not enough hours in the day
as a single mama, I can personally attest to the fact that I often feel overwhelmed juggling so many schedules in addition to keeping up with my little humans’ pace. as much as I wish I had the same energy as them, I used to find myself exhausted just watching them do what they could to burn that excess energy. prior to Covid-19, I was working 5 days a week and spent my days off running errands and performing household duties. I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted, and it was not fair to my little humans. realizing I needed to make a change, and finally having the time to do so, incorporated these three activities into our weekly routine:
getting outdoors in the fresh air was honestly something I didn’t realize we needed as much as I did until we got into it. after being cooped up in the house with a drop in work hours and virtual school, the little humans and I really needed outdoor activity that appealed to all of us – and that’s when we discovered a local state park with hiking trails and one of the clearest rivers I have ever laid eyes on. we spent the rest of spring, all of summer, and some of fall 2020 hiking trails and swimming in the lake. I even bought the little humans a tent so that we could pack a lunch and relax after our physical activities. the first time we went, little A (two years old) did an entire two miles by herself and big A completed a whopping six miles! the trails and the river became our happy place. we got strong, we got fit, we played music and swam and skipped rocks and raced. big A learned how to ride a scooter utilizing the main roads throughout the park and little A got over her fear of water. it was therapeutic for all of us – especially big A. he accomplished so many things and his successes only opened him up to trying more new things. if you and your little one(s) are looking for some family fun, fire up the Maps app on your mobile device and find a trail near you!
my little humans are so creative, even though my daughter doesn’t fall on the spectrum, she loves to participate and do activities with her brother. big A is a phenomenal sculptor; he’s so impressive. the first time he asked me for modeling clay, I immediately thought thank goodness I don’t have carpet, there’s going to be clay everywhere. despite my reluctance to add to the mess that my little humans are prone to create, I went on Amazon the next day and purchased a 24-pack (link below) and two days later my sweet boy was sculpting models. on the first day, he created the entire main cast of the angry birds movie in about twenty minutes. his attention to detail was superb; down to the curve of the feathers/hair was detailed to almost perfection. I was and still amazed. we also found a brand of acrylic paints (link below) that washes off of everything. during the warm months, we’d lay blankets on the lawn, crank up the speaker, and paint while we listened to Trolls and Minion soundtracks. little A is more of an abstract painter and big A strong spot is a beautiful combination of abstract and expressionism – his paintings usually featuring images centered around the angry birds and the minions. if your awesome autistic loves to create, click the links below and browse through the options.
dance power hour
Nintendo Wii has been a lifesaver during the cold/rainy days of the winter and fall. for those who like to keep it as old school as me, I bought the red Retro Wii for the low price of $30 at a thrift store. with so many people retiring their old consoles and upgrading to the up to date WiiU systems, thrift stores, online sellers (eBay, Amazon, Facebook Martketplace, etc), and even pawn shops can be your ticket to an inexpensive gift the kids will enjoy. I am personally obsessed with everything Just Dance, so after purchasing our Retro Wii, I browsed through the Wii games in a couple of Goodwill’s and was able to find Just Dance 1-4; in addition to Black Eyed Peas the Experience and Michael Jackson the Experience (all for $2 a piece!). some nights we order dinner and have a dance party before settling down for a movie before bed, and on the days where I lack the energy to dance along, I watch the little humans go crazy while I sit on the couch doing homework. they’re so uncoordinated, just like me, but that never stops us from having a good time!
the amazing thing about our little (and some not so little) humans, is that there are so many activities to introduce them to. try these activities at home with your awesome autistic and let us know how it goes. if you have other activities you’d like to share for our families to try, leave us a comment below!
-lyn and big A