New Years Around the World


IMG_2037Learning about how people around the world celebrate the new year—–the perfect topic to celebrate our first week back to school! Our sensory groups explored boxes related to different countries celebrations and the fine motor group made some fun new years decorations. We looked at a world map and found the different countries whose celebrations were discussed in this week’s book. Throughout this unit the social studies access point associate a celebration with an event is addressed.





IMG_1927IMG_2143In Australia lots of people go to the beach to celebrate the new year. Our little beach had 3 shells to find and a map of Australia to find hidden under the sand.  We found the free printable map on the internet and really liked it because there were some animals included on it which the students enjoyed finding.

The social studies access point locate pictures of symbols on a drawing or map can be addressed here. The math access point associate quantities with number names is also addressed.



IMG_2158Watermelon is eaten for luck during Vietnamese celebrations.  We added some dried split peas and black beans to the vibrantly colored rice and it turned out SO eye catching and so much fun to run fingers through!  A map of Vietnam and the letter V could be found in this box.

Locate pictures of symbols on a drawing or map is addressed again.






IMG_1888IMG_1922Bread, salt, or coal are considered lucky gifts by new years visitors in England. A picture of bread—-well actually a picture of a grilled cheese sandwich since that is what we found 🙂 —-was taped the bottom of this box filled with salt. We haven’t used salt before and so this was a new texture for our students to explore. They really enjoyed seeing the colorful “bread” picture appear as they moved the salt around with their fingers—–a great way to practice prewriting patterns.  There was black puzzle piece included to represent the coal.

Apply a push to move an object is a science access point addressed.




IMG_1914IMG_2164People in Japan decorate their homes with evergreens and lobsters! Hidden in our plastic evergreens were 4 lobsters——1 big and 3 little ones. A special song sung by children during new years celebrations was recorded on a voice output device also found in the box. It was fun seeing which items the students were most intrigued with—-everyone had their favorites.

IMG_2003The math access point recognize differences in size of objects is addressed here.




IMG_2135Marzipan pigs are a favorite treat for Austrian celebrations. Our pink play dough was scented with almond extract and both looked and smelled like the real thing! The students had a lot of fun using the pig shaped cookie cutter to make their own “marzipan” pigs.

All those little piggies can be counted—–addressed the math access point associate quantities with number names.





IMG_2007In Switzerland they drop dollops of whipped cream on their floors to symbolize the richness of the new year—–how fun is that! We, of course, used shaving cream and LOTS of it 🙂

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is the science access point addressed here.






IMG_1962Many Canadians go ice fishing to celebrate the new year! We put 2 fish in our water basin, 1 big and 1 little. Not only were they really cute but they squirted water which the students thought was lots of fun. This little scientist explored how many squirts if took to fill his measuring cup—–how clever! There were also 2 different sized cups for scooping.

Recognize differences in size of objects is the math access point addressed here.





IMG_2014Many countries, including Turkey eat pomegranates for luck in the new year. Both our water and lotion had this fruity aroma——YUM!

The science access point use senses to recognize objects is a science access point addressed here.








IMG_2017IMG_2204We finished our celebration with some bubble wrap fireworks—–a huge hit with our students. It is amazing what fun can be had with such simple stuff!

What a fun way to address the science access point recognize and respond to common sounds 🙂







IMG_2093For our Tuesday art project we made garlands of ribbon, cherubs and hearts—–like they do in Belgium! We started by letting the students choose the color of their crepe paper ribbon from a choice of red, blue, or yellow. Then they cut the ribbon using the adaptive scissors.

The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here.






IMG_2042IMG_2069The students decorated their ribbons with 1 cherub and 2 hearts (precut on the Ellison machine) which we counted, of course 🙂

IMG_2081In addition to eye hand coordination, this activity addresses the math access point associate quantities 1 and 2 with number names.



IMG_2111IMG_2060Ta Da!

The garland looks so festive!








On Thursday we made some bells to ring in the new year! This was a really quick and easy project which started with some plastic cups and jingle bells attached with chenille stems.

IMG_2245IMG_2293The students chose stickers from a couple of sticker books we had on hand. Pincer grasps were practiced as the stickers were peeled and placed on the sides of the cups.

Needless to say, we didn’t pass on the opportunity to count the stickers!

Again, the math access point associate quantities with number names is addressed.



The students had a blast ringing their bells——-

IMG_2280                                                                                           Happy New Year!!!!




IMG_2233We traveled the world in visiting all of the places we read about in our book.  The big question for this group was “where?”

After reading the book, our students took turns activating the All-Turn-It spinner.  Located on the All-Turn-It were pictures of fireworks along with the names of the different places that we talked about in the book.




IMG_2219IMG_2238Then they came up to a map of the world and put the fireworks in the correct country (with verbal and visual prompting), answering the question “where?”


The social studies access point complete a pictorial map using pictures or symbols for designated areas is addressed in this activity.

It was a nice little geography lesson for both the students as well as the adults in the room!



IMG_2139Happy new year everyone, it’s great to be back at school! We have lots more fun activities planned for the upcoming weeks so be sure to join us again for more fun and learning——Group by Group!

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