New York Vacation


IMG_5021It was back to school but spring break vacations were still on our minds with our New York City theme.  It is a popular vacation spot and such an exciting place to visit——we had so much fun planning the different group activities! Our sensory group activities included a trip to Time Square, the fine motor group made art projects related to New York City symbols, and the language group explored tourist destinations on the Smart board.

All our activities focused on looking at the world in spatial terms and the social studies access point associate an object, picture, or symbol with a location.






IMG_5266We started our tour with the most exciting place in NYC—-Time Square! We put 5 strands of battery operated lights on our umbrella and it really gave a fabulous “Time Square” effect. Needless to say this was a HUGE hit,  our students really loved all the lights and could hardly wait for their turn!

The lights were attached using good old twist ties and we used velcro to attach the battery packs as they were a little heavy.

The science access point recognize sources of light is addressed in this activity.



IMG_5027We also pulled out our battery operated spinning lights so that students could put on their own light show. The science access point apply a push to move an object while also working on fine motor skills is addressed.




IMG_5001IMG_5299NYC is filled with skyscrapers. Our students made their own cityscapes using Duplo blocks to make “building” impressions in moon sand. The blocks shape made them easy for our students to hold and manipulate—-they worked perfectly!

Again the science concepts of forces and changes in motion are addressed as students apply a push to move an object.






IMG_5330Bright yellow and black taxis are EVERYWHERE in the city and a great way to get from one destination to another! We put some soft yellow pom poms and hard black beads in this box to compare and contrast. The colors gave this box a pretty striking contrast and most of our students found it intriguing.

As the students sort the items they can address the science access point recognize 2 common objects that are identical to each other. They can also address the math access point recognize 2 objects that are the same color.







IMG_5211IMG_5296Central Park is one fabulous place a taxi might take you! Besides lots of grass, the park is filled with trees and flowers so we put silk ones on a layer of basket filler. We also included a bunch of animals—–zoo animals, butterflies, dogs, ducks, squirrels, birds—–you can find all of them in Central Park!

With all that walking, you might want a snack and a NYC hotdog would certainly hit the spot 🙂 The play food hotdog usually elicited smiles when found in the box.

Recognize the leaf and flower of a plant are science access points that can be addressed in this box as students explore organization and development of living organisms. Recognize a model of a real object is another science access point addressed.



IMG_5321Another exciting thing to do on a NYC vacation would be to see a Broadway Show. For this box we brought back our Wizard of Oz discovery bottle with it’s green glitter and red Barbie shoes! Music from The Wiz—-found via a Youtube clean video search—- was recorded on our voice output device.

As the students turn and shake the bottle tracking objects in motion, a science access point, is addressed.





IMG_5615Our students—–and teachers 🙂  had a blast rocking out to “Ease on Down the Road” from The Wiz and showing their moves.

Attending to sounds from various sources is a music access point addressed.









IMG_5280Our students searched for the letters N Y C in rice. As the rice was shifted aside, a picture of one of the biggest symbols of not just NYC but our country was revealed——the Statue of Liberty! This box didn’t have a lot of rice, so it made it especially easy for the hidden items to be revealed.

IMG_5063Recognize a symbol that represents America, such as the Statue of Liberty is an access point related to the understanding of structure and functions of government.










IMG_5228IMG_5259Finally, the scent of the week—–APPLE, of course 🙂  A fitting end to our tour of the Big Apple. A fabulous yellow ducky floated in our scented water and the students had a great time using the big apple sponge to give him a shower.

Explore, observe, and recognize objects in the natural world is a science access point addressed in this activity.

Our students enjoyed this week’s scent and as usual, we gave them an opportunity to communicate where they wanted the lotion.






IMG_5101IMG_5145On Tuesday our art project focused on the Statue of Liberty! We started by making the torch. The first step was using our paper cutters to cut green paper into a rectangle shape.

Once again, working on the math access point, recognize a 2 dimensional shape and the science access point recognize a change in an object.

Then we taped the rectangle to a toilet paper roll and ROLLED!!!! Our students did a great job and showed such concentration.

This was great for working on bilateral coordination.





IMG_5165Time for the really fun part—–stuffing tissue paper in the top to make our flame! Our students certainly did a great job demonstrating the science access point apply a push to move an object!

Prior to the group, we had cut the center out of a paper plate and stapled on some green paper that we had freehand cut for the statue’s crown.








IMG_5137                                                                                             Ta DA—–welcome to New York City 🙂



IMG_5496IMG_5455For our art project on Thursday we used apple stamping to decorate a cityscape!

We started by gluing a precut cityscape—-here is the pattern Joy drew SKMBT_42314032815140—–onto a piece of white rectangular paper. In addition to the math access point recognize a 2 dimensional shape, the science access point recognize a change in an object is also addressed.

Then we discussed the different paint colors we were going to use and asked the students to choose which color they wanted.

Recognizing an object by one observable property, such as color is the science access point addressed. Using body movement or nonverbal expression to communicate preferences is a language access point addressed.



IMG_5468Little hands and big slippery apples are not a good combination so we stuck a fork into the apple which made it so much easier for our students to handle!

So did we count the numbers of apples stamped?


Recognize when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.








IMG_5507IMG_5521Ta Da! These cityscapes turned out pretty fabulous—-the Big Apple never looked so good!












IMG_5411After reading Cara’s book about the sights to see in New York, we decided to take a closer look with a virtual tour.  We had the students gather around the SMART board for this group.  We printed out some pictures of places from our book, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

These pictures were put on an All Turn It Spinner so that our students were able to pick a place to go.

Cara found a couple of websites with virtual tours of New York.  The one she had planned on showing,, didn’t end up working on our SMART board; however, it has an amazing virtual tour.  Instead, we used  This was also a virtual tour, but wasn’t an eagle eye view like airpano.


IMG_5393Our students loved being able to experience seeing New York with a 360 degree tour.  We used different adjectives to talk about what we were looking at.  We commented on the TALL building, the LONG bridge, and the BRIGHT lights.

Developing an understanding of language concepts related to linear measurement is addressed here.








IMG_5403The final consensus was that we all wanted to travel to New York on our next CBI trip:)










IMG_5057Hope you enjoyed our geography themed activities this week! Join us again for more fun and learning Group by Group!

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