There are so many wonderful winter holidays that we had to cover a few more this week! Our sensory group explored more boxes with sights, smells, textures, and sounds of the holidays. Our fine motor group made some more holiday themed art projects and the fine motor group searched for treats in some Dutch wooden shoes. It was a fabulous fun filled and festive week 🙂
In Germany they celebrate 3 kings night, Dreikonigsfest on January 6. Children go singing door to door collecting money for charity and are often given cookies to keep. Our students cut gingerbread “cookies” out of our gingerbread scented play dough which had a most wonderful aroma!
The math access point associate number quantities with number names can be addressed here. In addition, the science access point apply a push to move an object.
Our Kwanzaa box was filled with a variety of fruits, nuts, and vegetables which people put on straw mats (we included some straw also) as symbols of the holiday. We also included the word “family” because family unity is an important principle of Kwanzaa. Our students really had fun with this box—–so many intriguing things to discover!
The science access point explore, observe, and recognize common objects in the natural world is addressed here.
Many of the winter holidays are called “holidays of light” including Diwali. We attached some battery operated lights (found at Target) to the lid of a plastic shoe box and turned it upside down. It made a beautiful light box that was just fascinating to our students—–we got some really fabulous photos that we just had to share 🙂
Some lovely green and red rice formed the base for our Las Posadas box—-just so bright and colorful! This holiday, celebrated in Mexico symbolizes the search for shelter by Mary and Joseph. There were letters L and P to find, as well as a picture of a donkey piñata taped to the bottom of the box.
Visual and tactile discrimination skills are practiced and the science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move.
Our students again explored the science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move but in a completely different way from the rice!
Peppermint treats and toys are often found in dutch children’s shoes on December 6—–St. Nicholas Day. Our water play had little holiday themed finger puppets floating in peppermint scented water (we used Bath and Bodyworks twisted peppermint). We also included a scoop and funnel—-when scooped can the toys go through the funnel or just the water? What a fun way to explore the science access point recognize that an object can be stopped from falling!
As the puppets are put onto fingers, the science access point recognize one or more external body parts is also addressed.
Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point addressed with this activity.
We found that wheelchairs work really well and make great pops. Our smaller students tried their best but had a hard time applying enough force when walking on the bubble wrap. Not a problem for us though—–rolling chairs work great!
These students faces tell you how popular this was, access point addressed——-pure joy 🙂
FINE MOTOR GROUP
On Tuesday for our art project we decorated some craftfoam German gingerbread men! The focus of this activity was working on pincer grasp, eye hand coordination, and one to one correspondence.
This addresses the math access point associate quantities with number names.
As a finishing touch we added some glitter glue!
On Thursday we made a fabulous Kinara for Kwanzaa.
The math access point solve problems involving small quantities of actions using language, such as enough, too much, or more can be addressed when painting the sticks.
The math access point associate quantities with number names was also addressed as students used communication symbols to identify the number 3.
After the paint was dry, we lined the paint sticks up on a piece of cardboard and stabilized them with a piece of tape. Some scrap paper was used as a mask so the students could paint the flames onto their candles.
Gold glitter was then added to give the flames a little sparkle 🙂
The science access point recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed is addressed in this activity.
We are ready for Kwanzaa!
For the language group this week, we decided to celebrate St. Nicholas Day, a winter holiday celebrated in Europe on December 6. Families put their shoes out at bedtime and in the morning, they find small gifts and candies in their shoes!
Instead of taking each of our students’ shoes off, we used authentic wooden shoes all the way from Holland! Each student had a turn taking out something that was in the shoes. In one shoe there was a yummy something EDIBLE. In the other shoe were stickers——hologram stickers for students without visual deficits and foam stickers for the students with vision deficits.
We made a yes/no board so our students who rely on picture symbols could point or use eye gaze to indicate the correct answer. Students also used verbalizations to say if the object was or was not edible.
This addresses the language access point communicate information that tells about familiar objects.
After snacks were eaten we brought out our firecracker bubble wrap. While fireworks aren’t exactly a part of St. Nicholas day, we just could not resist bringing it out one last time! The students had lots of fun and it was a successful St. Nicholas Day celebration!