Special needs parenting takes a lot of effort and time. I me truly the paperwork. The planning and researching. The doctor appointments and therapy sessions. It’s overwhelming to say the least. But just like with any parenting there comes kids with that “I’m bored” attitude that depending on the age can result in bad behaviors or just general up your buttness. I try and keep my kids busy with things that are going to help them. When I first became a mom I bought things I thought were cool or made cool noises, but that all has changed.When I look at toys I see how they can be related to speech, or sensory, or even what they can learn from the toys. And well, that adds up FAST. I mean seriously if you google sensory toys, speech toys, or toys for Autism you are going to spend at least double for those toys because they label educational or sensory. It has become a real anger for me to see that these things that my child (and many others) needs are way too expensive. It starts to make you think you can’t provide the things your child needs and still keep food on the table.But over time I have truly change in my thinking. I think it all started when we were in the middle of moving from Germany to Colorado and we were living without our stuff for 4 months. All I could think about was how bad I felt for my kiddos without all their toys and comforts. But then one day Brodyn spent the entire day playing with a box of straws and a box of panty liners. Once your kid plays with panty liners your thought process on entertainment changes completely.It allowed me to not only see that toys don’t have to be expensive or come with fancy educational labels, but they can be hand made from things you already have or are throwing out. I now look at every container I’m about to recycle as a way to educate and best of all entertain my children. And the best part is with the craft section at the dollar store these days you can get supplies to use for super cheap and you don’t have to feel bad when you get rid of what you made when they start to get tired of it.We recently bought new bigger kids cups, plates, and bowls and while I put some in our camping gear, I also turned some into sensory touch and feel pads to put on the wall. I literally took things around the house (pebbles, sandpaper and nail files, sponges and beads, wine corks, googlie eyes and some fabric from a stuffed animal the boys ripped up) and glued them on the plates. The best part is I use two command sticky’s to hang each one so when they are bored with them I can take them down with no holes and pass them on to someone else.I love finding ways to mix things up for my kiddos at home. And the best part is that it’s super cheap when you just look at what you have.