As a mother of a teenager with autism and severe learning disabilities, this book appealed to me as it contains a huge array of activity ideas that are cheap to make… all utilising easily sourced materials or objects that are already available in the home.
The contents list clearly directs you to each section of the book, making it simple to find the type of activity you require. Within each section there are numerous activities, each stating the primary learning focus and the materials you will need.
There are also clear descriptions of how to make/use the idea, and variations to help individualise some of the ideas for use with a wider ability range.
In Appendix B: Instructions for Homemade Supplies, there are some really useful things to make, such as weighted tools, which can be produced at a fraction of their retail price.
There are also ingenious edible activity recipes on pages 148-151, which are a very welcome addition for children who ‘mouth‘ everything!
The majority of the ideas could be easily used In mainstream settings and would provide excellent learning experiences. However, I feel that some of them would not be suitable for children with severe learning issues or gross motor difficulties as they are not easily adapted for less able children.
The suggested ’variations’ for each activity help overcome this to a degree, but not sufficiently to make ‘one size fit all’.
However, in all fairness, the beauty of this book is that it covers several different sections which promote Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Visual Skills and Sensory Skills, so my tip would be to concentrate specifically on the sections that will be most useful to the individual you are working with.
Overall, this is an excellent resource book to use as and when you need a little inspiration for new activities, but it would equally be useful for forward planning a more structured timetable. It will be useful to professionals as well as parents, and contains many activities that could be well suited to mainstream and special needs children alike.
Lisa A. Kurtz – Jessica Kingsley Publishers – ISBN: 9781849059770
Reviewed by Lisa Robinson
Fantastic little resource book which is well written and beautifully illustrated.