Lily’s homemade cards

Lily’s homemade cards

Today I just want to share something with you that Lily did as a surprise for me. She made me a card. Lily loves making homemade cards, and there doesn’t need to be an occasion. She will just make one for people, she does it all the time for us at home. Her friends at school and other family members. She just loves being creative, and sharing it with people.

Regular readers will know that Lily loves to get creative with arts and crafts. You will also know that I like to bang on about it continuously, like any proud father should. As a young autistic girl, she is finding so much of life really difficult at the moment. When she sits down with some paper, card or whatever else, and is just allowed to be creative. It is such a beautiful thing to see, and makes me so happy.

Lily’s card

Homemade cards
Lily’s card

So there’s Lily’s card, and I can’t even express how much that I love it. A little picture of Lily she printed out, on top of a ladder made out of ice lolly sticks and matchsticks. I love how she found a photo of her reaching up, and it’s then positioned towards a moon. Then in the speech bubble it says, “love you to the moon and back”. It is just so cute, and it melts my heart. Then you have Lily’s creativity coming out with the night sky. So many colours going on, and then some stars stuck on. I think it’s incredible, but I’m obviously biased, so what do you think?

Homemade cards are always great for birthday’s Christmas, and whatever else you celebrate. But you are probably expecting a card of some sort already. To get one for no particular reason, other than the person giving it to you wanted to make something for you. Is really cool, and something I’d recommended doing, either yourself or something to get your kids to do.

If you’d like to see some more of Lily’s creations, click here to go to Lily’s Art Gallery. Her little gallery is slowly growing, and there’s quite a few cool things in there now. As always thank you to reading.

Dad Does Autism

Why you should frame your child’s art

Why you should frame your child’s art

If this isn’t your first time to this blog, there’s a good chance you will know, that my daughter loves art. Today I want to talk about, why you should frame your child’s art. I believe if your child has done a nice piece of art, and they are really proud of it. It should be put on display, in pride of place. You can put drawings or painting on the fridge using fridge magnets.

Something we did with Lily a while back was put one of her paintings in a frame. Then put it on display in the living room. She was so happy and proud to see her painting on display like that. It is a really simple thing to do, and you can get a simple plain a4 frame for relatively little money.

The benefits for the child

You get a nice centre piece, perhaps for the fire place or a windowsill. But what I really want to talk about is the benefits for the child. This relatively simple gesture, not only shows them you are proud and happy with their work. It shows them support, and for someone like Lily who really enjoys art. It encourages her to do more, and to do it with confidence.

As an autistic girl who has really struggled in her first year at junior school, Lily’s confidence and self esteem has taken a massive hit. She is working 2 years behind her expected level for her age, and gets really frustrated, and at times calls herself stupid. Finding ways to boost her confidence and self esteem, have been really important.

Lily did a lovely painting of a flowers in small pot/vase, and we decided it was time for another frame. We have a small back window in the living room, which is where we put the painting.

Why you should frame your child’s art

You always want to let your children know that you are proud of them, and do what you can too boost their confidence. That is why you should frame your child’s art, it is the gift that keeps on giving. Their painting will be on show as a constant visual reminder of your pride and support, and keep giving them little boosts of confidence. Then when visitors come around, it’s their for them to see, and bound to draw some compliments. Giving them another boost.

Give it a try

If you have children I strongly recommend doing this, especially if they enjoy art. Even if they aren’t particularly arty, even something like colouring in a printed picture. Is perfectly good enough, after all this isn’t about how great the picture is. It’s about making the child feel good about themself.

If you enjoyed seeing Lily’s painting, you can see lots more of her arts and crafts by clicking this link. That takes you to Lily’s Art Gallery. As always, thank you for reading.

Dad Does Autism

Nature Art for Kids

Nature Art for Kids

This latest post was fun to do, it is about nature art for kids. Basically we went out for a walk around our local nature reserve, which is great in its own right. This time though we took a box with us, to collect things off of the ground to use for an art project. I’m very much a believer in leaving nature alone, so only things on the ground were to be taken.

The kids were happy with this, as they both like to look after nature anyway. The ground was literally covered in sticks, so there wasn’t going to be a shortage of material. We had a nice walk around, and myself and Lily collected lots of material for the art project. Jack just wanted to walk around.

Time for the nature art for kids

The walk was fun, but once we got home it was time to think about the art project. We had a really good haul of stuff, so it was time for Lily to decide what she wanted to do.

Nature art for kids

This is what Lily decided to do. She cut out some printed letters, to spell Mummy, Daddy, Jack and Lily, and stuck them on some paper. She then drew some pictures. For the record, the drawings are of the Pokemon Bulbasaur (for Jack), A motorbike, a candle (form mum) and a bouncy car like you get on a play area.

Lily wanted to make a frame for the picture, and decorate it using the sticks that we found. So what we did was cut 2 pieces of cardboard to A4 size, and stuck the drawing onto one piece. Then cut the middle out of other piece of card, leaving a frame roughly 2cm thick. Lily stuck that onto the drawing, which left the sticks. Lily had a great time glueing then around the frame, with some PVA glue.

It left the finished article looking like this….

Lily was really happy with how it turned out, and I think it looks great. There’s still plenty of stuff left in the box too, so if anyone has any ideas of things we can do with it. We are very open to ideas, please leave a comment below. To see more of Lily’s arts and crafts, visit the Lily’s Art Gallery section.

Dad Does Autism

Easy to make Paper Roll Animals

Easy to make Paper Roll Animals

I said a while ago in one of the blog posts about Lily’s Art, that we were going to make some paper roll animals. It’s taken longer than I planned to get round to it, but finally here they are. Lily made two animals, a fox and a unicorn. These are fairly easy to make paper roll animals, so if you don’t know how to make them. I will show you the simple steps, to make a really cute fox.

What you will need

  • Obviously you will need a paper roll. We used the bigger kitchen rolls, but any kind will do.
  • Coloured paper – orange or brown, we actually found some orange felt in Lily’s craft stuff, which was a bonus, and really added to the look. (you can paint the rolls instead if you prefer).
  • White paper
  • Glue, scissors, black marker pen/felt tip
  • Googly eyes

Simple instructions

The first thing you need to do is glue the coloured paper to the paper roll. Fold the excess paper at the top inwards from both sides to make an arch, this makes the foxes ears.

Cut the tail out of your coloured paper, and the tip out of white paper, and glue together. Then glue the tail onto the back of the fox.

Finally, cut a heart shape out of white paper, and draw on the facial features with a black marker. Lily chose to use stick on google eyes for here fox. Glue the face on the front and you have your completed fox. Lily added a blue paper straw, because this isn’t any ordinary fox. This is a ninja fox!

Easy to make paper roll animals - fox
the finished ninja fox

Alternative easy to make paper roll animals

If the fox isn’t the animal for you, then there are plenty of other animals too make. There’s lots of different places with instructions for different animals. We found this one https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/ with lots of different ideas. Lily also made a unicorn one, which required getting some coloured string and glitter out.

Easy to make paper roll animals - unicorn

Lily loves the unicorn one, I definitely prefer the fox. Which one do you prefer? What other animal would you like to see made? Feel like making one yourself? We’d love to see what you make. Leave a comment below or find us on Twitter @DadDoesAutism or the Dad Does Autism Facebook page. We’d love to see animals too.

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Oh no it’s Play-Doh

Oh no it’s Play-Doh

Oh no it’s play-doh. The P word! The word that sends a feeling of fear and dread into straight into the heart of any parent. I set up Lily’s art table. It is a foldable table that is mostly used for Lily’s Arts & Crafts, which will be clear to see in the photo below. This time though she didn’t want to do art, she wanted to get the play-doh out. She has been doing lots of art as usual, which I will show later in the post. So I guess she wanted a change.

Oh no it’s play-doh

Whenever we seem to be running out of the stuff, their mum goes and buys loads more. Which I really appreciate….

The stuff gets everywhere, and as any parent who is crazy enough to let their child have play-doh will know. It is a right pain in the arse to clean up, especially if it’s been trodden in the carpet.

Lily’s paintings

She coloured in a mask picture, and then wanted to make some actual masks. I cut an eye mask out of paper for her to decorate, and then we managed to find a plain face mask that she could decorate. Lily loves decorating them, and really loves wearing them too.

The next three pieces are all quite different. Lily has been practising drawing animals, which is something she’s not too confident with. Often when she struggles with something, she will get frustrated and give up. So it’s been nice to see her really trying to improve over the last week.

She also cut out a aeroplane shape and put it on a black card background. Then she used blow straw painting to decorate. I really love this one, I think it looks great. Finally she had done a self portrait, I particularly like the crazy hair.

As always Lily would like to hear which ones are people favourite, so please comment in the box below. Now speak of “oh no it’s play-doh”, it’s time I went and saw what the mess is like….

Dad Does Autism

How to make a milk bottle elephant

How to make a milk bottle elephant

Lily has been looking at some new ideas, to put into her Lily’s Art Gallery section of the website. Rather than just showing you this one, we decide to tell you how to make a milk bottle elephant, which is her latest creation.

It’s quite simple to make, but I think it looks amazing. All you need as an empty plastic milk bottle. The big 6 pint bottles work best, but you could make a small elephant with a 4 pint bottle. Then all you need are some scissors, glue, card, tissue paper and some google eyes. Then you are ready to go.

Making your elephant

The first thing you have to do is cut the top of the milk bottle off, approximately 15cm down, cutting through the handle and the main part of the bottle. Then cut an extra 3cm off of the handle, that is the trunk.

On the bigger sides of the bottle, cut out a curve Starting 4cm in and finishing 4cm in the other side to make the legs.

Side of milk bottle elephant
The curves to make the legs

To complete the legs, you need to cut out a curve at each end, to the same height as the other to curves. Which should now give your bottle the appearance of having legs. If my instructions aren’t clear, hopefully you can see from the photos.

Back of milk bottle elephant
The back end of the bottle

The next step is to cut some elephant ears out of card. Then it is time to decorate your elephant. You can decorate it however you want. As always Lily wanted it to be as colourful as possible, so she cut out some rough square shapes, in numerous different coloured tissue paper and decorated the bottle and the ears, by glueing the paper to them.

Card elephant ear
the elephants ear

The last thing to do is glue the ears onto the bottle, and then glue some google eyes on too. That’s it! Pretty simple stuff, but something that I think looks really good. Why not try it yourself? Lily had great fun doing it.

Milk bottle elephant completed
the finished elephant

Dad Does Autism

The positive things

The positive things

I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s really important to look at the positive things at the moment. I have been up and down myself, which is why I decided to write this post. So I can myself focus in on some of the positive things that are happening at the moment.

The first and most obvious thing is, having lots of time to spend with the kids. Now of course it’s not all roses and sunshine, but for the most part I’ve enjoyed it. Watching Lily do her art, baking cakes and playing some board games has been nice. Lily’s latest creation is this lovely blue and green penguin, made from a plastic bottle cut in half. Then wrapped in newspaper and painted. Then stuck on some googly eyes and cardboard wings.

Penguin

Getting outside

Before I hurt my foot we were playing lots of sport in the garden, I think I’m just about fully recovered now, so we can start doing that again. Getting Jack outside in the garden is still hit and miss, but he’s getting out enough that’s it’s not a major problem. Jack and dad time has largely been about watching movies and snacks, with a bit of Lego building thrown in. We have been on a few short walks. Jack doesn’t want to go everyday, but again he’s going enough for it not to be a major concern.

I’ve also had a couple of walks, where it’s just me and Lily. Both kids like to have their own time with us. We live in a small village, so we are surrounded by fields and a lot of animals. There seems to be a lot of horses round us, which Lily loves. So we walked up to take a look at some of them, which was really nice and Lily loves it.

Lily and horses

I’m not a hardcore environmentalist or anything, but I also think it’s quite nice that everything has slowed down. I’m sure Mother Nature is taking some deep breathes of cleaner air at the moment. Obviously things can’t stay like this, but I do think there is a lesson to be learned regarding slowing down, and what people’s priorities are.

Friendships

It’s been a very interesting time for friendships. I’ve had a lot of friends and acquaintances over the years, from school, college, football teams and work. There is only a very small group of friends I stay in contact with regularly. At the start of the lockdown we were talking a lot, as we all processed what was going on. It’s slowed down a bit now, as o think everyone has settled into a bit of a routine with what’s going on. But it was good to have friends there, helping to keep each other going.

Jack and Lily are both missing their friends from school. It used to be said autistic people cant make friends, which is absolute rubbish. Both Jack and Lily crave friendship. None of Jack’s friends from school live anywhere near us. But Lily has seen a couple of her friends around and has been able to say hello. We live close to the local shop, so when we are in the front garden we see lots of people.

Lily saw her best friend/boyfriend, and his mum took this lovely photo of them waving to each other over the garden fence. You could see how much they wanted to be able to play, hopefully they will be able to soon. It is lovely to see how strong the friendship is.

Waving the positive things
waving, with Jack sneaking in the photo in the background

They are a few of the positive things I could think of. Have you had any positive experiences come from this pandemic? We’d love to hear about them, so feel free to let us know in the comments.

Dad Does Autism

Getting creative

Getting creative

If this isn’t your first time reading one of my posts, you’ll probably know that Lily loves her art. She enjoys getting creative, and she’s been doing a lot of art whilst being off school. You can’t just keep drawing pictures though, so we’ve been looking at different things to do.

One thing she has enjoyed doing, is blow painting with straws. She did a really nice one of a dolphin that cut out of card, and put in a sea background. It was so nice it deserved to go in a frame. Though we haven’t yet settled on a place for it to go in the house.

Dolphin painting

That one was very precise, with a picture in mind. She then did another one, which is a more traditional blow painting, which I also really like, again there is an animal cut out of cardboard in the corner. I think it’s supposed to be a dog, Lily doesn’t seem too sure herself. Oh well it adds to the intrigue.

Blow painting


Finally we come to my favourite piece, and something completely different.

Branch art

A small branch decorated with leaves that have been cut out of paper and coloured in, then attached using string. Then we’ve used the string to hang it in pride of place on the upstairs landing.

Lily really enjoyed doing these, and we are looking at other things to do. The next idea we have is some paper roll animals which should be fun. I am always a big supporter of getting creative, and not just for children, adults too. I find it an extremely important part of maintaining my mental health.

As always Lily would like to know which one people like the most, so if you can comment your favourite below it would be really appreciated.

Dad Does Autism

Lily’s Easter Art Extravaganza

Lily’s Easter Art Extravaganza

Today I want to share with you all, some Easter art Lily has done. Keeping the kids busy, entertained and happy during this “lockdown” isn’t always easy. It’s a very difficult and confusing situation we find ourselves in, but one thing that Lily always finds happiness in is art. She had already planned on doing lots of art for Easter, before all this happened.

The situation has given her lots of time to work on her Easter art, and has been so important to help her cope with what’s going on. So let’s get on with the art. The first set of pictures are various Easter bunnies and Easter Eggs.

bunnies & eggs

The next set of pictures are more Easter bunnies and Easter eggs, with the use of some craft items as well.

craft art

The last pictures include paintings of spring scenes. Lily enjoys painting most of all, and had great fun creating these paintings. The one with the pink flamingo is my personal favourite. Lily would like to know which one is your favourite. Leave a comment to let her know.

spring scenes

Myself and Lily really hope you enjoyed looking at her art work, and that you get as much pleasure out of them as we do. If you would like to see more of Lily’s art work, you can see more in the Lily’s Art Gallery section of the website. Click here to go straight there.

Last of all we would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter, if you don’t celebrate Easter, the. A Happy Sunday. It’s an unusual Easter, usually we would visit family. Obviously we can’t do that this year, so we probably do a video call instead. We will still have a fun though, and enjoy eating too much chocolate! Happy Easter everyone.

Dad Does Autism

Pictures from Lily and Jack

Pictures from Lily and Jack

We’ve had the art stuff out today. To be fair Lily always has the art stuff out, but today it’s pictures from Lily and Jack. I’m trying to come up with ideas to get them away from “screens” without forcing the issue. Lily is quite good anyway, but Jack would sit on his Xbox all day if you let him. Trying to force him off it is not the approach needed, and will just cause him to resist harder.

Suggesting other things he can do, usually with me or his mum often works. It might take a few attempts of different ideas, but generally he likes doing stuff with us. Whether he will do something with Lily, very much depends on his mood. Anyway, onto the pictures. I will start with an old one that has had pride of place on our living room wall since before Christmas.

Lily’s Xmas picture

Today Lily made some sort of card, I think. Not exactly sure what it’s for, but she enjoyed doing it, which is the important thing. It’s very funky and colourful that’s for sure.

Front
Back

Jack chose to draw one of his favourite characters from the games he likes to play. Bendy, from Bendy and the ink machine. Jack likes to draw something he is looking at, the complete opposite approach to Lily. Who likes a blank piece of paper, and just draws whatever comes to her. Autistic brother and sister perfectly making the point, that no 2 autistic people are exactly the same.

Bendy

More art related blog posts and pictures are available in the Lily’s Art Work section. Which will now of course include pictures from Lily and Jack.