Makaton Monday ~ Rocket

Bruiser loves Space and Rockets, FACT!! But those of you that follow my blog already know that don’t you 🙂

When we first started using Makaton with Bruiser, we were advised by his speech and language therapist that we needed to first use the signs that got him his needs across first and foremost, ie food, drink, favorite toy etc. But, his obsession with space and rockets was so great that we knew we had to find a way of finding out what the signs were to help him communicate his obsession. (unfortunately these weren’t included in any of the literature we were given and our SALT didn’t know them either)

We searched high and low for the signs and eventually came across something on the Makaton website in their Makachat forum. Someone else had asked for the sign for Rocket! It wasnt the sign picture but an explanation on how to do the sign.

“The sign for “space rocket” is your non dominant hand, flat palm down about chest height, and your dominant hand, with your index finger-pointing upwards. The dominant hand is behind the flat hand and shoots upwards finger first like a rocket” 

This was all we needed to know. Once Bruiser started using the sign, it wasnt long before the sounds came too and in his own little way he could then say ‘dotit’. The sense of relief we all felt at this time was amazing. We could all breathe a sign of relief.

A while after discovering ‘Rocket’, purely by chance we recorded a Something Special episode (as we do EVERYDAY) and this particular episode was about Space. So thank you to Justin and Mr Tumble, Bruiser could then also sign ‘Space Man’ ‘Space’ ‘Moon’ ‘Space Suit’. These few little signs enabled him to then play with his brother imaginatively. Wriggler did the imaginative stuff, Bruiser played along and they ‘talked’ in sign whilst playing.

These days their play is more verbal but Bruiser still throws in the signs.

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ROCKET

ROCKET

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bruiser signing rocket

This is Bruiser signing ROCKET on bonfire night back in 2012. As you can imagine Rockets were his favorite firework 🙂

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Only yesterday we watched a brand new episode of Something Special about the Planetarium. Another great episode that got Bruiser wanting to make a rocket just like Justin and….  we learnt a new sign to further feed his space obsession 😀

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Sign/Symbol used with the kind permission of the © The Makaton Charity 2012

For any help or advice in respect of Makaton, please contact the Makaton Charity directly.

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MAKATON MONDAY

 

Getting to know The Lego Galaxy Squad…

… at The National Space Centre no less! What could be more prefect?

We are big big fans of the Space Centre and big big fans of Lego.  So, my boys were over the moon when I told them we had been especially invited to the Launch of the new Lego Galaxy Squad.

All great days out have their little hiccups, on this particular day it was the car breaking down a mere twenty minutes into our journey, almost irreparably!

galaxy squad

It looked like all was lost and that our day was over before it had even started. But, thank you to the great people at our local Vauxhall dealership who after receiving our car from the RAC (not to mention some rather great negotiating skills on my part ;)) gave us a courtesy car for the weekend.

We were on our way at last, albeit 2 hours behind schedule. We’d miss the mornings events but we would be there for the remaining part of the day. As far as the boys were concerned, any amount of time would be a great time!

We arrived just in time for lunch which worked out great because as soon as we entered the Shuttle Suite, Wriggler immediately wanted to start building the Lego that was out on the tables. We got started on building the Alien Dragonfly which was part of the Bug Obliterator set. Bruiser kept himself happy playing with the contents of his goody bag which included a space monkey (his favorite film is Space Chimps so you can imagine his excitement can’t you) and some Galaxy Squad Lego.

Now I have to say I was VERY impressed with The Galaxy Squad. Over the years Lego has just got better and better, a far cry from the simple box of blocks that I owned when I was little. Galaxy Squad is big, its bright and in one word, its BRILLIANT!

So who are The Galaxy Squad? They are in fact, an elite unit of Galaxy Soldiers that operate in four specialised task forces (red, blue, orange, green) to save the galaxy from a mysterious race of evil Alien Bugs that are swarming across the galaxy, capturing civilians in cocoons and turning one planet after another into bug hives.

The Galaxy Squad products range in price from £7.99 to £79.99 so there is something for everyone! We particularly liked the Bug Obliterator priced at £59.99 and its this that we built on the day. Unfortunately we just didn’t get time to finish it all. We did complete the Alien Dragonfly and it looked stunning. I regretfully didnt capture a picture of it!!

Lego Galaxy Squad

Defeat the alien dragonfly with the split-function Bug Obliterator that transforms into an armoured rover and attack ship with weapons! The deadly alien dragonfly is trying to capture the Galaxy Squad orange team heroes in a cocoon prison. Soar into battle with orange team heroes, Jack Fireblade and Ashlee Starstrider in the Bug Obliterator!

All of the different models were very impressive though, even the miniature sets from the goody bags!

The beauty of Lego is that you can build pretty much anything your imagination conjures up. Galaxy Squad was no exception! The boys had great fun taking part in the various Lego activities taking part around the Space Centre and building their own space vehicles and aliens. Wriggler made himself a satellite and displayed it in the Space Centre along with all the other fantastic creations.

Part of the afternoon events included a talk by Englands only Certified Lego Builder. Wriggler had no idea that you could build Lego for a job and was particularly interested in what he had to say. He sat watching him in awe, mentally taking notes while the Lego Builder talked about what he built so far and how he went about designing and building the creations he was asked to work on.

Other Lego activities going on was making your own Lego Movie, unfortunately we didn’t get time to do that but it looked brilliant. The giant Galaxy Squad Mosaic. It was great to see first hand how these are constructed and even have a go ourselves. I have to admit it looked very impressive! Unfortunately it didn’t get finished on the day but I have heard that it was eventually finished in the week that followed by other visitors to the centre. The finished creation was made up of 192 boards, each board had 256 LEGO pieces on it. The completed mosaic contained a whopping 49,152 LEGO bricks. Now that’s a lot of Lego!

galaxy squad

This photo just doesnt do it justice!

We had a fantastic day, okay half day on this occasion. Even after all the Lego activities, we still got to explore the Space Centre all over again. It was great to revisit our favorite parts in particular the Planetarium, The Rocket Tower and Space Now and this time I managed to capture a picture of the piece of Moon Rock that’s on display.

Thank you to Lego and Elyssa for the invitation and for such a fantastic day. We loved The Galaxy Lego Squad. I know for sure that Galaxy Squad will feature highly on the boys’ Christmas lists this year… and possibly even mine 😉

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Lego Summer is taking part in the Space Centre all through the summer holidays. Go along until the 1st September to meet the Galaxy Squad for yourself.

You can find out more about the Lego Galaxy Squad by following the links within this post or by following this link now.

Also available are: The Lego Galaxy Squad game – Bug Battle and Cocoon Crusher. They are free to play online at: LEGO.com/GalaxySquad and The Lego Galaxy Squad Bug Battle is also available for iOS as a free app game.

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 **Disclaimer**
We were invited to the Launch of the Lego Galaxy Squad and given free family entry to the Space Centre as well as goody bags for the children for the purpose of this review, I have received no other form of financial compensation and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Project Boys Bedroom – Dark of the Moon Come Space Shuttle Room

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Following on from yesterdays Project Boys Bedroom blog, me and hubby got creative last night thinking there has to be a way of giving the boys their dream bedroom… And there it was the Win a £2,500 Home Makeover with Tots100 and Ratedpeople.com Competition!

With less than 18 hours to go to the closing time for entries, it was game on!….

Having previously decided that the boys room needed to incorporate both the boys’ personalities we knew that the space shuttle theme was the way to go for Bruiser and for Wriggler, that’s where the Transformers, Dark of the Moon comes in! Both themes would work really well together and equally please both boys!

As you can see, the boys currently still sleep in what is still the nursery.

Our room as it is, currently the master bedroom soon to be the Boys Room.

View from bedroom door

View from walk-in-wardrobe to far end of room showing main wall

View from far corner of bedroom facing walk-in-wardrobe

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Getting Started

Simple sketch of the room showing doors, windows, chimney stack etc.

Along the chimney stack wall, we would like to build in a wardrobe. This would provide lots of storage for clothes and shoes for the boys, whilst hiding away the chimney breast behind some shelving, on which they can keep toys etc.

Simple sketch design showing plans for chimney stack wall and window.

The sliding doors to the wardrobe, curtains, blackout blind and also the walls and ceiling would be very dark navy, with glow in the dark stars, using stickers or paint to create this kind of effect.

Very space like don’t you think?

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For the carpet we would like to give the appearance of being on the moon. We have come across these moon surface crater rugs. A few of these dotted around the room on top of an off white / cream coloured plain carpet, would work really well.

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simple sketch showing plans for main wall in bedroom

As for the main wall in the room, we would like a picture that shows a view from the moon looking towards earth and this is where Transformers ‘Dark of the Moon’ comes in…

Perfect don’t you think? 🙂

We have found a few websites that can take an image like the one above and make it into a wall mural to fit your wall, which is put up in much the same way as wall paper.

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The light in the bedroom, we would like to incorporate the solar system. We think this Solar System light fits the bill perfectly.

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We have a walk-in-wardrobe in this room (as can be seen from the first and last sketch) which would be ample storage for lots if not all of their toys.

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Last but not least, the Bunk bed!

Space Shuttle Bunk Bed

You can actually buy this bed ready made to use. However logistically its not really an option given that it comes from America. We don’t think this could be that difficult to recreate. We would use a normal plain bunk bed and build the shuttle around it using MDF type material.

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To finish off the room, we would give the boys their choice of bedding, Wriggler likes Transformers (obviously) and Bruiser would like this Rocket set.

Bruiser

Wriggler

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We also think a couple of wall decals of Transformers wouldn’t go amiss for Wriggler. We’ve come across these, Megatron and Optimus Prime!

Megatron (life size wall decal)

Optimus Prime (life size wall decal)

And for Bruiser, a Rocket here and there. or maybe moon buggies.

Rocket themed wall decals

Space themed wall decals

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Hope you like our entry for the Win a £2,500 Home Makeover with Tots100 and Ratedpeople.com Competition!

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ratedpeople.com painting and decorating