Week 26—Butterflies and the Letter Z


This week are theme was Butterflies for our Sensory and Fine Motor Groups. We are finishing the alphabet with Letter Z in our Language Group.

Sensory Group—Butterflies

Cara’s book explored the life cycle of the butterfly with our students asking the question “what happens next” using the voice output device.

In addition to literacy and math access points, we are going to be addressing science access points today!





Our first sensory box was filled with colorful flowers, leaves, a variety of  butterflies, caterpillars made from chenille stems and a body scrubber—its that long pink and white thing in the picture—doesn’t it  look like a giant caterpillar :).

This box was so colorful with lots of contrasting colors and textures.

Discussing how these items relate to each other in the life cycle of the butterfly addresses science access points.




Our next box was filled with caterpillar eggs, AKA lentils. Our students hunted for the letter C and found a cute little caterpillar peeking out as well.

The students grasped these lentils by the handfuls—they loved them!  Even our students who are quite tactile sensitive, couldn’t resist these tiny beans 🙂

This box addresses visual and tactile discrimination skills.





We used a cookie cutter to cut letter B’s in our purple Bubber (available from Amazon in addition to a variety of catalogs).

We chose the Bubber because its soft powdery texture reminded us of butterfly wings. Its pretty purple color also a lot like that of a butterfly.

Of course, we also just love the way it feels–not just our students but the adults couldn’t put it down 🙂






The white fiberfil in our next box reminded us of the silky strands of the butterfly cocoon.

Its just so much fun to grab this stuff and shake it around or pull it apart!

Pulling apart the strands addresses bilateral and fine motor skills.

Contrasting smaller pieces from larger pieces addresses math access points.





Our next box contained some colorful red butterflies (bow tie pasta) and green caterpillars (celletani pasta). Very eye catching with the bright colors. You dye it in basically the same way you do rice but it takes a LOT longer—so be patient!

Pincer grasp skills are promoted when picking up individual pieces. Counting them and comparing the contrasting shapes addresses math access points.

Making one of the caterpillars crawl up a students arm promotes giggles 🙂






These fuzzy colorful caterpillars (some  pencil covers!) filled our next box. Very eye catching also and our students dived in. They loved grabbing handfuls and watching as they dropped back into the box—or the floor 🙂

Tracking falling objects is a science access point.

Counting caterpillars is an opportunity to work on math access points.





We mixed shaving cream and cornstarch which turned into this really cool texture—sort of a cross between playdough and Bubber. It was so much fun to squeeze and mold into cocoons.

We just loved this stuff, its just really hard to resist!

Science access points are addressed in addition to fine motor skills during this fun activity!






We rinsed our hands in plumeria scented water and then rubbed on the lotion, its floral scent reminding us of the flowers the butterflies go to for their food.

Recognizing water as a liquid and whether it is warm or cold addresses science access points.







Fine Motor Group—Butterflies

On Tuesday we started by reading Cara’s book.  We also practiced making the butterfly sign with our hands.

Butterflies start out as caterpillars and that is what we made in our art activity. We started by dipping pom pom’s into glue then placing them on a clothespin.

This is a great activity for practicing pincer grasp skills and eye hand coordination.







We counted the pom pom’s using our multi-message voice output device, addressing math access points.











We finished by adding some chenille stem antenna and googlie eyes.

Aren’t these caterpillars just so cute 🙂








On Thursday after we read our book again—- we turned our caterpillar into a butterfly!

First we placed a 3 dimensional butterfly (found in one of the schools science kits) on a light board for our student with a visual impairment.

Of course, all the students enjoyed running their hands over the contours.








Then we began our art activity by counting out our coffee filters (addressing math access points).

Then we colored them using markers. Some of our students made just a few marks but others enjoyed using a variety of colors.







After they were finished coloring, we sprayed the coffee filters with water.The water makes the colors run, kind of like tie dye—pretty cool.

Squeezing the spray bottle is great for hand strengthening and spraying water is always fun!







We let them dry for a few minutes and then scrunched them up—working on thumb/finger grasping patterns.










We placed it between the clothespin from Tuesday and…….

Ta Da—the caterpillar has turned into a butterfly!

This student really enjoyed making hers “flutter” around—so cute!








Our butterflies look so beautiful clipped to these branches…..

aren’t they just fabulous!












Language Group—Letter Z

We started by unZipping bags and taking Zoo animals out (we used Beanie Babies).

The students had fun seeing what animal ended up coming out of their bags.







A chenille stem loop made a great

adaptive Zipper pull for some of


our students.









Then we squeeZed scrap paper to make matZo balls to “feed” our animals a Zesty meal.

Recognizing a change in an object is a science access point.








Then we tore black paper into strips—some of them in a Zig Zag pattern.

We glued them onto a white lunch bag.

Tearing the paper addresses bilateral hand functions.

Squeezing the glue addresses hand strengthening

Placing the black paper on the bag addresses visual spatial skills.





We adapted this for our students with physical challenges by letting them color their Zebra instead. Our students love pressing the switch to make the airplane color their picture.












Then we glued on 2 ears and a snout.

And added some googlie eyes—we love googlie eyes 🙂












Look another Zany Zebra!

Our students had so much fun playing with their puppets.












Everybody had a turn playing Cara’s

sound game.









And we looked at all the fun Z words we found today.

Whew!  We made it to the end of the alphabet but there is still more fun ahead so  join us again next week Group by Group!

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