More Wonderful Winter Holidays


IMG_0974There 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 🙂






IMG_0950In 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.





IMG_1166IMG_1187Our 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.


IMG_1200IMG_0970Many 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 🙂

IMG_1193                                            The science access point recognize sources of light is addressed here.


IMG_0913Some 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.







IMG_1006In Columbia they serve a pudding called”natilla columbiana” during Christmas celebrations. While our oobleck version wasn’t nearly so tasty, by adding cinnamon it smelled really yummy!

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!






IMG_1014IMG_0907Peppermint 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.


IMG_1208We used the matching lotion as a reminder of all the fun we had today and the students really responded to the strong peppermint aroma!

Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point addressed with this activity.






IMG_1063IMG_1204After the boxes were put away we celebrated Diwali by setting off some bubble wrap fireworks—–how fun is that!!!!!

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 🙂







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.

IMG_1086We started by looking at our model and counting 2 eyes and 2 buttons. Then we asked our students to show us the number 2—–they did a really great job, those little smarties 🙂

This addresses the math access point associate quantities with number names.





IMG_1103IMG_1124The students put 2 big googlie eyes onto 2 glue dots and then put 2 buttons onto another set of glue dots. Of course we counted out loud each time 🙂

As a finishing touch we added some glitter glue!

IMG_1138The math access point use one-to-one correspondence to identify sets of objects with the same amount to 2.



IMG_1131TA DA!

Just adorable!









On Thursday we made a fabulous Kinara for Kwanzaa.

photoThe students painted tongue depressors red, green, and black. Each of them needed 3 red, 3 green, and 1 black so there was a lot of painting!

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.




IMG_1323IMG_1324After 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.




IMG_1351Then the students put their candles into their Kinara (made from pieces of pool noodle cut in half). They LOVED this part of the activity, concentrating very hard to get the candles just right 🙂










IMG_1364IMG_1375Ta DA! The students were SO proud of their creations——-they do look pretty fabulous!

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!

IMG_1215Instead 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.





IMG_1248Once they pulled out one of the objects, the students had to indicate if it was something they could eat or not.

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.




IMG_1242IMG_1290Once everyone had a turn, the students got to eat their edible snack 🙂

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!



IMG_1156Learning about all these wonderful winter holidays has been so much fun these last 2 weeks. We will be off for winter break but will be back in January for more fun and learning——–Group by Group!

Happy Holidays!

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