This week the theme for our Sensory Group was Black History, the theme for our Fine Motor Group was Presidents Day, and the theme for our Language Group was the letter U.
Sensory Group—Black History
We started by reading Cara’s book and learning about some African American inventors. Then we began exploring our sensory boxes inspired by their inventions.
We chose red, green and yellow—traffic light colors! The lights really caught our students attention and there were lots of smiles when the light landed on them.
We didn’t have a green panel so we used a yellow and blue one put together, giving us the chance to explore a science access point. This activity also addresses color identification and visual tracking skills.
Thank you Garrett Morgan for inventing the traffic light!
After turning the lights back on we voted on what color to make our shaving cream. We presented three circles (red, yellow, green) and our students communicated their choice by vocalizing, eye gaze, or pointing to a circle.
It was fun seeing what colors the different classes chose!
The shaving cream has a nice tactile feel and is a great sensory medium to practice making pre-writing strokes (after you get tired of squishing it between your fingers of course).
A large syringe makes a great stand in for a super soaker, which was invented by Lonnie Johnson. Operating the syringe addresses bilateral coordination and is lots of fun! Our students also loved it when we squirted the water on their hands to rinse off the shaving cream.
After hands were dried we rubbed our hands with some Cool Citrus Basil scented lotion. The scent reminded us of George Standard who invented the refrigerator to keep our citrus cool.
Now, more things to explore….
We scooped handfuls of potato chips (actually corn flakes) and crunched them up. Squeezing the chips addresses grasp skills. There is also an auditory component with that satisfying crunch and of course the rough texture adds a strong tactile sensation to this activity, increasing body awareness.
Thank you George Crumb for inventing yummy potato chips!
Our next box was filled with “freshly mown” green easter grass. We added other items related to our inventors including hair curlers, play refrigerator items, red/green/yellow circles, lawn mower and clock puzzle pieces, and a comb. We named the inventors as we discussed each of the items.
We also recorded the sound of a lawn mower (invented by John Burr) on our voice output device and placed it in the box. Our students thought it was a lot of fun to reach it to “start” the mower.
This box had a variety of textures, shapes, and colors to discover and explore—addressing the science access point: differing properties of materials. Reaching for and grasping the different objects addresses fine motor skills. Naming the objects improves language skills.
Our students loved burying their hands in the corn and also watching the kernels as they were dropped from the scoop.
Lots of opportunities for visual tracking, eye hand coordination and finger intrinsic skills with this activity.
The hair comb was invented by W.H. Sam.
The cornmeal also has a wonderful silky feel that we have explored before, its really hard to resist playing in it.
Then we played with some peanut butter play dough (we made sure to check that no one had a peanut allergy before we made it). This was wonderful stuff and smelled just like a peanut butter cookie—it was really hard to resist sampling 🙂
Using the cookie cutters or pulling the play dough apart helps strengthen hand and finger intrinsic functions.
Thank you so much George Washington Carver, we love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—YUM!!!
Still one more box! This one contained red, yellow, and green pom poms (traffic light colors). We kept the box simple, with the items all having the same shape and texture, to highlight their similarities and differences.
Reaching for the soft pompoms gives our students opportunities to work on grasping skills and eye hand coordination. Discussing the differing colors helps improve language skills and color identification. Counting the pompoms helps work on one to one correspondence.
Fine Motor Group—Presidents Day
This Tuesday we learned about some of our presidents by reading Cara’s latest book. After we finished the book we started our project.
We used our mounted table top adaptive scissors.
—-with a little help from their
We did go ahead and precut some triangles.
Of course, squeezing the glue helps increase hand strength and eye hand coordination.
can you tell what we are making yet?
We have a couple more pieces to add 🙂
This activity promotes eye hand coordination, following directions and spatial concepts. Counting the popsicle sticks can also add a math component.
…we think its move in ready!
On Thursday we read Cara’s book again and started our next presidential project. First we put on paint shirts (old t-shirts) which gave our students an opportunity to work on dressing skills (Joy, the OT, really likes this!).
This student is using a kitchen scrub brush which has a handle which works perfectly for him. And, incidentally, adds great texture!
to cover a large area, these foam brushes (or surgical scrub brushes) work perfectly!
The large area also allows for larger arm movements addressing shoulder stability. Working together on the same project also encourages social skills.
Hmm, looks like we need to add a little something…
Joy drew the figures and cut them out of poster board, adding photo faces of the students and staff. Our students took turns putting glue onto the back of the boat and patting it down.
We have to protect our students privacy, so for this picture we covered our students faces—- but they are so cute!!! The staff members are really quite good looking the bunch also 🙂
The students had so much fun finding their pictures and also pointing to the staff members.
Language Group—Letter U
The words Up and Under were written on an index card and when presented with the word, the students had to follow the directions.
Either by holding their animal Up or Under the table!
Look at us, working on shoulder stability, fine motor, language and literacy skills at the same time!
This was so much fun and all the students had to have a turn moving the cups around (addressing bilateral coordination and visual tracking and spatial skills). This was also a really good activity for practicing turn taking and following directions.
The Unicorn was made by placing a sticker on a bottle cap.
As Usual, our students Used a variety of scissors according to their skill levels. We really like these adaptive squeeze scissors as they are relatively inexpensive, durable, and available from a variety of catalogs.
This activity helps to work on bilateral coordination and strengthening hand
intrinsics, as well as eye hand coordination—-and its so much fun to crumple paper!
Be careful when you pick up that rock—-UH-OH Ugly bugs!!!!
Our students (all boys in this class) thought it was great fun to pick up the rocks and “scare” the adults. Needless to say, lots of eeks and laughs ensued 🙂
play Cara’s sound game. Some pretty Unusual
What a great week! We hope you are enjoying the activities as much as we are, and please join us again Group by Group.