The Best Easter Basket Gifts

Easter is such a fun time of year. I love decorating eggs, then splitting them open, going on hunts, and of course having gifts. Baskets are super simple, fun, and easy to do. You don’t even need to spend a lot, unless of course you want to.

I have a three and half year old son, and we are to the point where he likes so much fun and different stuff… even chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate?? What are some of your traditions that you are doing this year? Do you keep the same traditions every year?

This year, we are doing things slightly different, but it will still be fun. I am always up for changing things a little and trying new thing, especially as my son gets older.


  1. 48 Pieces Easter Basket Stuffers, Easter Egg Fillers, Easter Eggs Filled Small Toys for Easter Party Favors, Goodie Bag Fillers, Pinata Toys and More  These are perfect if you have a lot of kids to buy for. You can even save for stocking stuffers later in the year. My son loves all of these items.
  2. Count on the Easter Pups! (PAW Patrol)  My son is at a stage where he LOVESS to count, so this is the perfect gift for him.
  3. Ehome Wooden Percussion Musical Egg Easter Maracas Egg Shakers Kids Toys with Assorted Colors. he LOVESSS being able to use his senses and shaking is one of them, so this is so much fun for him too.
  4. Crayola Color Bath Dropz 3.59 Ounce (60 Tablets)  Bathtime is always fun, this makes it even more fun. He loves colors, and seeing how they turn in baths!
  5. Purple Ladybug Novelty Slow Rising Easter Bunny & Friends Jumbo SQUISHIES Pack in Gift Worthy Box: Bunny, Chick, & Easter Basket Kawaii Soft Squishy Toys & Bonus Stickers Come with The Squishys! This is a great sensory item for him when he is over stimulated or stressed.
  6. 6 PCS Easter Eggs Filled with Building Blocks Construction Vehicles Toys to Build Forklift, Crane, Bulldozer, Excavator Car Educational Toys Great as Party Supplies , Easter Basket Fillers for Boys  Of course what boy doesn’t love cars, or trucks? Mine does!!

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14 Indoor Toddler Activities

Now that the winter months are here, I am dreading staying indoors, and finding things to do with my son. I mean, we do like the warm weather, but when it’s cold and snowy, we’d rather find things that keep us busy indoors. There are SOO many fun and different options for you to choose from.

Here are a few of our favorite indoor activities.

  1. ABC Mouse   More than 850 Lessons Across 10 Levels. The Step-by-Step Learning Path presents the full ABCmouse.com curriculum in a carefully designed program of more than 850 lessons in ten levels. As your child completes each lesson, he or she is guided to the next one and is motivated to continue learning by ABCmouse.com’s Tickets and Rewards System.
  2. Discovery Box for Sensory Play – Dinosaur Theme  Fun Sensory Play in a fully contained box. Explore different tactile materials such as water beads, modeling sand, or assorted beans..Find, hide, bury, or play with the included artifacts, rocks, gems, or figures.
  3. A&M Pro Giant Kid’s Play Parachute Canopy with 16 Handles Engaging Fun & Learning: This parachute for kids color wheel helps encourage physical fitness while promoting social bonding, teamwork, and cooperation. Kids, Students and Teams: A wonderful way to teach important team and social values, this 12 foot child’s play parachute is great for backyards, gyms, or elementary schools.
  4. Education Step-a-Logs – Balance Beams for Kids  Stimulate creativity and gross motor skills. Balance beams are great for improving coordination and teaching confidence, while Step-a-Logs has convenient storage nesting inside each other. Connected with nylon rope, your child can create many different obstacles and the ribbed tops help prevent them from slipping.
  5. Learning Advantage Joey Jump – Stomp and Catch Board  Stomp and Catch your way to fun! Made to last out of a hard-wearing plastic, the Joey Jump teaches hand-eye coordination when they stomp on the board and launch a bean bag up to catch in mid-air.
  6. Disney Coloring Books for Kids Toddlers Bulk Set (8 books and sticker pack)  Coloring + Disney (mostly Mickey Mouse in this bundle) = a good time for any kid. These Disney and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse coloring books will provide many hours of fun with games, puzzles, mazes and coloring activities. Learning and art all rolled into one.
  7. Creativity for Kids Hide and Seek Rock Painting Kit – Spread Kindness and Customize 10 Rocks  Hide & Seek Rock Painting is a fun way to spread kindness, encouragement and happiness throughout your community – one rock at a time. Plus, you can share your rocks on Instagram and Facebook or local rock groups. To make this an indoor activity, simply hide and seek them inside rather than outside. This kit easily can make for a morning or afternoon of fun.
  8. Melissa & Doug Jumbo Extra-Thick Cardboard Building Blocks – 40 Blocks in 3 Sizes   You can find these building blocks in almost any daycare center. They are great for stacking, balancing, knocking down, engaging large muscle groups, and improving core strength due to their size (reach, twist, bend, and balance while your child builds). The bright colors just adds to the learning possibilities.
  9. Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline – Amazon Exclusive Jumping on a trampoline means great exercise for your child and using up some of that pent-up energy from being inside. Designed to be easily moved allows you to bring it to different locations in your home so you can be productive while they are busy bouncing.
  10. Fun Kids Bowling Play Set by ZenTeck [12-Piece]  Thanks to the vibrant colors and light-weight material, this bowling set by ZenTeck is perfect for indoor play. Set up in a hallway, living room, even the kitchen and roll for a strike! Set up the pins and try again. Great for practicing math, numbers, and colors without even realizing the lessons.
  11. Melissa & Doug First Play Wooden Spin & Feed Shape Sorter   Shape Sorters are wonderful for matching, color and shape recognition, and fine motor skills. The tray attached provides an easy storage solution for the shapes. A cute puppy design attracts your child’s attention for playing.
  12. TOP BRIGHT Activity Cube Toys Baby Educational Wooden Bead Maze Shape Sorter 7-in-1 Toys  Created out of a durable wood, this activity cube inspires your kid’s creativity, develops their thinking and coordination skills, and enriches their cognitive ability. Each side has a different activity, including bead maze, color counting beads, rainbow gear, recognition clock, shape matching, digital animal flip board and fun maze. Surely, this cube will keep your kid busy on the cold, winter days.
  13. Water Beads Sensory Bin Therapy Kits – 4 Dew Drop Sets Included  Perfect for early childhood education and development and sensory play. Water beads swell to marble-size when hydrated for a fun area to play in and shrink back to size once dry. Each set includes 15 toy animals. Make a whole new world to explore!
  14. Li’l Gen Water Beads with Fine Motor Skills Toy Set, Non-Toxic Water Sensory Toy for Kids  These water beads swell and shrink like the previous, but are wonderful for color sorting. Non-toxic and soothing, they will provide hours of inside playtime interest. The two scoopers and two tweezers enhance hand-eye coordination through motor skills. They can scoop, tweeze, and grab their way to a well-rounded development!

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Top Six Boys Clothing Back to School

Shopping for back to school can be exhausting. You have to find the right sizes, prices, and even time for it. I made your life easy! You can order all these school clothing for boys, right online with two day amazon prime! WIN!

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The Children’s Place Boys’ Long Sleeve Uniform Polo

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Amazon Essentials Boys’ 2-Pack Uniform Pique Polo

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The Children’s Place Boys’ Uniform Chino Shorts 

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French Toast Boys’ Short Sleeve Pique Polo 

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Dickies Boys’ Short Sleeve Pique Polo 

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Nautica Boys’ Uniform Flat Front Pant 

 

Don’t forget to check out our backpacks and shoes

Top Six Boys Clothing Back to School

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The Top Reasons for ABA

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a great tool for autistic kids. It really helps them get the help that they need in order to be successful and learn properly. It covers so many topics, ideas, and curriculum. At first, I was scared of this program because I was still in denial about my child being autistic. I am not certified in any of this, this is all my opinion from a parent standpoint. 

This program takes some time before you see results. Nothing will happen overnight and for the longest time I had to keep telling myself that. Here are the top 4 reasons why I would recommend ABA for anyone who is autistic:

  1. They still get social interaction: There are other kids in the program and they do circle time in addition to fun activities. Most of the time people claim the children don’t get the interaction they need, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!
  2. Non-verbal communication: Before we started ABA, communicating was a complete mess. We tried sign language. We tried a lot of things. Now, we are able to actually communicate either with pictures or sign language. Obviously, our end goal is verbal communication but we were able to really gain a lot from this and not be as frustrated!
  3. Celebrate small victories: You can see the progress that your child makes. The program keeps you updated and lets you know what they are working on. This way, when your kid does it at home you can celebrate and keep track of each accomplishment!
  4. Get a break: This might sound kind of rude, but parents need breaks. Especially when you have a special needs child. When I send my kid to ABA, I know he is in excellent care and is receiving the 1 on 1 he needs that sometimes I am not able to provide.

I am not an expert when it comes to ABA, I am just a parent who has her own personal thoughts and feelings. I’d love to hear how you feel about ABA and what has worked for you!

Our favorite Autism Finds

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8 Fun Activities For Kids

I don’t like having my son watch tv or play on the iPad all day – or even simply just play with the same toys every day…. I was having a hard time finding what to do to keep him occupied, so I created a list of activities/exercises that we have enjoyed.. and they are SUPER simple.

Try These For a Fun Screen-Free Time:

  1. Create a Gymnastics Area in the House. Lately, Antonio has been loving the gymnastics thing and likes to pretend to walk on a balance beam + do somersaults so we set up an area and take it down as needed.
  2. Paper Plate Ring Toss. This is super easy and enjoyable. Just cut the plates in the middle and toss on to an old paper towel roll. You could even color the plates and make it more fun and colorful if you’d like!
  3. Masking Tape Car Track. This is uber entertaining for boys especially. You just grab masking tape and put it all over with a line in the middle. Have the kids put their cars on the “tracks” and play away.
  4. Under Hammock. You put a hammock under a table, square, bed, or even a playground. This will be a sure hit for warm days; let them bring a toy or book with them.
  5. Pool Noodle and Rubber Band Activity. This is a cinch, a delight, and great for fine motor skills. Cut pool noodles in half and let the kids put rubber bands on the noodles. You could even get creative and have different colored rubber bands!
  6. Cardboard Tube Drop Chute. Collect all the paper towel rolls throughout the week and put the little brown pieces on a wall, or floor, etc. Allow them to create a chute with about 5-6 of them. You will need to tape them together, so make sure you aren’t worried about possibly losing some paint on the wall. Once again, have a good time with painting the paper towels!
  7. Cardboard Bead Threading Activity. All of those extra toilet paper rolls now have meaning and a purpose. Save them and allow the kids to make a really large thread. You will need to put the paper rolls on a really long and strong piece of string or yarn.
  8. Pool Noodle Stringing Activity. Cut the pool noodles into about 10-15 pieces. You will need to put the noodles on a really long and strong piece of string or yarn just like you did with the toilet paper rolls.

When you get done with these fun activities, there are so many other great and engaging activities:

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When Your Child With Autism Goes to School; Navigating the System and Building Your Team (Part 1: Preparing YOU for When Your Child Starts School)

I have had the privilege, and I mean privilege in the most sincere way possible, of working with several children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD or Autism in this post) as a special educator, a consultant and classroom teacher in my career.  I say privilege, because these children taught me so much , especially about behaviour and inclusion.

As a special educator, one of the things I learned early in my career is that sometimes, by the time they enter the school system, parents of kids with special needs have spent years fighting for what they need for their child.  They’ve been navigating a system that has not always been easy and accessible, and have not always been listened to or honoured for what they know about their own child’s needs.

Sometimes, when parents have come into the school system, they have come in “swinging”.  They have their hackles raised, ready to fight, even before the process has begun.  This is so sad, and can sometimes start things off on a difficult note.

I’m guessing that if you are reading this, you are already relating on some level.  From an educator’s point of view, I’d like to share a few ideas that will help you gain more power and influence in the school system and in the decisions that will be made regarding your child’s education.

Ok… before I go any further there are a few things I have to clear up.

  1. Please use and ask others to use respectful terminology when referring to your child.  Your child is a child with autism (ASD), not an ASD Child or an Autistic of an Autistic child.  Respectful language puts the child first and the challenge second.  We want our kiddos to be seen as kids, not “disabilities”, and this subtle use of wording can make a difference. I don’t consider this a “labeling” problem as sometimes labeling can be quite useful.  But the label should not define the child.  Politely, with a smile, ask people to use the appropriate wording.
  2. Not all systems are the same.  The policies, procedures and processes in each school district, and even within individual schools, can differ greatly! I don’t claim to know how all schools operate regarding programming for high needs kiddos.  But knowing that all schools can differ is a powerful understanding, and one that can work to your advantage as you begin your education system journey.
  3. You need to know off the start that I’m a huge advocate of inclusion.  This is not the same as “integration”. (This is material for another article)  Inclusion goes further than integration.  Inclusion isn’t a “place” the child is in, it is more of a philosophy for making decisions in a way that does not exclude the child from experiences and opportunities.  And for me the biggest of these is social experiences and opportunities.  AND you need to know right from the get-go that not all educators and certainly not all systems agree with inclusion, or implement it in the same ways, or even fully understand it. So you may have to take a gentle lead if this is what you want.

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FACEBOOK Empowered Parent Plan~ Twitter @MpoweredparNT~ Instagram mpoweredparent ~ Pinterest Roberta Luchinski

Contact roberta@empoweredparentplan.com

BIO- Roberta Luchinski is the Owner/Facilitator of Empowered Parent Plan.  She helps busy parents prevent, respond to and change their kiddo’s difficult behaviours.  Roberta uses positive parenting strategies and brain based methods tried and true from her experience as a Mom, Grandma and 30 years of Educator experience. Roberta holds an MEd in Educational Psychology and has worked with diverse students as a Classroom Teacher, a Diversity Teacher, a Special Educator and a Consultant.

Purchase Picture Exchange Sytems for Autism Kids:

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The 5 Best Stem Toys For Kids 


Whether your child is autistic or not, all kids love stem toys. What does the term stem even mean? Stem stands for Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This is typically used when addressing education policy and choices in schools, to improve competitiveness in science and technology development. These items will help them get the education they need with you right at home. They are all such great resources and tools for you to use.

  1. http://amzn.to/2DKSNzV 7TECH 1000 Pcs Snowflake Building Blocks Stem Educational Toys for kids
  2. http://amzn.to/2Bs8UNn Magnetic Blocks STEM Educational Toys Magnet Building Block Tiles Set for Boys and Girls by Coodoo-24pcs
  3. http://amzn.to/2Ghnf2S Dinosaur Toys Take Apart Toys With Tools – Pack of 6 Dinosaurs – Construction Engineering STEM Learning Toy Building Play Set – Toy for Boys & Girls Age 3 – 12 years old
  4. http://amzn.to/2Fg0zPq Build and Play STEM Learning 148 Pieces Playset, Educational Construction Engineering Toy Set for 5 models by Joyin Toy
  5. http://amzn.to/2DFOpmz ETI Toys | STEM Learning | Original 101 Piece Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks Set for 3, 4 and 5+ Year Old Boys & Girls | Creative Fun Kit | Best Toy Gift for Kids Ages 3yr – 6yr
  6.  BONUS http://amzn.to/2DQttIU Kidwerkz Dinosaur Toys, STEM Learning (106 pieces), Take Apart Fun (Pack of 3), Construction Engineering Building Play Set For Boys Girls Toddlers, Best Toy Gift Kids Ages 3yr – 6yr, 3 Years and Up

Which one is your favorite?

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15 Easter Basket Gifts For Kids of Any Age Under $5 Each!!

Easter isn’t always about all that candy, I know that we end up wasting a lot of it (espeically the stuff we don’t like!) So I put together a list of great basket ideas for kids of all ages.. The best part is that all of these items are $10 & under because they are super affordable. These are all of our favorite items and then some! I hope you can find some goodies for your little ones!!

15 Easter Basket Gifts For Kids of Any Age Under $5 Each!!

 

 

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The top 10 Resources for Autism Children

When my son was diagnosed with autism I couldn’t find much information or tools to help us. I am always constantly learning and finding new ideas. I am glad to share it with others who are in similar situations. Here are some great resources for you and your family to enjoy!

 

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10 LIFE SKILLS EVERY CHILD NEED TO LEARN

We have complied 10 important life skills for children at young ages to acquire. It’s important to get them started young, and these are very useful to have them learn as they prepare for the school years ahead.

  1. COOKING:

Ask your child to help you. Something as simple as mixing the batter, or getting out the ingredients for a recipe is a great way to keep them interactive with you.

  1. SURVIVAL SKILLS:

You can take your kids to survival camps. This will not only help kids learn how to “survive” without technology but it will teach your kids skills such as how to build a shelter, cook over a campfire,etc.

  1. HOME GARDEN BASICS:

Your kids can learn basic skills about how water and weather can affect plants growth. An example is how watering is important and needed in order to grow the food we want to eat.

  1. FIRST AID SKILLS:

Children hurt themselves quite frequently, so its important for them to know how to fix their boo boo’s but also their friends as well.

  1. SWIMMING:

I cannot swim and I wish I knew how; I hate water and I don’t want my kid to grow up with the same fear his mother has. This teaches them how to be self sufficient.

  1. MONEY MANAGEMENT SKILLS:

Money is a necessity in life whether we like it or not. Have them pick out a gift with their allowance, or even show them how to budget a small item.

  1. LAUNDRY:

Every kid should learn how to wash their own clothing. It could be a great reward for the both of you as they start to get older. Allow them to separate the loads and put them in the washer.

  1. HOUSEHOLD REPAIRS:

Children are always eager to know more about everything that is around them. Allow them to watch you as you replace a light bulb and get them to understand how to do it.

  1. DEFENSE SKILLS:

You can’t be with your kids all the time to protect them. This is something that can be taught by someone in your family or at a class. They need to understand stranger danger and how to protect their self in an emergency.

  1. TIME MANAGEMENT:

I still haven’t mastered this one yet, but it is important for everyone to have. Allow them to understand their daily schedule and when they have personal free time; this can help them understand tim much better.

Helping your child to learn these items at a young age can help your child develop great in the years to come. Have fun learning with them and be patient.

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