Monday, February 28, 2011

The NEW Princess Peepers book & a contest!

My daughter is a huge fan of Pam Calvert's Princess Peepers.  She is very excited that there is a brand new Princess Peepers book. We've known its been coming for a while and it is finally out (the official release date is March 1st, 2011) 

The new book is called Princess Peepers Picks a Pet and my very own Princess Peepers can't wait to get her hands on a copy of it!

Princess Peepers Picks a Pet

As it turns out the author, Pam Calvert,  is having a Princess Peepers Picks a Pet Contest  over on her blog and there are some really great prizes.   I know that a lot of Amblyopia Kids readers are also fans of Princess Peepers, so of course I'm sharing all about it (and entering the contest too).  

Of course, I don't think we can wait to get our very own copy of Princess Peepers Picks a Pet.  My daughter asked if she could buy it with her piggybank money! 

Related Links: 
Princess Peepers - Finally a Princess in glasses!  
Epinions Review - Princess Peepers
Purchase a copy of Princess Peepers  or Princess Peepers Picks a Pet 
Check out the Princess Peepers Picks a Pet Contest 
Princess Peepers Website 
Pam Calvert's Blog 
Princess Peepers on Facebook


iSight test app gives parents an insight into their toddler's eyesight. | Response Source

Can your child can see with both eyes?

iSight test app gives parents an insight into their toddler's eyesight.

We see this app as a great vision screening tool and to practice and gain confidence before a professional eye test

Parents, are you sure your child can see well with both their eyes?

Eye specialists have designed the iSight test app for measuring the vision of children as young as eighteen months using accurate, fully validated and clinically-tested pictures, plus letters that are US and UK approved for testing older children and adults.

Read the full Press Release at: iSight test app gives parents an insight into their toddler's eyesight. | Response Source

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Activities for Amblyopia & Patching - the unplugged edition

There's no doubt about it, kids love technology. Whether it is playing a video game, playing with apps on the iPad/iPod,  taking over mom or dad's smart phone, surfing the internet, or watching the TV. My kids love technology as much as the rest.  I've sung the praises high and low about how using the Nintendo DS has been a great activity for my daughter during her patching time.   However, how much is too much? It is always hard as a parent on where to draw the line and when to unplug.

During times when my daughter is wearing her patch - I try to make good use of it and fill the time with constructive activities that will work on her vision. It can be hard to find a balance of passive patching and 'active patching'.  Especially now that she is only patching for 4-5 hours a day I want to make the best use of the time as possible.  And with a conscious effort to 'unplug' - I thought I would share Belle's latest favorite activity - crafts.

  • Mosaic Art Activity Kit   We really like these mosaic craft kits which remind me a bit of color or paint by number. Instead of coloring or painting your child sticks precut peel & stick foam squares onto a numbered template.  We found the kit at our Toys R Us and used holiday gift cards.   I like it because it isn't very messy and all the cards and pieces store in a gallon zipperseal bag when she isn't using it.  The kit we purchased has both small and large numbered cards - and the small ones can easily take her up to an hour!  There is no lack of kids craft kits out there to try.  We'd previously been doing a lot of beading crafts but the cleanup from the beads is a bit more tedious than the mosaics, so we are switching to the mosaics for a while.
  • Playing with Lego sets - With a 10 year old brother, there is no lack of lego sets here.  My daughter previously seemed disinterested in them. That was until my son's occupational therapist and I discussed assorted activities that we could do to improve his "pinch and grasp" skills. So, we've had a push on Legos here at our house and between holidays and birthday's many new sets entered our home - mostly the Toy Story lego sets.  Belle has wanted to play along and I've seen how she too can benefit from this classic toy.  Assembling the small bricks really requires not just fine motor skill but also quite a bit of hand/eye coordination and focus as well.  Legos have quickly climbed the ranks for approved patching activities. 
  • Homework -  Though it does take her longer, I do have my daughter do her (kindergarten) homework while she is patching.  Whether it is a practice sheets or completing pages in her workbook - she is doing it patched.  I've watched over the past few months how her handwriting and coloring has improved.  
  • Since her teacher says that she is a "slow cutter" , we have also been working on activities that require cutting with kiddie scissors as well as coloring, painting, pasting.  The craft bin that hadn't seen as much use since preschool days has become rejuvenated.  
  •  Last but not least,  reading.  Belle is not yet reading independently - but she is working on it.  We are big readers here and love books. So whether it is reading (together) one of her own books or a borrowed book from the library, we read.   I'm watching her confidence build a bit in the reading department.  I've tried to find a balance between her favorite story books and the books geared to younger/new readers with simple words and larger font size (the scholastic Level 1 and the Bob Books are good choices).  Even though I do not need to, I follow along with the words with my finger and have her doing the same. Because she has a hard time focusing on the individual words - following along with her finger really helps.  We are seeing a lot less of the "I can't" and more attempted effort at sounding out words.  Slowly but surely I know we will have an independent reader on our hands.
What is your favorite unplugged activity to do with your patching child?

Amblyopia and Frequent Headaches

My daughter has been complaining a lot about 'having a headache'. At first I thought it was because she had been getting over being sick (ear infection, bronchitis, tummy bug, cold, general winter sickies - we've had it bad this year....

So, I mentally started to track when she tells me her head hurts .. It is always when she isn't wearing her patch. And her complaints have increased in frequency since our recent trimphant ophthalmologist visit when my daughter's patching 'hours' were reduced to 4-5 per day. I definitely plan on talking to our eye doctor and pediatrician about this to get to the bottom of it.

But, it seems we are not alone. A question posted on the Amblyopia Kids facebook page
revealed that her headaches are not alone. Others shared that their kids have frequent migraines, headaches during car rides, during times when their child has been reading alot. There seems to be a trend that the headaches happen off the clock from patching. A google search turns up even more hits of the relationship between amblyopia and headaches.

Can a Lazy Eye (Amblyopia) cause headaches?

All signs point to Yes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coupon Code - 20% off Krafty Eye Patch Deluxe Kits

Here's the latest coupon code for Krafty Eye Patches!

For those using adhesive patches - these craft/patch kits are lots of fun and my daughter loves all the different SOLID color patches that they offer. I like that they don't rip her eyebrows or skin off :)

Deluxe Kit Special

20% off Now thru Feb14th
Coupon Code: Krafty20
(858) 537-0947 |

If you haven't tried Krafty Eye Patches - check out our review of these fun and non-toxic patches "craft kits".

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Coupon Code - 20% off Krafty Eye Patch Valentine's kits

For those who like to "matchy match with your patch" - you have to see these..
Valentine Hair Bows & Patches 2 Hair Bows, 20 Red Patches, 1 Bag Acrylic Heart Jewels
Use code: Valentine20
20% off valentine kit

Also Since Winter is being relentless - the winter sale code has been extended through February.
Use code Winter15 for 15% off.

If you haven't tried Krafty Eye Patches - check out our review of these fun and non-toxic patches "craft kits".

Eye Patch Review: Kay Fun Patch (cloth patches)

I first learned about Kay Fun Patches by an Amblyopia Kids reader who wrote in and told of the patches they were using and suggested that I add a link to their website.  I had hesitated on ordering them because they were in the UK and I just assumed that shipping would be too high.  It wasn't until the owner of Kay Fun Patch, Hazel Kay, contacted me to tell me about her patching book Hoppity Frog has Two Clever Eyes that I was on the website and saw that the site offered great prices and low shipping too.  Shipping for up to 5 patches is just £1.50 which was under $3 US!  The patches are £7.50  each which is around $12 US.

The Kay Fun Patch site offers more than a dozen different patches (patterns) in girly, boyish and unisex designs. I let my daughter pick out 2 patches to order with our patching book. She selected a pattern with ballet slippers and also one with sparkly fruit (strawberries and cherries) on it. When ordering you select which eye you are patching - right or left, so that the pattern on the patch is going in the correct direction in the case of patterns that have any directionality.  My daughter likes both the patches she selected - and can be seen wearing the sparkling fruit pattern in the photo above.

The Kay Fun Patches are made to be worn with glasses but unlike many of the patches that only work with glasses that have a nosepiece these can be worn with plastic frames that don't have a nosepiece as well as frames with the nosepiece. There is an elastic strap that can be slipped over the glasses frame that you use in lieu of the nosepiece. My daughter has glasses with the nosepiece as well as without.  To be honest, I found that the the elastic strap was quite useful even on her glasses that have the nosepiece because it allowed the patch to have an additional level of security to ensure it stayed attached and didn't slide around.  Without the strap the patch was a little wobbly on her glasses because she is a VERY active 5 year old.  The strap also makes the patch a little tricky for kids to remove, but still easy enough for parents and caregivers to attach and remove from glasses.

You can find step by step instructions with photos and also video on how to attach a Kay Fun Patch on their website. To see how easy it is to attach them - see video below or on Youtube

Features of the Kay Fun Patch
  • Made from Soft, cushioned, breathable fabric
  • Stylish and follows the facial contours
  • Lots of fabric patterns to please any child
  • Attaches easily to any glasses
  • Beautifully made and quality assured
  • Washable, reusable and cost effective
  • Designed by a qualified orthoptist

For more info and to purchase visit: 
or become a Kay Fun Patch fan "Like" them on facebook here

Hoppity Frog has Two Clever Eyes - Coloring Activity Book for Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

I recently was made aware of a cute new coloring/activity book for children with amblyopia (lazy eye) called Hoppity Frog Has Two Clever Eyes by Hazel Kay.  It is a 20 page (A5) size storybook that was made and is distributed by Kay Fun Patch.

The story of Hoppity Frog is one that kids and parents with Amblyopia/Lazy Eye will be able to relate to. It tells of a frog who is having a hard time with his eye and it turns out he has a lazy eye.  Hoppity has to patch in order to make his eye stronger, and stronger it gets.  On the inside cover there is a explanation/guide on how to use the book with suggestions that you should trace or copy the pages so that they can be re-used and also a comparison can be made with before/after your child's vision has improved.   I like this idea, however my daughter wanted to color right into the book so who was I to say no. We are always looking for new things to do while she is patching and she thought it was absolutely hilarious that the cute little frog had lazy eye and needed glasses. 

The illustrations (by Joseph Kay) are simple yet very fun and adorable. In particular, I appreciated that they all have a nice bold black outline which make them very patching friendly. Along the bottoms of each page are a row of tadpoles becoming frogs that get progressively smaller throughout the book - you can use these to challenge your children (find the frog with 4 legs, find the one with 2 legs, etc).  My daughter has been enjoying the Hoppity Frog coloring/story book (see photos below).  This book would appeal to both boys and girls who have amblyopia and also would be a good learning tool to teach peers about lazy eye in a preschool, kindergarten or early primary years. The book is also priced affordably and I could see this book being given out by eye doctors to kids with amblyopia. Hoppity is definitely a winner! 

Hoppity Frog has two clever Eyes is sold from the UK and is priced at £2.50  which depending on exchange rate to purchase from the US varies a bit - but at this time it is under $5 .  There is a standard charge of £1.50 per order on the Kay Fun Patch which is under $3 US.    Payment is through paypal and completed via the Kay Fun Patch website.