"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gluten free art.

Art projects and crafts are wonderful opportunities for practicing fine motor skills, sensory exploration, and encourage creativity.  Sounds easy right??  What about when your child is gluten free?  If gluten causes illness or behavior changes in your child, an art project can be a complicated situation but it doesn't have to be!  The TACA website has a wonderful article about Gluten exposure and art supplies.  You can view it here.  This article is actually a hand out for teachers about the GFCF diet and it touches base on what supplies are ok.  It also has some examples of IEP goals that can be implemented into your child's IEP.  (If your child is on any special diet I would strongly suggest you have it written into the IEP).  We have copies of this article in Peanuts communication notebook with a note encouraging therapists, teachers and paraprofessionals to read it and even take a copy.  We had Peanuts diet written into his IEP (not as a goal but as a provision).  The early education coordinator even took a copy of this handout to use to educate all of the special ed preschool teachers in the district!  We supplied the school with a box of all the school supplies our son may need for a project.  The teachers are really good about giving us advanced notice if a special project is planned for the class (making play dough, decorating gingerbread men, playing with jello etc...)They also have a list of GFCF art supplies you can start with.  You can view that list here.  We use a lot of the supplies on this list as well as others.

Here are some of the great supplies we have found:

Discount School Supply makes a GFCF play clay that we love!  We bought a tub of different colors.  The only thing you need to make sure of is that all the dough stays wrapped in plastic wrap.  We were able to split each color in half and give half to the school to use and still had plenty to play with at home.  They have an entire line of gluten free art supplies that I always love to browse.  Colorations clay can be found here.

Our next favorite moldable product is Playfoam.  This stuff is great!  It's gluten free, it molds and holds it's shape and it never dries out!

   PlayFoam Set of 6 Colors

One last GF moldable material that my son loves using is moon dough.  Sassy is a little young still (she still eats play dough).  We have the dog house mold that you can buy separately and he loves watching the dog pop out of the house.  I've found this activity to be great for his fine motor development as well as encouraging use of both his hands (he had a left sided neglect for a little while).  The other thing I like about this product is that it's inexpensive and can be found in your local Toys R Us.  Moon Dough Double Disc - Red & Yellow -  Spin Master - Toys"R"Us
Both my children LOVE using their daubers.  Do a dot's daubers are Gluten Free and come in a wide variety of colors.                                          

They also make activity books that can be used to practice letters and numbers.  We have this book and the kids love it as well.  Sassy is very meticulous with how exact she daubs each circle.     
                                      Play and Learn activity book

If you don't want to buy an activity book there are a handful of wonderful printables out there. 
* DLTK has a great selection of free dauber art printables.  We love using these to work on colors or just for fun.
*Homeschool Creations  has a great selection of dauber printables to practice the alphabet.  My kids love these as well and we have included these sheets into our activities in RRSP.

So that's about it for art supplies.  I hope it helps.  God Bless and have fun getting creative!!

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