In an effort to give my daughter opportunities to communicate with us in environments that aren’t conducive to using her electronic device – I was excited to see a picture on Pintreset where a mom had made a low tech version of her daughter’s communication icons and put them on a kickboard to take to the pool or beach.  I decided to make one for my own daughter customizing it to the activities we like to do at the pool.  I am so glad that I did!  The very first time we took it to the pool she repeatedly used it to tell us “more” “handstand”, “blow bubbles”, “underwater”, “splash” and “locker room”.  I lost count on how many handstands I did that day  – she loved it!

Tips on creating the kickboard:

  • it helps if you can find a more rectangular shaped kickboard – since the character kickboards we had had were very tapered at the end which made it difficult to fit more buttons on them.  I was able to find a larger more rectangular option at a sporting goods store.
  • I selected some words that we might want to use at the pool or beach and printed them out using the computer and software for her device.
  • I laminated the button pages then duct taped them to the bottom of the kickboard (the top has a nylon cloth covering while the bottom has a more tarp-like material that I felt the duct tape would adhere better.)