make them, tweet us at @Jo3Grace and @TheParentaGroup). If you’ve been able to do them on cardboard (some delivery boxes are perfect for it as I discovered) then they may well be durable enough to display at child height. This is a great thing to do because then children, as they explore: seeing the pictures of their friends and revealing the thoughts that lie within them, can have a hands on experience of hidden differences. They see the array of faces: here are my friends we look alike in some ways and we look different in some ways. And inside my friends, inside their brains, where they think, are different things. Some of my friends like the same things as me, some of them like different things to me.

What do you need?

  • Paper

  • Pens/crayons/coloured pencils 

  • Glue sticks 

  • Optional: Cardboard (some packaging boxes that books or DVDs are delivered in are perfect for this as we discovered)

Instructions

1. Fold an A4 piece of paper so that the two end quatres meet in the middle of the length, hiding half of the page.

2. Take a second piece of paper and attach it to the first so that it folds down covering the half page.

3. You now have three layers: 1) the folded outside, 2) the covering flap 3) the inside.

4. Draw the outline of a head on the first and third layer. On the middle layer draw a brain or alternatively, print a brain drawing. We have a free template you could download here.

5. Ask the children to draw their own face on the outside layer.

6. Invite them to colour in the brain that is revealed when they look inside their heads:

7. Ask them what their friend might be thinking and have them draw this below the flap.

Expression of interest

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