Time to blow your horns and pull out your party hats! This week’s theme was birthday parties and our students had a blast with all our activities. Our sensory group explored boxes filled with textures and bright colors. The fine motor group made their own cool party hats and the language group made some yummy cupcakes.
Read along to see all the things we did.
Yellow paper shred was the base for this first birthday box. We added a little ribbon, tinsel, and crepe paper streamers for even more color. Then we put in some cute toys and a noise maker—-like those that might be found in goody bags or given as gifts! What is a birthday without cake? There were 2 cupcakes to be found, 1 big and 1 little. We also added a few little people and the word FRIENDS.
Besides the great textures to compare and contrast, the math access point recognize similarities and differences in size of common objects is addressed.
It’s always fun to get packages wrapped with colorful ribbon. This box was filled with all sorts of ribbon in lots of colors—-a really fun box to dive into! There was a lot of curling ribbon in the box which was especially fun to pull straight and watch spring back into curls.
Concepts of forces and changes in motion are explored as the science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes if move is addressed.
Recognize length of real objects, such as big, little, long or short is a math access point also addressed.
You HAVE to have balloons at a birthday party! Our students eyes lit up as soon as they spotted it and couldn’t wait until it was their turn to pull it up and down. Ms. Kim donated the balloon and she chose a mylar balloon because some of our students and staff have latex allergies. Myler is also a lot more durable than latex!
What a fun way to address the science access point track objects moving up and down.
On a voice output device we recorded some of pre-k students singing the happy birthday day song. This was a huge hit and our students loved listening to their little friends singing!
This addresses the science access point recognize and respond to commons sounds and the language access point respond to rhythm in familiar songs and rhymes.
Birthdays are about numbers and we put lots to find in our rainbow rice. We used the magnetic ones you can find in the dollar store—-a fun colorful way to work on number identification.
We put our Wikki Stix “candles” in this box. These waxed strings have a different texture, slightly tacky that our students always find interesting. Of course, the really cool thing about them is the way they can be bent and shaped.
Since they come in so many colors, the science access point match common objects by one observable property such as color can be addressed.
One of the best things about birthdays is the CAKE—-especially if it is funfetti! We added a bunch of colorful sprinkles to our cloud dough. We also included 2 different sized scoops which some students enjoyed using, while others preferred using their hands to squeeze the dough together.
Needless to say, things got a little messy but then again that is part of the fun :)
Explore, observe, and recognize common objects in the natural world is a science access point addressed in this activity.
Of course, some of us think the best thing about cake is the icing! Ours was made with colorful shaving cream. We let each class vote on which color they wanted their icing to be —–pink or blue. Blue won each time!
Using body movement or nonverbal expression to communicate preferences is a language access point.
As the students mix the color into the shaving cream they are learning about changes in matter—-addressing the science access point recognize a change in an object.
Umm—-did we mention it gets a little messy :)
Philosophy makes “wedding cake” scented bath gel and since we figured birthday cakes and wedding cakes are both cakes it was perfect for our theme! The students enjoyed rinsing their hands (and arms and faces) in it’s very yummy scent but they especially enjoyed finding this lighted pool toy in the bowl! We found it in the Target dollar section—-thanks again Ms. Kim.
Recognize sources of light is a science access point addressed with this fun toy.
Lemonade is a perfect party drink so we finished our group with some lemon scented lotion. Our students really liked this light citrus scent rubbed on their hands and arms. It was a great scent to help us remember all the fun we had talking about birthday parties!
As usual, the science access point recognize one or more external body parts is addressed.
FINE MOTOR GROUP
Our Tuesday art project was a birthday cake made from a pool noodle. We just love pool noodles, they are so inexpensive and versatile!
We started by discussing the color of the paper we were using. The students were given a selection of 3 color symbols and were asked to show us the color yellow—–they did an AWESOME job!
Identify objects by one observable property such as color is the science access point addressed here.
The strips were cut using either our paper cutter or our switch adaptive electric scissors then taped around a piece of noodle—–to make the filling of course :)
The science access point recognize that pushing or pulling an object makes it move is addressed here.
We noted that our noodle was a cylinder addressing the math access point recognize a common 3 dimensional object.
We discussed each students age and pointed to it on a number board. Then we asked them to point to the number—working on number identification!
After they pointed to their age, we counted out the same number of popsicle stick “candles” and helped them push their candles into the noodle.
Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.
TA DA—–time to blow out the candles!
On Thursday we made some pretty fabulous party hats out of paper plates. We saw this idea through Pinterest at http://meaningfulmama.com.
We started by discussing the shape of the plate addressing the math access point recognize a common object with a 2 dimensional shape.
Then we discussed the 3 different colors of glitter glue we planned to use and counted the bottles.
Match objects to marked spaces to show one-to-one correspondence for quantities 1 to 3 is a math access point.
Squeezing the glue onto the plates was lots of fun and great for hand strengthening! It was also a lot of fun to watch the sparkly glitter glue drop down onto the plate :)
Track objects that fall is a science access point related to concepts of earth in space and time.
When we changed colors, we asked the students to let us know if they wanted “more” using their communication boards.
Indicate desire for more of an action or object is a math access point.
Ta DA, we have our hats—-let the party begin!
Since we’re celebrating Birthdays this week, we HAD to celebrate with some cake! The language group made some cupcakes earlier in the day. After the cupcakes were baked, they HAD to be decorated and that is what we did in our group!
We put some vanilla icing in 2 bowls and put blue food coloring in one of the bowls and pink food coloring in the other. We had our students STIR in the food coloring, turning the icing into that color.
They really loved watching the icing change—-and recognizing a change in an object is a science access point.
After stirring the icing, we counted out cupcakes for each of our students. Counting from 1 to 5 using objects is a math access point. They are getting to be such great counters—-of course who wouldn’t want to count cupcakes :)
The students got to choose which color icing they wanted on their cupcake using words, gestures, or eye gaze. One of our clever students chose to have BOTH colors on her cupcake.
Communicating a preference is a language access point.
After choosing their icing color, some (not all, due to oral motor concerns) of our students were able to choose a topping. The choices were between sprinkles and Birthday cake M&Ms. Of course, if they chose M&Ms we counted them out!
If they chose sprinkles they got to shake them onto their cupcakes—-with a little help, of course :)
Again, communicating a preference is a language access point.
What’s a Birthday without singing the Birthday song? We all sang the Happy Birthday song and then dove into the cupcakes. YUM!
It was a day for choice making for our language group and they are getting so good at effectively conveying their wants and preferences :)
Hope you enjoyed seeing all our activities this week and got some good ideas for your own students.
Please join us again next week for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!