New Years Around the World


IMG_9613Happy New Year! We all had a wonderful and restful winter break, coming back ready to greet the new year with some exciting and new group activities.  For our first week back, we thought it would be fun to look at New Years traditions around the world—-there sure are a lot of different ones 🙂 Hope you enjoy seeing all the fun we had learning about them!





IMG_9639IMG_9450At the stroke of midnight around the world, confetti is tossed into the air! Our first box was filled with paper confetti, a clock, crazy glasses,  and noise makers.  We also included a glitter tube—-we thought the glitter looked like falling confetti. The voice output device in the box contained a clip of the countdown and people singing Auld Lang Syne. A peace sign was included to remind us that world peace is one of the things people hope for in the new year.

Also in the box was a toy suitcase because in Mexico people take a piece of luggage and run around the block; round play fruit—people in the Philippines eat round fruit for luck, and a toy plate because people throw plates at doors in Denmark—-all fun new years traditions!

IMG_9677There were so many different items to discover! It was fun seeing which items turned out to be favorites as little hands dug in and pulled out contents—-leaving trails of confetti across the table….and laps….and floor. We like to leave memories of our visit 🙂

Our students loved trying on the glasses, grabbing handfuls of confetti, and OF COURSE the noise makers! This was a really fun box!

The social studies access point of associating a celebration with an event is addressed in this and all our other boxes.

The science access point of applying a push or pull to move an object is also addressed.




IMG_9498Here in the South, eating black eyed peas on New Years day is an annual tradition. Our students loved running their hands through the peas or seeing how many scoops it took to fill their hands.

In addition to practicing scooping skills, the math access point recognizing when an object is added is addressed.

The math access point of solving problems involving small quantities of objects or action using language, such as enough, too much, or more is also addressed.

Don’t you just love the intent look of concentration on this students face 🙂





IMG_9745Our soft, crumbly cloud dough reminded us of the Armenian bread that is baked for good luck. Now that sounds like a very yummy tradition!

Cookie cutters with the numbers 2014 were included for the students to stamp impressions into the cloud dough.

In addition to number recognition, the science access point recognizing a change in an object is addressed.







IMG_9711IMG_9747In Spain they eat 12 grapes to celebrate the new year—one for each stroke of the clock at midnight.

We filled our “grape” box with big, soft, purple pom poms and small, hard purple beads. This box was so vibrant and colorful, really quite pretty!

The science access point of recognizing 2 objects that are identical to each other can be addressed with this box—-that is if you can pull the students attention away from those fabulous purple beads 🙂




IMG_9491Our light up toys flashed bright colorful lights just like fireworks that light up the skies during new year celebrations. We included 2 different kinds of light toys. Some of them were activated when struck, others when a button was pushed.

Some of our students preferred one toy over the other, others like this student here demonstrated some nice bilateral coordination using both at the same time!

Applying a push to move an object and recognizing sources of light are science access points addressed in this activity.







IMG_9683Speaking of fireworks—what could be more fun than firecracker oobleck! We added pop rocks to our oobleck for super popping fun. Ok, this is totally cool and fascinating—-a must try!

Tracking the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is a science access point addressed here.

The science access point recognizing and responding to different types of sensory stimuli is also addressed.







IMG_9779In Scotland they waft the scent of juniper around the house to rid it of any germs! Lucky for us we found some Juniper Breeze bath gel at Bath and Bodyworks! Made it pretty easy to decide the scent for this week 🙂

We included a couple of measuring cups with our water play to address the math access point recognizing differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids.








IMG_9514The Juniper Breeze scent had a nice soft aroma and our students all seemed to really like it. They all anticipated their turn to smell the lotion and the students are getting very good at indicating on which body part they want the lotion.

The science access points recognizing and responding to one type of sensory stimuli and recognizing one or more external body parts are addressed with this activity.








IMG_9793IMG_9726We finished the group with fireworks—-of the bubble wrap kind that is! This is a great time of year to find scraps of bubble wrap and our coworkers gave us plenty of donations. We just laid pieces on the floor and had our students run, stomp, or roll over it. It really does sound like firecrackers, especially when the wheelchairs rolled over it.

The kids totally had a blast and yes——- so did the adults 🙂








IMG_9545On Tuesday we made fireworks pictures! We started by discussing the different colors of paint we were going to use and asked the students to identify the colors using the communication symbols. The students have been doing so well when given a choice of 2, that we decided to make it a little harder by giving them 3 choices. This also helps prepare them for the alternate assessment which is in a 3 answer choice format.

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





IMG_9560We counted out pieces of black paper, noting that it was a rectangle and also counting how many sides it had. Recognizing objects with 2 dimensional shapes and identifying the sides of a rectangle are math access points.

Then we began stamping our fireworks. The stamper is a toilet paper roll with slits cut into it (we saw this idea on Pinterest). The paint colors popped on the black paper and our students really got into it!

Applying a push or pull to move an object is a science access point.







IMG_9813IMG_9824After reading Cara’s book, we worked on putting the months of the year in the correct order.  The chart that we used had a picture for each month in case the student needed a visual prompt to match the word to.

Each student was given 3 different months to choose from when it was their turn.  The months presented were read aloud to the student and they chose which month was the correct month.  If they were unable to find the correct month with just auditory feedback, they could use the picture signifying the month as a visual prompt.




IMG_9817We had such a high success rate with this activity!  The students in Mrs. Robin’s class know their months of the year well.  Rote learning had taught them the order of the months and since Mrs. Robin goes over the months of the year each day in her class, these students were able to put the months in order with minimal prompting.  So cool!






IMG_9846IMG_9833After putting the months of the year together, we got the number chart out and began the New Years countdown. We gave our students noise makers, crazy glasses, party hats and…..of course we pulled out the bubble wrap again!!!!




IMG_9890                                                                        10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

This week was so much fun, keep following us, there are so many more exciting things to learn and discover—-Group by Group!

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