Week 20—Valentines Day and the Letter T


We had so much fun in our Sensory and Fine motor groups with our Valentine theme this week. The letter T was the theme for our Language Group.

Sensory Group—Valentines Day

We read Cara’s Valentine book and used our voice output device for the repetitive line “Its Valentines Day” and then began exploring all our sensory boxes.

Our first box was filled with pink and white rice and we put in the chip board letters L O V E. The letters were big and glittery and very eye catching.

The letters gave us the opportunity to pick out the individual letter V for valentine as well as make the word “love” and discuss the concept as related to Valentines day.

We found some cute heart shaped measuring spoons, which helped us work on shape identification (a math access point)——- and they were just so darned cute ūüôā






We searched for some heart shaped rings and letter V’s in cloud¬†dough sprinkled with red glitter (it doesn’t show up that well in the photo but it really sparkles in person). ¬†We found the¬†recipe online and it has this super soft feel that¬†is both powdery and moldable. Pretty awesome¬†stuff that even the adults can’t resist!

Searching for the rings and letters addresses tactile discrimination skills. Counting them addresses math access points. Squeezing the dough promotes grip strength.








Valentines are made from paper, so we brought back our box of red shredded paper from a couple of weeks ago. The deep red is very eye catching.

The paper is fun to grasp, crumple, shake, wiggle fingers in,  and watch drift down when dropped. It also provides some auditory stimulation as it rustles and crackles.

Of course, we discussed the color of the paper addressing color identification skills.







We filled a couple of bottles with foam hearts, beads, sequins (and a little red glitter). These were all tiny valentine related items too small for our explorers but great for visual discrimination skills. We glued the caps back on to make sure they were safe for our students.

The bottles could be rotated adding an interesting movement component encouraging visual attention and tracking. Of course, they were also fun to shake promoting motor skills and adding auditory stimulation!







Our next box was filled with valentine related items including silk rose petals, paper valentines, heart shaped items(candy box tops, ornaments, bangles, etc), garland, and ribbons.

Reaching and exploring encourages fine motor skills and properties of materials discussion, a science access point.








Our final box was filled with large, soft pink and red pompoms and small pink and red mardi gras beads (we do love those beads). More opportunities for discussion of properties of materials! We also discussed the shape of the pompoms and beads, addressing math access points.









We finished by finger painting in chocolate pudding. The dark color was a nice contrast with our tray and of course, it has the perfect finger paint consistency.

We gave our students the opportunity to taste the pudding but kept it as a separate activity. It also allowed them to practice their language skills, requesting “more”—-they got lots of practice ūüôā

We rinsed our hands in cinnamon red hots scented body wash. Then we rubbed strawberry scented lotion on our students right arms and chocolate scented lotion on their left arms for increased body and language awareness.  Lots of yummy valentine scents to remind us of Valentines Day!





Fine Motor Group—Valentines Day

We started our Tuesday group by reading Cara’s book. Our students had so much fun looking at the pictures and everyone pressed the voice output device independently!

Then we began our love bug craft! First we crumpled scrap paper and stuffed it into a red lunch bag (we found these at Target). Our students really love crumpling paper, and just had so much fun.

This is a great activity for strengthening hand intrinsics and eye hand coordination. For students who can hold the bag themselves, bilateral functions are addressed.







We twisted and taped the end (to give it a tail) and helped the students tape pipe cleaner antennae to the other end.











Our students were given a choice of either purple, white or pink hearts for the bugs face. The hearts were precut on the ellison machine.

We really do try give them as many chances as we can to practice selecting choices! In addition, we encourage our students to verbalize their choices when possible.







We then glued  2 googlie eyes and 1 pompom nose on to the heart. We count the items we pass them out to help our students learn one to one correspondence.

The heart was then glued onto the bottom of the bag.

Squeezing the glue promotes hand  strength and picking up the small items helps strengthen pincer grasp. Placement of the items build spatial relations skills.






Our students then chose 2 large hearts (comparison of the large and small hearts is a math access point). Again, they were given choices of color. We helped them tape the hearts onto the bag.

And with lots of Ta Da’s, our students help their bugs fly. As they wave their bugs, our students help strengthen their shoulder stability.

Here is a little ¬†bug spreading the love ūüôā






On Thursday we continued our Valentines theme, reading Cara’s book again. We had such fun discussing all the different symbols of the holiday and different ways to say I love you.

This student showed us the sign for “I love you”—pretty awesome don’t you think!!!









We counted out 8 white hearts (addressing math access points) and, as usual, the students practiced writing their names.

Our students all have different¬†skill levels¬†in the area of writing but we¬†were¬†especially proud of this one. Today¬†he¬†picked up his pencil and “signed” his¬†name independently.

Needless to say he¬†got a huge round of Ta-Da’s ūüôā







Next we turned the hearts over (addressing following directions and forearm rotation) and gave our students a choice of 3 colors to paint their hearts. Red, pink and purple—perfect Valentine colors.

By adding the words to the color squares, we increased the literacy component.









As our students painted, they discovered a cool¬†surprise—-we had written words on the ¬†hearts with a white crayon! We saw the idea on Better Homes and Gardens website and just had to try it.

We discovered that its best to make heavy, wide marks with the crayon and that the paint needs to be thin, watercolor consistency.

For our visual impaired student, we wrote with white glue to give it a raised surface.







And here are, some delicious conversation hearts—-YUM!!!

Looks like we ready for Valentines Day ūüôā









Language Group—Letter T

First we Threw bean bags at Three Toads! Our students had to Take Turns.

Great for building eye hand coordination skills, social skills, and math skills.








Then we reached into a Tube sock and pulled out either a Triangle or a Tiger pompom.

This is a great activity for Tactile discrimination, for our students who can identify the object before removing it from the sock.  For our other students, we asked them to match their object to a model after they had removed it.

This was really a lot of fun and our students really enjoyed seeing if they were “correct”.








To start our next activity, we Taped a Turtle head  To the Top of a paper plate. Helping address spatial concepts.








We then cut out ¬†Triangles to make The Tails—fitting in those math access points discussing shape identification,¬†of¬†course!

Our students used a variety of scissors, depending on their skill level.

The Tails were Taped to the bottom of the plate, continuing to work on spatial concepts.







We counted out 2 flippers and 2 feet and Taped them on to the sides of the paper plate.

We really Targeted spatial concepts today!









We finished by Tearing Green Tissue paper into Tiny pieces.

Then we Turned the plate over  and glued Them To The back of the plate (still working on those spatial concepts).








And now for a big Ta Da!!!

This is just one of our Totally Terrific Turtles ūüôā

Our students loved the turtles and were so excited to show them off.








Another of Cara’s great sound games, such fun!

There were some pretty cool sounds this week.









Wow look at all the T words we found Together! Terrific fun ūüôā

It was a great week, we had such a good time!

We hope you can join us again next week for more fun Group by Group.

2 responses »

  1. You guys truly outdid yourselves this week! So many great ideas, but that little hand signing ILY, is about the sweetest thing I have ever seen…great post!

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