Budding Graphic Designer!

I’m so proud of Buzz today. I’ve been teaching myself to use Inkscape, a free opensource design programme. I decided it would be really useful for Buzz to learn to use it too, it could potentially open many doors in the future. As well as this, he is very creative but in a mathmatical way. He’s never been into colouring or drawing, but he loves drawing diagrams, and if he does draw a picture it has to be very precise and scientific. For example, the other day I drew a sun, you know, that typical way most people draw a sun – a round ball with lines coming out all around. He said “that’s not what a sun looks like” and proceeded to correct my drawing with a non-spiked sun with red heat spots and solar flares!

So I felt that working with vector images on a design programme might be just his cup of tea when it comes to creativity. And it turns out I was right! I spent a few minutes showing him some of the basics, then left him to have a play. Half an hour later I encouraged him to choose a youtube tutorial to work on. I’ve been using Nick Saporito‘s channel, his tutorials are excellent. Buzz chose to create this Heartbeat Design Vector. It may not look like much at first glance, but if you start watching the video you’ll realise there’s so much more to it than first meets the eye! I really didn’t believe he’d cope with it, in terms of the focus and time needed to see it through – it’s a 13 minute video (which we have to pause and rewind a lot to follow the instructions) and is created for adults or older kids, not young children. However, I was completely wrong.

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Buzz grasped the concept and the language so quickly, quicker than I had! He’d hear something once and then remember it. Or Nick would say something that wouldn’t have made sense to me if I hadn’t worked through some basic tutorials, but Buzz seemed to understand it, as if it was a language he has always known. It took about 2 hours, a he loved doing it too. He was so proud of himself, and this is really important. He struggles a huge amount in some areas, and can get very upset and cross at himself (and us!) if he can’t get something right. The world is black and white to him, and if it’s not right then it’s wrong and bad, there’s very little room for middle ground. It’s exhausting for him and for us (as it was for school) to work in the areas that don’t come naturally to him, so I’m super excited to have found another area of strength and enjoyment!

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Hungry Caterpillars

This was a fun activity for Spring. And I have so many egg boxes waiting to be used for crafts! I suggested we each make The Hungry Caterpillar but B wanted to make his own design, though he insisted I make The Hungry Caterpillar! He’s obsessed with the colour black so he just had to use the black paint! I really love his black spotty and green caterpillar!

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We talked about what kind of butterfly or moth our caterpillars would turn into, and what they might eat. We decided our next activity would be to make a cocoon, and after that, a butterfly!

We also made flowers. B wanted to make blue bells because we have lots in our garden which he helped to re-plant with me at the weekend.

We love Spring!

Pocket Painting

I found this nice little mess-free painting activity online. Being chronically ill I can’t usually manage to set up an activity, do the activity, then clean up afterwards, so I tend to choose less messy activities for indoors. So this was a great idea for a mess-free painting session.

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I used a zip-lock plastic document wallet. I put three blobs of paint in, zipped it up and taped it to the table, getting as much air out as possible. B liked mixing it all up to start with, then wrote in it and used stamps and rollers. It wasn’t the longest lasting activity, but given the minimal amount of tidying up afterwards it was worth it!

There’s no rush to tidy it up either, it could stay for a few days if the space wasn’t needed for something else.