Finding the right gifts for our kids can be a challenge so when PECS UK told me they were creating a Christmas Activity Book Set I thought it was a brilliant idea. My parents always want to get presents that are useful as well as fun for my boys and this would be perfect.
The Picture Exchange Communication System® is my 7 year olds main communication method. My 5 year old is also using PECS but mostly to extend his sentences and boost communication skills. I have used the set with both boys and it has been a great success.
What is included?
In the Christmas Activity Book Set you receive:
- A Freddy Fox plush toy
- 48 Laminated PECS pictures & loop fasteners
- An activity board
- 3 colouring sheets
- Poppy and Sam’s Christmas book
Freddy the Fox
The Freddy Fox is a really lovely quality soft toy and the first thing that was taken from me when I showed the boys the pack.
The texture of the foxes fur is really soft with a very tactile feel making it perfect for my 7 year old sensory seeker. As he watched TV he was sat cuddling Freddy and stroking his soft fur. I am impressed with the quality of the toy and he seems to be a hit with the boys.
The set comes with 48 laminated PECS pictures to go with the items in the set. It saves me so much time to have all the relevant cards found, printed and laminated. It took me less than 5 minutes to cut them out and add the loop fasteners to the back which were included in the set.
There are several sentence starters included including ‘I feel’ which works great with ‘fox’ so we can talk about feeling the foxes soft fur. ‘I feel’ is a sentence starter we haven’t introduced yet so this is what I plan to work on next using the set.
There are cards to use with the colouring activity and the book.
Also included is an activity board. Clear instructions were provided and again it was ready to go in less than 5 minutes after putting it together. It is so useful that the activity board is included, I like to keep commenting packs together and this makes it much easier.
The set includes 3 colouring sheets (Father Christmas, a Christmas Tree and a Fox). The pictures are bold and the sheets are A4 which is perfect for my boys who are still working on colouring skills.
My 7 year old used the activity board and PECS cards to request which colours he wanted for his tree picture. It was lovely to watch him enjoying colouring in and confidently requesting the colours he wanted. He used to always stick to one colour so it is lovely seeing his pictures now. I was pretty impressed with his tree colouring and look forward to seeing the others.
Poppy and Sam’s Christmas book
Poppy and Sam’s Christmas from Usborne books is a really nice choice. It is not a book I was familiar with but it is great for commenting with. The book also has lots of shapes cut out like stars or circles and the tree below. This gives you the option to go through the book feeling different shapes too.
I really enjoy Commenting with PECS as both my boys really enjoy books and it is lovely that they can use PECS to share with me what they see / notice in the book as we read it. Poppy and Sam’s Christmas is full of traditional Christmas images so there is plenty of opportunities to explore different seasonal words. There is also a fox so we were able to look for Freddy Fox in the book which gave my youngest the giggles!
I particularly like that the set is well designed to be useful for beginners as well as more advanced PECS users. There is lots we will be able to try and look at new sentence starters like ‘I feel’ as well as work on more complex words like she / he and actions like ‘pointing’ to help extend vocabulary and comprehension.
I am a fan of PECS story book kits, you can see and earlier review of the Brown bear activity pack. However this Christmas Activity Set gives a bit more with the colouring and Freddy Fox making it feel much more like a gift item.
The PECS Christmas Activity Set is available from PECS UK for £22 which I personally think is great value considering everything that has been included. The quality is good, I can see us getting lots of use out of the set and most importantly both my boys really enjoy it.