Holiday projects for special needs children


I have decided to do a reborn with a young lady in my neighborhood. She is 16 but mildly mentally handicapped, her maturety and intellect is at about the level of an 11 year old.

I decided I would let her do my BloomersnBows preemie kit. I have the kit and body, I have the paints too. I was thinking that it would probably be better if she uses a wig or paints the hair on just because I am not sure how safe rooting would be for her.

She really struggles, her body has entered puberty but mentally she is about the age of an 11 year old. The other children do not know or understand that she is special needs so the kids her age pick on her because she plays with younger children. She lives with her grandma, she does not know her parents and has no memories of them. She has two brothers, one is fine, the youngest also has some problems mentally (he is a little slow and stutters).

Her grandma loves the kids but she is older and has health problems…and she is a little rough around the edges.

I thought reborning a doll with this girl (Natasha) would be good therapy for her. It would give her something to do with her time (I’m going to do this with her over Christmas break), help me to know her better and maybe then I can help her in other areas of her life.

Any suggestions?? The kit she will be doing is sleeping so she will not have to struggle with eyes. I thought I would just have her do the basic reborning (a wash, a few layers of skin tones, and blushing). I thought I would give her one bag of polly pelets to weight the baby with in addition to polyfil. I would welcome any input!!

I would like to take all the kids under my wing for the holidays. I have a kit given to me that has the supplies to build several small wooden houses for a “christmas Village”. I was thinking this would be a great project for the boys!! I have some acrylic paints and sand paper for them and bought some craft glue as well. This will give the boys something to do during the holiday break, give them something to feel proud about making ANd putting out each holiday, and be a gift for them (of sorts).

I NEVER have asked but will in this case, if anyone has anything they would like to donate to this girl for the reborning project, Or anything you think the boys could use for their village, it will be welcomed and would come to the kids “From the Reborning Community of Doll Lovers”. Their family is low income, relying on the grandmas Social security and state child support checks.

Even suggestions are welcome!! Ie…where to do this with them (inside my apt?? or outside??) how often to have them come over and work on their projects, etc…

Thanks Ladies!!

Please send me a PM. I would love to put something together for her for her project, even if it be a little outfit or something.
I am awaiting your PM. It is very nice of you to do this for this little girl.

Thank you, I will Pm you. These kids have had a hard time of things but they are really good kids. The girl, Natasha is having a terrible time of things right now with puberty and all, I just don’t want to see her fall through the cracks.

Elizabeth Townsley
20702 n lake pleasant Rd. #1043
Peoria AZ 85382

Thank you!!

Do you have a community center near your apartment? Maybe if you talk to them, they will let you borrow a small room to use with the kids so you wouldn’t have to use your apartment. Or possibly even a nearby church would let you use a small room.

As the mother of 2 children with special needs, I’d like to be so bold as to offer some advice. While wanting to share your love of reborning with this girl is admirable, there may be other ways to offer her some of the support you wish to offer that may actually have more of an impact on her life. I would suggest first building a relationship with the girl in a way that doesn’t seem like charity. You say the family is low income, maybe you could try to hire the girl to help you with some chores? It would give her the self esteem boost of earning some pocket money of her own, and it would allow you to spend a bit of time with the girl to get to know her better. As you get to know her, you may find that she isn’t terribly interested in reborning, but might have another common interest with you like maybe gardening, or cooking, or something else. Its always best to approach someone with special needs by engaging their interests, rather than expecting them to catch onto your own. Even if she does seem to be interested in reborning, it may be too difficult of a hobby for her to jump right into with you. Instead it could be broken down into smaller, related tasks to keep things manageable. For example you could maybe work on decorating diaper pins for one of your dolls, or work on crocheting a pair of booties for one of your dolls. Working on a few smaller tasks at first will allow you to gage her skill level and frustration tolerance, while giving her a better chance of successfully completing a project and gaining that confidence boost we all get from a job well done. Finally, keep in mind that while this girl may appear to you to have special needs, she may not have any awareness that she appears different from the other kids. So it may be best not to discuss that topic with her unless she brings it up.

This same advice applies to the boys too: Befriend them first, offer them opportunities to build their confidence and self esteem, meet them on their own terms through their own interests before expecting them to share yours, break down tasks to make them manageable and successful, and don’t discuss their special needs with them unless they first bring the topic up themselves.

You can make a difference in these childrens lives, and its wonderful that you want to make the effort! But working with a special needs child can be puzzling and frustrating if proper groundwork isn’t first laid down. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress with these children.

we have a grandaughter now 30 with 2 girls of her own. we were lucky
enough to be close by and over the years found many things to do
together. crafts, slice and bake cookies. movies with popcorn ect.
I found I enjoyed her company and she has grown into a remarkable
women with a college degree. Her mother was having a very rough
time of her own so we tried to fill up any gaps. Your girls age
is not an easy one for either of you. bless you for caring.

No worries ladies, The girl actually came to me asking to do a doll. I have done several crafts with her and her brothers. I am not terribly worried about the girl, she loves to paint, color and craft…ANYTHING. The youngest child will be more challenging as he does not have much of an attention span. I have already started breaking down the wooden village houses into individual kits so the boys can choose one and not be overwhelmed. I intend on sanding the wood and doing all the prep work so the boys can basically add personal touches and glue it together. I have no intention of talking to the girl about any of her her special needs, that would ruin the whole experience for her. I just decided that after several requests from her that I would go ahead and do a doll with her. I have talked with another gal about just what to do with reborning that is within this girls abilities, a wash, some shading, maybe 2 layers max of skin tones if she wants and blush. I have a bachelors degree in social work and special training to work with autism so I am not going in blind. I do however appreciate all the suggestions on how to do the doll with her and the houses with the boys so it is easy and enjoyable for them all. Much appreciate the encouragement and trully appreciate the genuine care you all have shown for these kids.