Happy Thursday, Cayer Crew!

School is officially out for summer, and that means many parents are racking their brains to figure out fun and engaging activities for the kiddos while also limiting screen time. It’s the ultimate challenge! 

In recent years, sensory play has become a popular activity for young kids. Sensory play is any activity that stimulates a child’s sense of smell, touch, taste, sight, or hearing. It has proven beneficial for both typically developing children, and children with learning or developmental delays. It can help build nerve connections, develop motor skills, and it encourages scientific thinking and problem solving! 

For this week’s blog, we’re bringing you three inexpensive and easy ways to incorporate sensory play into your child’s day. These activities require minimal supplies and can lead to hours of fun, screenless play for your kiddos! 

Let’s dive right in! 

 

  1. Beach Day Sensory Bin 

While many beaches in the North Florida area are slowly reopening due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there’s a way you can simulate your own beach day in your own backyard! Beware though – this activity can get messy! This one is best for a grassy backyard or patio. All you’ll need is: 

  • A large, plastic storage container 
  • Clean sand 
  • Mini umbrellas, glass marbles, little beach balls, toy fish, etc. 

The only two requirements for the Beach Bin are the bin itself and the sand. After that, you can fill it with whatever you or the kiddos want! You can add dolls to create “mermaids,” some water to simulate the ocean, marbles for “rocks,” toy fish….Let your imagination run wild! When you’re done with your Beach Bin, you can dump it in the backyard or a trash can, or, cover it with a plastic lid to save the Beach for another day! 

2. I-Spy Sand Bin 

Another way to incorporate sand into your child’s play is an I-Spy bin. This activity is super simple, and requires the same materials as the beach bin – perfect for recycling! You’ll need: 

  • A plastic bin 
  • Clean sand 
  • Small toys like action figures, shapes, animals, food, etc. 

Simply arrange the toys how you’d like in the sand, then challenge your child to find all the toys in a certain time frame. You can even draw them a fun list and have them decorate it beforehand. For older kids, you can increase the difficulty level by using smaller toys and varying the hiding spots. For young kids, you can even break out some whisks, spoons, and measuring cups from the kitchen and allow them to “dig” for treasure. The possibilities for this activity really are endless! 

3. Jello Dig 

This activity is great for babies and smaller kids. Your older kiddos can assist in preparation and clean-up, as this craft can get messy as well! All you need is: 

  • Plastic bin, cooking pan, or bowl 
  • Sugar-free Jello 
  • Some small toys 

Prepare your jello normally, then add some of your child’s small toys. Allow to cool. Then, let baby dig away to their heart’s content! Beware, though – darkly colored Jello like red or blue will dye baby’s hands! We recommend yellow for the best, mess-free results. 

All of these activities are super-versatile, and you can easily add your own twists to them as well. Get creative with it! If you do decide to use any of these, post to social media and tag it #CayerCrafts so we can see!

Happy playing, everyone!

 

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and we are so excited to celebrate our amazing dads, grandpas, uncles, and other father figures in our lives. Dads can be some of the hardest people to shop for, that’s why this week we’re bringing you four super cute gift ideas you can make at home with the kiddos! 

Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging all the hard-working single moms who play the role of both mom AND dad! If there’s a single mama in your life, treat her to some fresh flowers or a cute, homemade card this week! Additionally, all of these crafts could be adapted to suit a single mom or any other parent figure that you or your kids may have!

 

Now, onto the crafting!

  1. Finger-Painting Tie:  This craft is super sweet, and mimics Dad’s work outfit! All you’ll need is: 
  • White construction paper 
  • Washable paint 
  • Scissors 
  • A plastic tray 

Place a small amount of paint on the tray and help your child start finger painting. Encourage them to spread out the paint to cover the full area of the tray you are using. While they are painting, cut the shape of a tie from the sheet of paper. It can be as big or small as you’d like! 

Fold a second piece of white paper in half longways. When your child is done painting, press the tie sheet of paper into the paint tray. Hold firmly to ensure the entire area is covered in paint.  If you want the color to be more vivid, feel free to repeat that step! 

Once you’re happy with the way your tie looks, allow it to dry. After it has dried, use a glue stick to attach it to your folded piece of paper. There you have it – the perfect Father’s Day card! If you feel it needs a little more “pizzazz”, feel free to have your child draw on the card, apply some stickers, or write out a personalized Father’s Day message! 

 

 

  2. My Daddy Rocks Craft: This craft is both super unique and a great, creative activity for kids! All you’ll need is: 

  • Eight to ten round, smooth rocks. These can be found outside or in any craft store! 
  • A rectangular sheet of white cardstock
  • Scissors 
  • Markers
  • Glue 
  • Craft Paint and Paintbrush (optional) 

Start by arranging your rocks in the shape of a person. Use the longer, more rectangular rocks to form the torso, shorter rocks for the head and feet, etc. Get creative with it! Using the markers or paint, allow your child to paint the rocks like a person. Add a face, clothes, hair, etc. 

Once the rocks are decorated the way you want them, arrange them on your sheet of cardstock. Glue them down firmly and allow them to dry. Once they’ve dried, allow your kids to decorate the cardstock area as they like. Add a cute Father’s Day memo and you’re done! 

 

 

  3. Father’s Footsteps Poem Keepsake: This sweet and meaningful poem is perfect for both small kiddos and older kids! 

All you need is:

  • Paper (preferably cardstock)
  • An 8×10 picture frame (optional)
  • Washable paint
  • Glue
  • Construction paper
  • “Walk A Little Slower Daddy” Footprint Poem:

Walk a Little Slower Daddy

“Walk a Little slower, Daddy.” said a little child so small.

I’m following in your footsteps and I don’t want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast, sometimes they’re hard to see;

So walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me.

Someday when I’m all grown up, You’re what I want to be.

Then I will have a little child who’ll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right, and know that I was true;

So, walk a little slower, Daddy, for I must follow you!!

– Bobbie Norman

Print or write the poem on the cardstock paper. Attach a piece of colored construction paper behind it. Soak the bottom of your kiddo’s feet in washable paint. Press their feet on the sides of the poem to make perfect footprints. Wash feet and let paint dry! Write your kiddo’s name, their age, and the date on the paper. Optional step – Frame the picture and give to daddy!

 

4. Upcycled Nuts and Bolts Heart: Speak the language of all dads by making a cute keepsake out of some nuts and bolts!

All you need is:

  • A Canvas
  • Some nuts and bolts (you can also include washers, nails, screws, etc.)
  • Wooden (or cardboard) letters to spell out “ Daddy” or whatever you choose to spell. 
  • A lot of non-toxic glue! 

Outline the shape of the heart/shape you plan on using on the canvas in pencil. Fill the outline with glue, then place your tools on the canvas, in the glue. For best results, you might need multiple applications of glue. Apply the letters you want to use for the name portion. Let dry & voila! Super cute craft for dad!

 

Thanks for reading, Cayer Crew! Feel free to post pictures of your creations with the hashtag #CayerCrafting. We hope you have an incredible Father’s Day with your families!

Hello, Cayer Crew! There’s no doubt these past few months have been tough. Between trying to work from home, rearrange schedules, homeschool, and keep the kids occupied, every parent is feeling the COVID stress!! The stress alone doesn’t even touch on feelings of sadness from missing out on graduations, end-of-year parties, and easy, breezy get-togethers.. Even though it feels like we’re missing out on so much, there are still fun activities that you can do with the kids to feel a little more normal during these crazy times! Take a gander at these germ-free-gems! 

 

  • Go for a nature hike: There are several beautiful trails close to the Tallahassee area, like Phipps Park, Lafayette Heritage Trail, and the Miccosukee Greenway. You can even pack a picnic and enjoy a meal overlooking the beautiful North Florida views. For the best experience, make sure you wear durable shoes and clothing, pack lots of sunscreen and bug spray, and bring along LOTS of water to stay comfortable in the Florida heat! For a full list of trails near the Tallahassee area, check out this list: https://www.alltrails.com/us/florida/tallahassee

 

  • Set up your own Drive-In Movie: Drive-in movies were a staple in the 1950’s, and even though they’re not as popular in 2020, it’s super easy to set up your own 50’s style movie night. All you’ll need is a few simple materials:
  • A projector 
  • A blank wall or a white sheet 
  • A laptop, DVD player, or phone 
  • Some comfy bean bags, chairs, sleeping bags, etc. 

Set up your projector facing the blank area you’d like to project on. Many projectors have Wi-Fi capabilities, or, you can use an HDMI cord to plug the projector into your laptop, DVD, or phone. Super simple! After that’s set up, grab your popcorn, comfy chairs, and enjoy the movie! For a fun twist, grab some cardboard boxes and let your kids decorate them as “cars” to sit in during the film! 

 

  • Take a Day at the Beach: Beaches in Florida are slowly starting to reopen, with some social distancing requirements for visitors. There are several beautiful but quiet beaches close to Tallahassee, including Alligator Point, St. George, and Seaside! Super easy and convenient for a day trip. Grab your floaties and hit the road! Before you visit a beach, make sure you review the guidelines for each one. Always stay six feet apart from the other beach-goers, and wash your hands frequently, especially when you’re handling food!
  • Take a driving tour of Tallahassee: Tallahassee is home to many historical landmarks, like Mission San Luis, the old Capitol Building, and FSU’s campus. Load up the kids and take a drive of beautiful downtown Tally – how many landmarks can you find? For a fun twist, make your own scavenger hunt and see how many historical elements you can spot from your car window! Make the scavenger hunt as simple as you want, depending on your kids’ ages. For older kids, another fun idea is to have them research the landmarks before you visit, to gain some more insight into their significance and impact!

 

  • Schedule a Zoom playdate: It can be hard to go for so long without talking to friends or family members. Thankfully, there are so many ways to stay connected digitally during these crazy times! Zoom is a great platform for doing so. With a stable WiFi connection, users can host a virtual meeting with multiple participants, share their screen, and even access the Internet and other apps while they’re connected. Kids can chat, play games, or even watch movies with friends over Zoom! Use these easy steps to host a super-fun Zoom movie night:
  • Schedule a time with your participants and send out the meeting ID and password. 
  • When the meeting starts, pull up your favorite streaming service in a separate browser. 
  • Share your screen with the meeting, so that all the participants can also see the movie. Make sure the “computer audio sharing” option is also enabled, so your guests can hear the movie as well. 
  • Grab your popcorn and enjoy! 

Just because we have to stay six feet apart doesn’t mean your summer is ruined – it just means we have to be more inventive when coming up with fun activities for the kids! We hope that these ideas are useful and inspire you to take full advantage of this free time – even though it looks a little bit different than summers past. If you use any of these ideas, feel free to post on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #CayerSummer, so we can see all your summer fun!

 

Hey y’all!

Join us as we take a good look inside Week 1 of Cayer Clinic’s “Yes I Can!” Clinic and meet Clinic Coordinator, Jyl Sisson!

For more information, call us at 850-320-6555 or email us at support@cayerbehavioral.com

 

Happy October 1st! Although the weather is still in the 90’s, it’s officially spooky season and today is also National Cookie Day😊 Cayer Behavioral Group wants to help you embrace the season and what better way to do so than to whip up a batch of cookies?

In honor of National Cookie Day, here’s a few recipes you should try!

 

Be the talk of the Halloween party with these cute, creepy little spiders!

Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

Prep Time: 40 mins                                       Cook Time: 25 mins                                       Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins

Yields: approximately 24 cookies

The link to the original recipe: https://eatlittlebird.com/peanut-butter-spider-cookies/

 

If you love anything pumpkin spice, you’ll love these Pumpkin Sugar Cookies.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 50 mins                                       Cook Time: 10 mins                                       Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: approximately 40 cookies

The link to the original recipe: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a23461956/pumpkin-sugar-cookies-recipe/

 

It can be a lot of work to get in the Halloween spirit, but don’t worry! There’s no baking involved in these spooky cookies!

Spooky Milano Mummy Cookies

Prep Time: 15 mins                                       Chilling Time: 15 mins                                       Total Time: 30 mins

Yields: approximately 16 cookies

The link to the original recipe: https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/mummy-milanos/

 

Let know which recipes you tried! As always, feel free to reach out to us at 850.320.6555 or email support@cayerbehavioral.com. 

 

#AutumnwithAutism #CayerBehavioralGroup #AutismAwarenessEveryDay #WeCayer 

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” -Albert Einstein 

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we want to take a moment to applaud our founder and CEO on her recent accomplishments. 

This past weekend Krista Cayer was invited to accept Cayer Behavioral Group’s award for the Seminole 100. The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University recognized Cayer Behavioral Group as one of the fastest growing and innovative U.S. businesses owned by Florida State Alumni.
 

In addition, CBG was just selected as a member of the University of South Florida’s Fast 56 Class of 2019. The Fast 56 recognizes the world’s fastest growing USF Bull-owned businesses.  

 We are proud to be a woman run business. We are grateful to all our women leaders across the world, for their hard work, and dedication to empowering others.  

“Here is to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!”

#InternationalWomensDay #CayerBehavioralGroup #AutismAwarenessEveryDay #WeCayer 

Seminole 100

 

Happy Fall Y'all

The weather is finally cooling down and although the leaves may not be changing color, the smell of pumpkin spiced lattes is in the air… Fall has found the south!

Fall in Florida is the best time of year to enjoy the outdoors. Cayer Behavioral Group wants you to take advantage of all this season has to offer. In honor of this spooky season’s arrival, we’ve gathered some fun activities for you and your family to enjoy.

  • Head to your local pumpkin patch and spend the day outdoors enjoying hay rides, corn mazes, farmer’s markets and petting zoos! Then pick your own pumpkins to take home for more fall fun. Check out fun4tallykids to find a pumpkin patch near you.
  • Bake delicious pumpkin treats. Get creative: pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin crumb bars… the list goes on and on! In fact, here’s a list of 65 ridiculously good pumpkin desserts to make this fall. Let your little ones participate by stirring the batter, adding ingredients, and icing/decorating the finished product. But make sure you save extra pumpkins for…
  • Pumpkin painting! While pumpkin carving may seem like a daunting task for a parent of a child with autism, pumpkin decorating is a fun and safe alternative. Grab some paint, glue, glitter and stickers, and get to work! Use the leftover paint from your pumpkin masterpiece for…
  • Handprint turkeys! Nothing says fall like a classic handprint turkey. Prepare to get messy finger painting some cute Thanksgiving themed keepsakes. If you’re feeling extra crafty, add some feathers for the ultimate finishing touch!
  • Go for a nature walk/hike. Go outside and get moving to make the most of the beautiful fall weather before it’s gone! Enjoy some quality family time in nature (away from technology) and revel in some much-needed exercise after all those delicious pumpkin treats.
  • Settle in for a movie. After a long day of family fun, cuddle up and watch some kid friendly, Halloween classics. Head to Halloweentown, hang with Casper the friendly ghost or enjoy The Nightmare Before Christmas to get in the holiday spirit!

We hope you fall into fall and find time to enjoy your family and friends! As always, feel free to reach out to us at 850.320.6555 or email support@cayerbehavioral.com.

Cheers to chunky sweaters and fall weather!

#AutumnwithAutism #CayerBehavioralGroup #AutismAwarenessEveryDay #WeCayer

ABC You Later Summer

Quick shout out to all the supermoms and dads out there who got their kids out the front door and in the classroom before the late school bell rang.

School mornings are no joke in my house and I’m sure everyone out there has the same sentiment. Waking up early, making breakfast, insuring everyone EATS their breakfast (or at least a few bites), getting dressed, brushing teeth, brushing hair, shoes on (if you’re lucky they’re tied), back pack in hand and BOOM! School bus or car ready. Phew! It is no easy task.

From a mom perspective I sure wish I had some tricks and tips for an easy morning. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll be honest! I’m muddling my way through this with the rest of you. One thing that is tried and true in my home is…. Consistency is key! Develop a morning routine and stick with it. Everyone, whether they’d like to admit it or not, appreciates consistency. Let’s save the surprises for the occasional prince or princess “throw ups,” which visits once or twice a year. That’s it! That’s all anyone can handle.

The wisest have said, “The days are long but the years are short.” I believe them. I believe one day we’ll all look back and with perspective miss the craziness of our early, school day mornings. Until then, let’s stand together, look each morning square in the eyes, and own it. One cup of coffee at a time.

Praying for a safe and happy school year!

Krista

Rearranging the Sleeping Game for the Upcoming School Year

Sound the alarms! With our kiddos heading back to school in a few weeks, comes the dreaded early mornings.

This summer you might have been enjoying an alarm free summer, but all of that is going to change very shortly. Transitioning to a school year sleep schedule is your best bet to make the first few days of school as enjoyable as possible. To help make your mornings as pain free as possible we have come up with a few helpful hints. 

  • Make slight changes to their sleep schedule. Do not try to make a drastic change in one night. Slowly rearrange their sleeping schedule by thirty minutes a night, until you are at their ideal sleep schedule by the time the first day of school arrives.  
  • Limit late night electronic use- We know how much we all love using our electronic devices. But using these devices before bed actually disrupts our body’s natural transition to sleep. By limiting the use of these devices an hour or two before bedtime, this will allow your kiddos to get to bed earlier. 
  • Be wary of sleeping in- Although we are all enjoying the last few days of summer…be cautious! You’ll want to keep their time schedule as consistent as possible. 
  • Make sure all your kiddos are getting the recommended amount of sleep- The amount of sleep needed for each child varies by age. Children ages 3-5 should be sleeping 10 to 13 hours, children ages 6-12 should be sleeping 9 to 12 hours, and teens 13-18 should be sleeping between 8 to 10 hours. By getting the right amount of sleep your kiddos will be rested and ready to learn! 
  • Breakfast! Breakfast! Breakfast! There is a reason this is called the most important meal of the day. You want to make sure that this meal is a priority each school morning. Insuring a substantial meal each morning will supply your children with enough energy to start out the school year strong.  

We’re sure you and your fam have been enjoying many leisurely mornings. Alas, it’s time to change!  Making even slight changes in the upcoming weeks will make the world of a difference come the first day of school. 

 

As always, if you have any questions contact Cayer Behavioral Group at 850-320-6555 or email support@cayerbehavioral.com for more information.   

Tips for a Stress Free Beach Day

Sweet summertime! Or, sweet summertime?  Often, easy breezy events like a day at the beach turn into one, big stressful beach ball when juggling too many sand buckets!

To increase your time playing and decrease running into snafu’s think about these few helpful hints.  

  1. Pack everything you need the night before. Once your kiddos head to bed, quickly pack your car. Night before organization may prevent you from forgetting anything as you are running out the door. Generally, this is also a huge time saver!  
  2. Apply everyone’s sunscreen before you get to the beach. There is no stopping your kids once they eye the water! Prevention is key, but timing is everything! 
  3. Bring a beach bag. What you bring, or forget to bring, will often make our break your trip. We suggest bringing, a towel for each person, sunscreen, bug spray, a change of clothes, hats and sunglasses, a trash bag, umbrella and baby powder. The baby powder will be the perfect trick for getting that pesky sand off at the end of the day! 
  4. Water and snacks.  Freezing water bottles the night before your beach trip is a sure-fire way to guarantee ice, cold water for you and the fam. Don’t forget to pack a healthy lunch and many, many, MANY smaller portioned snacks!  
  5. Finally, you may want to consider allowing each child one hand-held electronic. Let’s be honest. Once in a while, the kids need a break from the water and you DESERVE a break from figuring out what to do instead.  

Suns out, buns out! Cheers to a happy, healthy and safe day at the beach. 

As always, if you have any questions contact Cayer Behavioral Group at 850-320-6555 or email support@cayerbehavioral.com for more information.