Winter Holidays part 2 and the Letter O


Winter holidays are so much fun that we had to spend another week learning about them! We kept our same book but added different sensory boxes for and art activities for our Sensory and Fine Motor Groups. Our Language Group looked at words that start with the letter O.

Sensory Group—Winter Holidays Around the World

IMG_3960Our first box was filled with all things Christmas. We included jingle bells, Santa and Nutcracker figures, reindeer, christmas trees (felt and plastic), stars, garland, a doll sweater, and the word “HOME” all in some red paper shred … remind us of all those exciting packages !

Some of the items made noise, like the jingle bells and squeaky toys. The squeaky toys were VERY popular!

IMG_3976The students were able to explore different ways to apply force either by shaking or squeezing the items to make noise. This addresses the science access point of identifying objects that create specific sounds.




IMG_3974In Mexico, they celebrate Las Posadas as part of their Christmas celebrations with processions, carols, and PINATAS! At the bottom of our red, white and green rice we placed a picture of a pinata which could be uncovered as the rice was moved aside.

It was so pretty and festive looking…..

quite irresistible 🙂

Visual discrimination skills are addressed when differentiating the hidden picture from the colored rice.

We also put in 2 different sizes of measuring spoons. While playing with them our students have the opportunity to learn about capacity—differences in sizes of containers which is a math access point.







IMG_4339Lights, lights lights—–Hanukkah, Diwali, Las Posadas all festivals of light.

We can’t get enough of them! This week we put them in a box which reminded us of the luminaries used during Las Posadas.

This addresses the science access point of recognizing sources of light.







IMG_4393Straw mats, and fruits of the harvest are part of the Kwanza celebration. We used raffia in place of straw and included some ribbon printed with fruit in addition to our play food.

The ribbon was soft as compared to the rough feel of the raffia. Finding the pieces of fruit hidden amongst the ribbon and raffia addresses visual and tactile discrimination skills.

Comparing the texture of the ribbon and raffia addresses the science access point of comparing the different properties of materials.

Dropping the raffia onto the floor allowed them to address the science access point of tracking objects that fall to the ground.

If they let us know what they did…..

it addresses the science access point of indicating that an object has fallen 🙂




Bodhi celebrations often involve decorating trees with colorful beads. In this box we added lots of colorful beads and pompoms.

Sorting these objects addresses the science access point of recognizing objects by one observable property.

IMG_4117IMG_3964…….NAILED IT 🙂

Our students are just so










IMG_4401Our last box was filled with winter snow—at least our Florida version 🙂

We mixed some cornstarch, shaving cream and fake snow. Its about 2 boxes of cornstarch to 1 can of shaving cream.  We found  the idea at this website

This stuff was so much fun, similar to cloud dough but with a little wetter feel. Totally cool— the students just loved running their fingers through it, squishing it, pushing a letter W for winter into it, or watching it as it fell down (addressing the science access point of tracking a falling object).

When molded into little “snow balls”, the math access point of recognizing a common three dimensional object.






IMG_4426Hands were rinsed in twisted peppermint scented body wash from Bath and Body Works. It has a really strong scent which really draws our students attention.

Measuring cups allow our students to practice scooping while addressing the math access point addressing capacity.

This student is addressing the math access point of indicating a desire for more of an action by reaching out his hands as the water is poured on them.

As this student is cupping his hands, he is also working on developing his palmer arches—nice!







IMG_4438The matching lotion was rubbed on hands, arms—-or the back of the neck for students who engage in a lot of oral exploration.

We present the lotion and give the students an opportunity to indicate their desire for more by facial expression, gestures, body movements or vocalizations.

Our students left the group smelling like delicious peppermint candies to help them remember all the different winter celebrations we have learned about the last 2 weeks.







Fine Motor Group—Winter Holidays Around the World

On Tuesday we started by reading Cara’s book again before starting our art project—–turning into Christmas Santa’s!

IMG_4039First we used our paper cutter to turn a red rectangle into a triangle. This addresses the science access point recognizing a change in an object. It also addresses the math access point of recognizing an object with a 2 dimensional shape.

To do this we had to make 2 cuts with our paper cutter. We counted the cuts—-addressing math access points again!







IMG_4074Then we passed out some white plates—-they were circles with the center cut out.  Again, addressing the math access point of recognizing a 2 dimensional shape.

We glued the triangle hats onto the circle.

We pulled apart some fiber fill and glued a big piece onto the circle and then a smaller piece at the top of the hat.

This activity addresses spatial relationships as pieces are placed down. In addition, fine motor skills are addressed as the pieces of fiber fill are pulled apart.





IMG_4065IMG_4063Merry Christmas

HO                                                                             IMG_4068IMG_4079HO                                                                                  HO









On Thursday we celebrated Hanukkah by making menorahs.

IMG_4160First we chose yellow paper for the flames.

As our students point to the color and word “yellow”, they are addressing the language access point of attending to print materials by touching, looking, or listening.

By picking up the card and handing it to an adult, they are building communication skills.







IMG_4161Then we tore the yellow paper into small pieces and placed them in a bowl.

Tearing the paper helps build bilateral coordination and pincer grasp skills. It also addresses the science access point of recognizing a change in an object.

Placing the pieces into the bowl addresses eye hand coordination. Deciding when we have enough addressed the math access point of solving problems involving small quantities of objects using language, such as enough, too much, or more.





IMG_4171We colored 8 popsicle sticks. We adapted this activity for our students by taping the sticks to a piece of cardboard (a cut up cereal box). Taping the sticks down helps to stabilize them and is easy to remove when done.

The sticks were counted……

……….Of Course!

We also used some rounded animal markers from Roseart which are easy for our students to grasp.

This activity addresses math as the sticks are counted and helps our students practice with writing tools.







IMG_4179We removed the tape and glued our little yellow flames to the top of our candles and placed them in our base.

The base was made from a section of a pool noodle cut in half. We also cut a slit across the top to make it easier to insert the popsicle sticks.

Fine motor skills such as eye hand coordination and pincer grasp are addressed as the “candles” are placed into the menorah.

We then added our 9th candle (pre-made by gluing 2 popsicle sticks together). This addresses the math access point recognizing when 1 item has been added to a set.








IMG_4193Happy Hanukkah 🙂












Language Group—Letter O

IMG_4230First we played Cara’s sound game and listened for some Cool O words!






IMG_4238Then we put put the blocks On top of each other.

This addresses the math access point of recognizing a movement that reflects a spatial relationship. Counting the blocks also addresses math concepts.

Eye hand coordination is also addressed in this activity.











IMG_4245Then we knocked the tower Over!

……Of course!

This addresses the science access point of applying a push or pull to move an object.

Needless to say, some of our students REALLY enjoyed this part of the

activity 🙂






IMG_4200Next we Opened a jar….

….and pulled Out One Orange pom pom.

We used a plastic peanut butter jar because it has a nice wide opening making it easier for our students hands to fit.

We adapted this activity for some of our students by pulling out the pom pom for them and then encouraging them to visually track the pom pom, addressing the science access point of tracking a moving object.

We also adapted this activity for our students who have visual impairments by encouraging them to explore the pom pom with their hands.

This addresses the science access point of recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli.





IMG_4023 We finished by making a creature found in the Ocean!

To start, we crumpled 5 pieces of scrap paper and put them into a bag which we closed it with a rubber band. We found these blue lunch bags at Target.

We noted that the number 5 is an ODD number.

Bilateral coordination skills are addressed when crumpling the paper and placing it in the bag.

We used decorative scissors to cut some strips at the bottom of the bag.







IMG_4032A couple of googlie eyes added….great for working on pincer grasp skills,

and a happy smile drawn with a marker!

Ta Da—-a cute little Octopus

On a cute little student’s head 🙂











IMG_4304Wow, we  found a lot of O words today

in our Language group.






IMG_4109IMG_3925Hope you enjoyed learning about all these winter holidays and whichever one you celebrate…

……it is filled with light and laughter.

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