Tuesday, July 17, 2012

20 Summertime Boredom Busters

Summer is an awesome time to relax, spend time with friends and family, and take a little break from school and work. However, come mid-July kids start to get restless, parents start to loose their patience and everyone is ready to be back on a schedule, right?  The limited mobility, hand function and communication makes it hard to find fun things our girls are able to participate in.  Here are some great tips to get you through that summertime lull with your Rett Girl!

1.  Summer Reading Program - visit your local library for a reading program where your Rett Girl can earn some fun prizes or check out this one from Barnes & Noble - you read 8 books to your Rett Girl (or if she can read you can have her do it) then fill in the form and take it to your local Barnes & Noble so she can pick out a FREE book!

2.  Museum - check out a museum in your area.  Kids' Hands-on museums are great!  Your Rett Girl may not be running around and interacting with every experiment, but she'll for sure be able to do some of them with help and it's a great learning environment.

3. Picnic Lunch - head out to your local park or just spread a blanket out under a tree in your yard.

4. Home camp out - All kids like to camp out! pitch a tent in your back yard if your Rett Girl is able to handle that, if not set up some blow up mattresses in the basement or the family room.  If your girl is on a feeding tube remember that the pole is mobile, wheel it into your room and sleep with her on blow up matresses or into siblings room so they can have a slumber party or have the siblings sleep in her room if that's where she's comfiest.  Just make it FUN!

5. Bonfire/smores - Head outside for the evening, set up a bonfire and make smores.  No bonfire outside? No problem, make them in the oven - layer graham cracker, chocolate and a marshmallow on a cookie sheet and broil in the oven until the marshmallow is golden brown, pull them out and top with another graham cracker - then enjoy it outside!  TIP - marshmallows are gluten free and check your grocery store for gluten free graham crackers.

6. Make your own sprinkler that you can push your daughter through in her wheelchair!  This is TONS of fun but you may want to set it up the night before, they say it takes a half hour but I'd give myself an hour for sure!  Instructions and supply list Here

7. Kids Bowl Free - sign up HERE.

8.  Visit an Adaptive Playground
9.  Go to the movies!  check out the deals at Cinemark theater if you have one near you.  Or, if your Rett Girl gets antsy at the theater check out Sensory Friendly Films that may be playing in your area.

10. Visit your local zoo

11. Mess-Free Finger painting - Check it out HERE!  Great for our girls who hand mouth, you don't have to worry about them eating the paint!

12.  Make an outdoor tent and read!

13.  Read a book and watch the movie.  It's always fun to read a book together and then go check out the movie to see how it compares.  One of our favorites is Judy Moody and the Not so Bummer Summer!  Grab the book at your local library then watch the movie on Netflix.

14.  Visit your local farmers market

15.  Face painting/body painting - Kids LOVE to get their face painted at fairs, why not do it at home!  Check out this Klutz Body Crayon Book and get creative drawing on bracelets and fake flip flops!

16.  Spa Day!  Do mani's and pedi's at home.

17.  Dance Party - Crank the music and DANCE! You can even buy a mini disco light to add to the fun!

18. Catch a frog/snake/crayfish or buy a fish to feed and observe - what a fantastic learning experience!

19.  Visit an indoor playground - indoor playgrounds are popping up everywhere and many of them are sensory friendly and parent friendly which means you can hop right in and enjoy the fun or help your Rett Girl navigate, play and slide.

20. Ride Bikes!  If your Rett girl doesn't have a bike yet look into it HERE.  Bikes offer lots of benefits and their just FUN! Here is a link to a Special Needs Bike Trailer by Wike and something called the i-GO!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gluten-Free Cookout

A favorite summer activity is getting together with family and friends for a cookout, however, somewhere between the hot dogs and the pasta salad a gluten-free kiddo can feel kind of left out, and hungry!  Don't worry, we've got you covered with a few ideas!  Check out these great gluten-free recipes that are perfect to bring to a cookout so your Rett Girl has something great to eat (that everyone else will love, too).

Have a favorite recipe to share? Be sure to leave it in the comments section below!

Cobb Egg Salad - from kitchendaily.com


1. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic powder, pepper and salt in a medium bowl.
2. Halve eggs and discard 4 of the yolks (or save for another use). Add whites and the remaining 4 yolks to the bowl and mash to desired consistency. Gently stir in avocado, bacon and blue cheese.


Gluten Free Chick Pea Apple Slaw - from Joyous Health


1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
Juice of 1/2 a lemon, freshly squeezed
14 oz can of organic chickpeas or navy beans, drained and slightly mushed with a fork
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp walnut oil
4 slices of your favourite gluten-free bread, toasted

Method: Squeeze the lemon juice onto the grated apple. Mix the apples, beans, cranberries, sunflower seeds and carrot together. In a separate dish, mix the red wine vinegar together with the walnut oil. Add the dressing to the apple mixture


And for dessert, check these out:

Chocolate Chip Banana Squares - from Brunch at Saks

1 1/2 C. gluten-free flour (I use a mix of Bob's Red Mill white rice flourtapioca flourpotato starch)
1/2 tsp. gluten free baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder (I like Rumford's because it's aluminum-free)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
5 Tbs. coconut oil (or any vegetable oil)
3/4 C. cold water
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. chocolate chips (Enjoy Life are gluten, dairy, soy, nut -free).
optional 1/2 C. of  walnuts 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9x9 square cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside. In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and stir in oil, water, and vanilla until well blended. Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in wet mixture. Stir until just blended. Add in chocolate chips and give it one last toss. Pour into prepared cake sheet.  Bake 40 min, or until toothpick comes out clean.