This week our Fine Motor and Sensory Groups learned about Winter Holidays around the world. Our Language Group looked at words starting with the letter N.
Sensory Group—-Winter Holidays
Our first box was about Hanukkah. We put in a variety of blue and white items with different shapes and textures such as soft pom poms, curly ribbon, hard beads, shiny garland, and fuzzy chenille stems. Also included were some symbols of Hanukkah including stars and dreidels—so much fun to play the dreidel game at Hanukkah. There were also word cards with Hanukkah pictures such as a menorah and the word “Family”—-the most important part of all the holidays 🙂
This box addresses the science access point of identifying objects by one observable property. It addresses the social studies access points of associating an object with an event and associating a celebration with an event, such as a holiday.
The colors, of course, remind us of cool winter colors…
and they are just so pretty!
Our rice boxes are always popular to scoop and sift through. As little fingers sift through the rice and find the letters and numbers they are building tactile discrimination skills.
The science access point of using senses (touch and vision) to recognize objects is addressed while searching for the letters and numbers in this box
Diwali is a winter holiday celebrated by Hindus and Bodhi is a winter holiday celebrated by Buddhists. Like Hanukkah these holidays are also known as the Festivals of Lights. People decorate their homes with lights and candles.
Candles are also an important part of other winter holidays including Kwanza and St. Lucia Day. Our wikki stix (also known as Bendaroos) make great stand ins for all those colorful candles.
Some of our students enjoyed watching spin around as they were held by staff, others enjoyed feeling their interesting textures or sorting them by color. As they are sorted, the science access points of identifying objects by one observable property and matching objects by one observable property such as color is addressed
We added cardomon spice to our cloud dough (7 cups of flour, 1 cup of oil—many of the recipes say baby oil but we use cooking oil). Cardomon is a spice often used in Indian cooking—-and food is important in all our holidays!
Cloud dough is wonderful stuff, soft and crumbly but still moldable—very cool! We did have one student who sampled it but quickly realized in wasn’t very appetizing :)……
but great for scooping!
We have used our battery operated lights before and our students always enjoy looking and playing with them. They have to be observed VERY closely, of course!
This activity helps address the science access point of recognizing sources of light.
We think this is just a fabulous picture, doesn’t this look like so much fun 🙂
This activity addresses the science access point of identifying the effect that a push or pull has on an object.
This foam soap was really fun and fluffy—our students didn’t know quite what to make of it at first but then dove in and had a great time!
The science access point of uses our senses to identify objects is again addressed in this activity.
We rinsed our hands in the vanilla scented water and then used the lotion leaving the group smelling just delicious 🙂
Fine Motor Group—-Winter Holidays
First we tore pieces of green paper to make leaves and glued them onto a strip of white paper (which of course we counted and identified the shape, addressing math access points).
Tearing the paper addressing bilateral skills and helps strengthen hand intrinsics. It also addresses the science access point of recognizing a change in an object.
Operating the punch helps strengthen hand intrinsics—if you use your hands, of course 🙂
Time to add some candles (pre-made by Jeannie’s staff). After the candles were glued onto the crown, we counted them. This addresses the math access point of recognizing quantities 1 to 3 using sets of objects.
St. Lucia Day
On Thursday we looked at the colorful lights in our sensory room. The students had a lot of fun clapping to make the lights go on and off.
Making a choice addresses the writing application access point of communicating a preference.
Then we decorated our snowflakes with glue and glitter. Squeezing the glue bottles helps strengthen hand intrinsics.
Holding the glitter addresses grasp skills, while shaking the container helps build co-contraction. Eye hand coordination is also addressed.
We finished by gluing the name of one of our winter holidays on each snowflake. The written words help build concepts of print and address the language access point of attending to familiar literary forms.
Language Group—Letter N
This addresses the language arts standard of responding to environmental sounds.
others were Not 🙂
We used post-its with the words “nice” “not” and a happy or sad face to encourage our students to voice their opinion.
This addresses the language access point of communicating a preference.
This activity addresses the science access point of recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli.
We adapted this activity by taping the yarn to the table and wrapping tape around the tip to make it stiffer.
Counting the noodles addresses math access points and looking at the different colors addresses the science access point of identifying objects by one observable property.
The necklaces turned out pretty cute and looked great around our Necks!
This activity addresses the science access points of recognizing that pushing or pulling an object makes it move and recognizing an action as fast or slow.
Its been quite an exciting week for us. First we were mentioned in an article by Sunshine. Here is the link if you want to check it out http://examiner.com/article/holiday-sensory-ideas
We had even more big news when we found out we won a mini grant to expand our activities into more classes. Needless to say, we were pretty thrilled and are looking forward to using it to expand our groups to other classes.