Christmas Traditions


IMG_9092It was a busy week with a special program affecting our group schedule a little but we still had fun exploring our Christmas Traditions theme!  Cara used pictures submitted by staff members for her book and our students really enjoyed looking at the pictures and labeling things they saw—-such as the Christmas tree and Santa Claus. Our sensory boxes were bright and colorful with lots of Christmas related items to explore. The fine motor group had two cute projects and the language group went on a Christmas parade!




Sensory Group

IMG_9058Colorful lights are a Christmas tradition that we find decorating trees and houses. We  put 2 sets of colorful battery operated lights and some shiny garland in this box. The garland reflected the lights and made the box even more eye catching—–and mesmerizing 🙂

This one was a favorite!

This addresses the science access point recognizing sources of light.






IMG_8848IMG_8877This box was filled with plastic pine branches and holly leaves. We also put in some red garland, shiny beads, and a little Christmas stocking. All sorts of fun textures and items to explore! Of course, we had to include a couple of Santas, a little elf, a wrapped present, a nutcracker, and some jingle bells—all traditional Christmas symbols.

We also included a voice output device with the song Jingle Bells—-it got played ALOT 🙂

Science access points addressed include recognizing common objects related to science by name, such as plant and recognizing a model of a real object.

This activity also addresses the social studies access point, associating a celebration with an event, such as a holiday.




IMG_9018Red and green are considered Christmas colors. We put shiny, hard beads and soft, round pom poms in this box.

Lots of opportunities to compare and contrast materials. It addresses the science access point identifying common objects by one observable property, such as color. It also addresses the science access point recognizing two objects that are identical to each other.

The math access point recognizing a 3 dimensional object (sphere) is also addressed.





IMG_8868Red and green are also the colors of our rice box—-red rice and green split peas! Wow, this was such a pretty  box—so eye catching! Hidden in the box were 3 letter C’s to find. We also taped some Christmas tree wrapping paper to the bottom of the box—-a fun picture to find as the rice was pushed aside.

In addition to tactile and visual discrimination skills, the science access point of applying a push to move an object is addressed.







IMG_9068A giant Christmas tree cookie cutter was used with our peppermint scented green playdough. Although is smelled pretty yummy, our students did a really good job of refraining from tasting it!

Recognizing that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point addressed in this activity.

As more than 1 tree is formed, the science access point recognizing two objects that are identical to each other is also addressed.






IMG_8825IMG_9065We swirled red food coloring into our “candy cane” oobleck. It turned out pretty cool—starting out with swirling color and ending up a delightful pink!

As usual, our students loved playing with it—oobleck is simply amazing stuff 🙂

The science access points recognizing a change in an object and recognizing that pushing and pulling an object makes it move are addressed here.




IMG_9039IMG_8895This week, we found our scent at Joann’s—-Gingerbread!

We used the water to rinse the oobleck off our hands AND address the science access point recognizing water as a liquid.

As well as the science access point observing and recognizing that people need water —to clean off oobeck, of course 🙂

The matching lotion smelled very yummy and after the students had smelled the lotion, we asked them which body part they wanted the lotion rubbed on. This scent was a real hit, ALL our students loved it!

This activity addresses the science access point recognizing external body parts and the language access point communicating a preference for a familiar action.




Fine Motor Group

IMG_8923On Tuesday we made some super cool reindeer using floor puzzle pieces. We have done this before and we liked them so much, we decided to do it again! Our super volunteer, Sarah, glued the pieces together for us.

We started by using our sponge brushes to paint the reindeer brown.

Recognizing a change in a object is addressed as the white puzzle pieces become brown.





IMG_8949 IMG_8951Next we asked our students to find their eyes, then put 2 round googlie eyes on their reindeer. Placing the googlie eyes helps to promote pincer grasp skills.

It also addresses the science access point recognizing external body parts.






IMG_8948IMG_8975Rudolph needs a bright shiny red nose, of course! We added a cute pompom noses after asking the students to find their own nose.

Again, this activity addresses pincer grasp skills and identifying external body parts.







IMG_8990Our students were thrilled with their reindeer!

Time to run, run Rudolph—-









On Thursday, our students turned into little elves!

IMG_9188We started by discussing the color of the paper we were going to use. Our students did a great job of finding the color green. We were so excited when we realized that everyone had answered correctly!

Identifying classroom objects by one observable property, such as color is a science access point addressed here.






IMG_9226IMG_9211Then we used our paper cutters and electric scissors to turn our green rectangles into triangles!

The science access point recognizing a change in an object is addressed here.

The math access point recognizing 2 dimensional shapes is also addressed.





IMG_9279Time to add some decorations—working on pincer grasp and eye hand coordination skills!

Of course, we counted each decoration as it was added to the hat.








We glued the hat onto our pre-made faces, made from paper plates (thanks again Sarah!).

IMG_9241IMG_9250IMG_9275Elves ready and reporting to work 🙂

IMG_9289IMG_9307                                           HO HO HO








Language Group

IMG_9099After reading Cara’s book, we made Christmas cards for the other elementary classes.  The students got to pick what they wanted on the front of the cards by activating the All-Turn-It spinner.  The pictures on the spinner were: Christmas tree, Santa Claus, bells, angel, reindeer, snowman, and an elf.

Our students did so well watching the spinner and they are also learning not to hit the switch but to push it to activate it.

The language access point, use technology resources to support learning is addressed here.




IMG_9139After finishing up the cards, we dressed our students up with different Christmas props.  We let them look in the mirror to see themselves which is always fun to do.  The different props we had coincided with the different pictures that were on the spinner.  We talked about putting things “on” and trying not to take them “off”.

Responding to specific information about familiar objects and routines is a language access point addressed here.






IMG_9133We also made sure everyone had some jingle bells 🙂








IMG_9160IMG_9143Time for a Christmas parade!  We went over who was “first” and who was “last” then we turned on some Christmas music, rang bells, and paraded through the halls to deliver the cards.  SO FUN!

Surprisingly, the props stayed on our students the entire time!  The students in the other classrooms loved watching our language group parade around their room!

The math access point, recognizing the next step in a simple pattern or sequence of activities is addressed here.

Responding to familiar persons is a language access point addressed.




IMG_9171It’s been a great celebration these past 2 weeks, but now we’re all ready for a break!  Since next week there are only 2 full days of school, we decided not to have groups.  We’ll see you in 2014 with some more fun Group by Group!

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