It is pretty chilly out there—-even in our part of the country 🙂 Perfect timing for this weeks winter theme! We explored a variety of wintery textures and scents in our sensory group. Our art projects were all about snowmen in our fine motor group, and in the language group we explored the concepts of warm and cold.
We also brought back our snowflake umbrella which was a hit in all the groups.
We made our snowflake umbrella by using packing tape to attach a variety of dollar store snowflakes to a clear umbrella. Then we strung silver and white beads, snowflake ornaments and white pompom yarn from the spokes and around the edge. It looks pretty fabulous—–if we do say so ourselves 🙂
Our students were quite entranced and loved watching the dancing snowflakes when the umbrella was slowly twisted back and forth.
The science access point tracking objects in motion is addressed here.
This artificial snow (a purchased powder with added water) is pretty fantastic, it looks and feels like the real thing—-especially when put into the fridge for a few minutes! It certainly had our students quite fascinated, they were not quite sure what to make of this interesting texture.
Just like the real thing, we were able to make small snowballs by grabbing a handful and squeezing it together—-FUN!
The science access point explore, observe, and recognize common objects in the natural world is addressed here.
The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed and the math access point recognize 3 dimensional shapes (sphere) are addressed in this activity.
More snow fun with our shaving cream and cornstarch mixture—-equal parts of both. This stuff is really just so COOL! It is squishy but can be molded and has such an interesting texture.
We used our moonsand for this box. It is more dense than sandbox sand and more like the sand you would find on a beach. A round cookie cutter was included. Our students had fun using the cookie cutter to make circles in the sand. Some of them also went ahead and made some Florida “snowballs” 🙂
The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here. The math access points recognize a 2 and 3 dimensional objects is also addressed.
Brrr—-time to warm up by the fire! We made our “fire” by attaching colorful shiny ribbon strips to our switch operated fan. It was fun watching the smiles and giggles of our students as the ribbons fluttered and the breeze hit their faces.
Indicating awareness of air moving is the science access point addressed here.
We used the “chimney” scent from our Follow Your Nose Game to add to the sensory experience of this activity. We started by holding it near our students noses but then got the idea (thanks to Jimmy our new OT intern) to hold it behind the fan so the aroma really wafted around the room!
Recognize and respond to different types of sensory stimuli is another science access point addressed in this activity.
This pompom yarn would make a wonderful warm afghan to snuggle under on a cold winters day! Our students love its’ soft texture. Some of them like to drape it around their shoulders or heads while others just love to pull it apart or shake it around.
Then you have those who like to do BOTH 🙂
The science access points addressed here are use senses to recognize objects and recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes if move.
We made this discovery bottle by mixing a little bit of glitter glue, glitter, and snowflake confetti—-we were really pleased with the way it turned out. The snowflakes looked so pretty as they swirled and drifted around with the glitter.
Tracking objects in motion is the science access point addressed with this bottle.
Twisted peppermint from Bath and Bodyworks was our scent this week. Whether scooping water with our measuring cups (and addressing the math access point recognize differences in containers that hold liquids) or indicating which body part to rub the lotion on (addressing the science access point recognize external body parts)——it was the perfect cool aroma to help us remember our winter theme!
FINE MOTOR GROUP
They really got so excited when it was their turn to be under the umbrella and were very good about just touching (rather than pulling at) the dangling items.
Our students got to work on the art project by using a small circle punch to cut out pictures of their faces. This was a little tricky and they did need some help with alignment. To make it easier to use the punch, we had the students push down on the lever rather than try to pinch it. Either the way, it is still a great hand strengthening activity.
After punching out their faces, they glued them onto a snowman. The snowman was made using heavy card stock and glued to a card stock circle—–thanks again to Jimmy the intern!
In addition to eye hand coordination, the math access point recognize a 2 dimensional shape (in this case circle) is addressed.
Then we instructed the students to scoop 3 spoonfuls of artificial snow into a small clear plastic cup. We used our number chart to help our students identify the number 3. Most of our students still need help in this area.
The math access points recognize quantities 1 to 3 using objects, pictures, or number names and solve problems involving joining or separating sets of objects to 3 are addressed in this activity.
Our students were pretty fascinated with their creations and kept turning them around to watch the snow move about. Tracking the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is the science access point addressed here.
On Thursday we made melted snowman pictures. We have seen this art project all over Pinterest and thought it would be perfect for our students.
Identify common objects by one observable property, such as color is the science access point addressed here.
Recognizing a 2 dimensional shape—-the rectangle paper—-is a math access point.
Then we used paint sponges to paint our mixture of glue, shaving cream, and fake snow onto the paper. We saw the idea for adding the fake snow on the Growing a Jeweled Rose blog—-such a great blog with so many creative ideas!
Applying a push or pull to move an object is a science access point addressed.
Recognizing a change in an object is another science access point addressed.
Next we added paper hats, scarves, triangle noses, and googlie eyes onto our mixture. The beauty of this project is that is doesn’t matter where they go as long as they are on the glue! Thanks to our volunteer Courtney for cutting out all the little pieces!
We also added the words “my melted snowman” to increase the literacy component.
The math access point recognize when an object is added to a situation is addressed in this activity.
These pictures are super cute—-and when dry the shaving cream and glue mixture will feel just like puffy paint!
Today our focus was on teaching the concept of cold versus warm. We had 5 different objects that were found around the room, such as metal spoons, scissors, and jars. We used 2 of each object. One of the objects was left out and the other object was put in the freezer or the refrigerator (i.e., one spoon in the freezer, one left out and so on).
We made a small board with the Boardmaker symbols for “cold” and “warm” on it. Each student got to feel an object and indicate if it was cold or warm using either their words or indicating the picture symbol.If the student had difficulty correctly indicating, we would place a warm object and a cold object on their cheeks and ask them to show which one was cold/warm. This helped them to decipher the difference a little easier.
The science access point recognize the temperature of items as cool or warm is addressed in this activity.
The language access point communicate about a selected object using nonverbal expression, gestures/signs, pictures, symbols, or words is also addressed.
After going through each object, we decided it was time to warm up with some hot chocolate—-of course for safety it will actually be “warm” chocolate! First we opened the package and let our students smell the chocolaty goodness!
This addresses the science access point recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli. They definitely recognized and responded to this scent 🙂
Each of the students took turns stirring the mixture, addressing the science access points apply a push or pull to move an object and sharing objects with a partner.
And what good is warm chocolate without marshmallows! We drew out a number board with 1, 2, and 3 written on it along with dots under the numbers. The students chose how many marshmallows they wanted in their drink and we counted them out as they were put on the number line. We counted them again as they were dropped into the student’s cups.
In addition to working on pincer grasp skills, the math access point match objects to marked spaces to show one-to-one correspondence for quantities 1 to 3.
And, of course, it also addresses the language access point communicate a preference for familiar objects.
After tasting its yummy goodness, our students again used the Boardmaker symbols to indicate if the chocolate was warm or cold.
That is all for this week, join us again for more fun and learning—–Group by Group!