Week 28—Under the Sea and the Sun


This week our Sensory and Fine Motor Groups explored the ocean Under the Sea. Our Language Group learned about the Sun.

Sensory Group—Under the Sea

We started by reading Cara’s book and answering questions about whether different animals are found in the ocean.

Our students used a yes/ no visual support or verbalized their responses.









While we read the story, Ms. Bennet blew some  bubbles around to help give the effect of being underwater.

The students really loved watching the bubbles drift around.

Visual tracking is addressed in this activity.







Then we began exploring our sensory boxes starting with our moon sand box. Just like the bottom of the ocean!

We used cookie cutters shaped like starfish or round bubbles.

Comparing the different shapes addresses math access points.

Fine motor skills are addressed when manipulating the cookie cutters.







Our ocean sensory box turned out really great, although our picture doesn’t do it justice.

We put in some blue easter grass and some green chenille stems that reminded us of seaweed. We also included a variety of beads—white like the pearls that you might find, green and blue like the ocean colors. Green and blue pompoms added a contrasting textural component. Different koosh balls and kitchen scrubbers reminded us of sea urchin and other marine life. There were also some plastic fish and sea shells to discover.





We placed some blue aloe lotion in a freezer bag along with some sea shells. It was SO pretty!

…. and great fun to run fingers across to “squish” the gel in different directions practicing prewriting patterns.









Isn’t our blue play dough awesome!

We love the way it turned out, perfect for our fish shaped cookie cutter.

Counting the fish as they were cut addresses math access points.

Fine motor skills are also addressed when using the cookie cutter.






This adorable vibrating fish, purchased from the Special Needs Toys catalog, was great for body awareness.

Vibration can be a pretty intense input and we made sure to respect our students responses to it.









Our pompom yarn has a variety of shades of blue—-

just like ocean waters!

This yarn is soft and easy to grasp, our  students just love the way it feels.








We filled a plastic bottle with water, dishwashing liquid and blue food coloring.

When shaken you get foam—just like waves in the ocean—so much fun!









We discussed the photo luminescent animals at the bottom of the ocean.  Mixing our cornstarch with tonic water to make it glow under the black light—very cool stuff!

Really, oobleck that glows in the dark—-how could you possibly make exploring science access points more fun 🙂








We rinsed our hands in Bath and Body Works Ocean scent.

The outdoorsy scent reminding us of a day at the ocean.










Fine Motor Group—Under the Sea

After reading Cara’s book, we began our art activity.

We used our paper cutters to cut out fish. Counting the fish addresses math access points.

The fish were set aside and a staff member taped short strands of fishing line to them and to the inside of a tennis ball container lid.









Then we squeezed glue into a tennis ball














We tore blue tissue paper into little pieces (saved from birthday presents past, of course!), crumpled them and dropped them into the tennis ball container.

Bilateral and grasp skills are addressed.











We put the lid on and our little fish aquarium is finished—













On Thursday we made an aquarium for a jelly fish! We got the idea from bhoomplay.wordpress.com   just brilliant!

First we cut strips of some scrap bulletin board trim. Then squeezed on some glue.

Squeezing the glue along the strip addresses visual spatial skills and hand strengthening.












Then we brushed the glue to make

sure the strip was fully covered.










Colorful aquarium gravel was sprinkled on top—Jeannie had some lying around 🙂

Picking up the gravel promotes pincer grasp skills.

We set this aside to dry.









Blue food coloring was squeezed into a  gatorade bottle filled with water— practicing those pincer grasp skills again!












We had pre-made the jelly fish by cutting a square from a plastic grocery bag, gathering it up in the middle, and wrapping a rubber band about 1 inch from the middle–making a head. We snipped some “legs” along the bottom part. Then we held the “head” open under a faucet, leaving room for a little bit of air.



Then we put our jelly fish into his habitat!

Eye hand coordination is addressed when placing the the jelly fish into the bottle.

Wrist rotation is addressed when tightening the lid—-

make sure its really tight!










Isn’t this just awesome! When shaken the jelly fish moves around and looks just like the real thing. Our students LOVED watching it…. well not just the students 🙂

You really have to try this!











Language Group—The Sun

Now that we have finished the alphabet, we are trying some new things with our Language Group so things may change from week to week—but always fun 🙂

We first looked at a stuffed sun and talked about what it looked like: what color it was, what shape it was, how it felt (hot or cold).  Then we took turns making it rise and set.

This activity addresses math and science access points!











We used our tongs to pick up yellow pompoms.

Counting the pompoms and comparing their shape and size to our stuffed sun addressed math access points.










Next we play Cara’s latest language game. We went over things we do when the sun is out during the day and things we do during the night. Then we categorized them.  Each student looked at a picture like “eat breakfast” and pointed to a picture of day or night.

We glued on the pictures and discussed that we do more things during the day when the sun is out than at night.







We had to have an art activity 🙂 so we made our own sun picture!

The students chose either  a light or dark blue sky.

We then passed out  a yellow circle to each student and  discussed its shape, then glued it to the paper.

Of course, we counted them as they were passed out— addressing math access points.






Then we  passed out a strip of yellow paper and cut them along lines to make sun rays.











Lining up the rays with the sun addresses spatial relationships.

We also counted the rays….

never passing up an opportunity to address math access points!









But wait—there’s more!

We counted out 4 cotton balls (our non-verbal students used a voice output device) and added some clouds to our sky.










And to finish off—some of the fantastic sun related words we found today!

Wow, this week was fantastic—we had so much fun!

Come back next week for more fun and learning Group by Group!

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