We have finally gotten a little relief from the heat down here so it is a perfect time to do our unit about fall. The sensory group had fun exploring scents and colors of fall. The fine motor group made some cool nature inspired art work and the language group made some pumpkin spice play dough! All of our students loved our colorful fall umbrella!
Read along to see all the fall fun we had this week!
The first thing people think about when they think of fall are the colorful LEAVES! We attached tons of silk and craft foam leaves to this umbrella and our students loved it—–it was just like being under a tree. We were pretty pleased with the way this turned out. The bright yellow umbrella made a terrific background for the leaves and the whole thing was quite eye catching.
Recognize a seasonal change in the appearance of a common plant is a science access point addressed here.
Fall also brings breezy weather to help the leaves fall. We made our own wind using a battery operated fan which produced lots of giggles from our students :)
Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.
More colorful leaves are the base of this box. We added a variety of seasonal items including pinecones, scarecrows, squash, and pumpkins. All over the country, fall means football games so there was a little football in the box. Colorful strands of yarn and a cute plush squirrel were also tucked in among the leaves.
Just a whole bunch of items to explore and discover!
This box had lots of opportunities to address the science access point recognize a model of a real object.
Once leaves fall to the ground they get dry and crunchy. Dry cornflake cereal makes a very satisfying crunch when pounded or stomped, just like fall leaves!
YES we did put a box of cereal in front of children and asked them NOT to eat it——what can we say, we like to live life on the edge :)
Some students crunched the cereal with their hands, and some got to use their feet which they thought was WAY FUN……
…….and a little messy!
The science access point recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli—-in this case touch and sound—– is addressed here.
As we said, football is played all over the country in the fall and football is HUGE around here! This box contained a variety of pom pom shakers with colors of some of our favorite colleges teams—–go Gators, Seminoles, Rattlers, and Hurricanes!
Our students always have fun with the pom pom’s, this was a very popular box!
Shaking these pom poms is a fun way to explore the science access point recognize an action as fast or slow.
The students had fun stamping leaves in our cinnamon and ginger scented cloud dough. We made the cloud dough with wheat flour and loved how the color turned out.
It also had a great texture and aroma——it really invited exploration!
The science access point apply a push to move an object is addressed.
This box contained a skein of wonderfully soft pom pom yarn in fall colors—-perfect for a sweater or blanket. Our students really loved exploring it. Some of them shook it, others tried to pull it apart, and still others loved the feel of it draped around their shoulders.
Just delightfully cozy and touchable!
Use senses to recognize objects is a science access point explored here.
We hid some letter F’s—-for fall—- inside our mixed “bean soup” box. Always a fun media for exploration to practice visual and tactile discrimination skills. Since there were so many different colored beans it was even more tricky this week!
The science access point apply a push to move an object is again addressed in this activity.
With the amount of beans that end up on the floor the science access point track objects that fall to the ground could also be addressed :)
Aspen caramel woods from Bath and Body Works was the scent we chose to help us remember all the fall fun we had in group.
For our water play we also added two different sized scoops which addresses the math access point recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids.
Track objects in motion is another science access point that can be addressed.
The aroma was even stronger in the lotion. Our students gave it a definite “thumbs up” and left the group smelling like some yummy caramel candy—–YUMMY!
Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is the science access point addressed here.
FINE MOTOR GROUP
For our Tuesday art project our students made some colorful fall trees. We started by painting our students forearms and hands with brown paint and then stamping them on a piece of rectangular paper. As usual, we discussed the shape of the paper before we started.
Recognize a common object with a two dimensional shape is a math access point.
After the paint was washed off we discussed the color of the leaves that were going onto our trees and used our communication symbols to identify the color.
The science access point identify common classroom objects by one observable property, such as color is addressed here.
Then we counted out 3 orange leaf doilies (purchased at the dollar store) for each student to decorate their trees. There were 32 leaves in the package so PLENTY to go around.
We reinforced the number recognition by writing the numbers on the back with the glue—–we get pretty clever around here sometimes :)
Ta Da! Some beautiful fall foliage!
On Thursday we made some super fun fall shaker bottles!
We started by looking at different bowls of colored rice—-orange, purple, and yellow. Then we dumped all the rice into one bowl and the students stirred them together.
Periodically their friends would let them know whether it needed MORE stirring using their communication symbols.
We ended up with this beautiful fall rice blend. The picture doesn’t really do it justice but in real life it was FABULOUS!
The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here. The math access point indicate desire for more of an action or object is also addressed.
Then we scooped the rice into some empty water bottles. The funnel helped but we still ended up with quite a bit of rice scattered around the table…..and the floor :)
Everyone helped count out loud as each student scooped 5 spoonfuls of rice into their bottle.
In addition to eye hand coordination and scooping skills, this activity addressed the math access point associate quantities with number names.
Next some acorns were added to the bottles. Pincer grasp skills were really practiced while picking up those tiny acorns!
The math access point associate quantities with number names is addressed here again!
After the lids were hot glued onto the bottles it was time to make some NOISE!
As you can see, the students had an absolute blast with their Fall Shaker Bottles :)
We decided to make some pumpkin spice play dough with our language group students this week.
After reading about all of the different things that we see during fall, one being pumpkins, we looked over the directions on how to make our no cook pumpkin spice play dough.
While going over the ingredients, we went over how “boiling” means HOT.
We also passed around the pumpkin spice so our students were able to smell it——YUMMY!
Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.
The students helped POUR the ingredients into the bowl, with the exception of the boiling water of course :)
Adding the ingredients gave lots of opportunities to work on the math access point solve problems involving small quantities of objects or actions, using language , such as enough, too much, or more.
We MIXED all of the ingredients up and watched them change into play dough. The students loved this part!
Our students were able to feel the WARM bowl once it was cool enough to touch.
The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here.
Recognize the temperature of items as cool or warm is also addressed.
Look at this playdough! I bet you can imagine how great it smells :)
Rolling, squeezing, pinching , poking—–lots of ways to play AND work on improving hand intrinsic function, which needless to say the OT really liked!
Well we welcomed Fall with style and fun this week! Join us again for more fun and learning——-Group by Group!