IMG_3137So this week our theme was Idaho and WHY you may wonder——well we saw that they had a human rights celebration this month and that made us want to learn more about the state! Our sensory group boxes were filled with great textures. We stamped with potatoes in the fine motor group. The language group cooked again—–mashed potatoes this time! We learned so much about the state of Idaho that we all decided it would make a great place for a field trip 🙂






IMG_3220 IMG_3051The students had a great time with this discovery bottle and voice output device. The discovery bottle was filled with colorful gems in recognition of Idaho’s nickname “the gem state.” The swirling gem stones and glitter were pretty and very eye catching for our students. The voice output device had square dance music recorded on it because Idaho’s official folk dance is square dancing! Needless to say, everyone’s toes started tapping along to this fun music!

Track objects in motion and recognize and respond to common sounds are science access points addressed with these objects.



IMG_3249IMG_2969Idaho has the largest single structure sand dune in the United States! Our students had a blast using  the kinetic sand to build their own little sand dunes. This kinetic sand is FANTASTIC—–so touchable, mesmerizing, we could just go on and on! Can you tell we love this stuff 🙂

IMG_3012The science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled is addressed here.



IMG_3008Gutzon Borglum is a famous Idahoan—–he was the sculptor of Mount Rushmore! Mr. Potato Head pieces along with  grey floam allowed our students to be sculptors also. We think they turned out some pretty cool creations!

As the students make their figures they address the science access point recognize a model of a real object.







IMG_3018IMG_3263The monarch butterfly is the official insect of Idaho. The students loved running their hands through this colorful box of pasta then sorting the pieces into groups of green caterpillars and pink butterflies. We dyed this past using regular food coloring and is has lasted over a year now—-not bad!

Match objects by an observable property, such as size, shape, and color is the science access point addressed here.



IMG_3096IMG_3027This box was filled with artificial snow which looked and felt a lot like the real snow people ski on when they visit Sun Valley Idaho! We included a cute little appaloosa horse and a mountain blue bird (state animals) for the students to find. This was a really fun box with an interesting tactil feel.

IMG_3214The science access point recognize common objects related to science by name can be addressed here.




IMG_2988When most of think of Idaho their most famous product comes to mind——POTATOES! So of course we had to include a box of potato flakes this week! There was a map of the state taped to the bottom of the box and some letter I’s for our students to find. This was another fun box, great for sifting like the fake snow but with a quite different texture.

The science access point recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point addressed.






IMG_3050Idaho has an official fossil——- the Hagerman horse! Who knew you could have an official state fossil! Well anyway, that gave us the idea to use Bath and Bodyworks amber bath gel in our water this week.  Ancient bugs from around the time of extinct horses can be found in amber, sooooo……A real 6 degrees of separation kind of thing but we think it works 🙂

There were 2 different sized measuring cups to allow the students to explore the math access point recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquid.

Some of our students got quite creative with how they used the cups——this young man is apparently rehearsing his act for America’s got Talent!







IMG_3071The matching lotion had a pretty strong aroma which many of our students really liked. The bottle said it was a “men’s” scent—-maybe that was why it was so popular with the boys 🙂

Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point that can be addressed here.







IMG_3165IMG_3197We did potato stamping for our Tuesday art project. Staff cut shapes into potato halves—–circles were placed in red paint, the squares into blue paint, and the triangles into green paint.

We put forks into the potatoes to make it easier for the students to grasp and discussed that we needed to press “down” then pull “up to make  an impression on the paper. Our students are used to the brushing motion of paint brushes so they needed a little help at first but with practice they did a great job!

The math access points recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship, such as up and down and recognize an object with a 2 dimensional shape are addressed here.


IMG_3181IMG_3208These pictures turned out pretty fabulous!

IMG_3193                                                                                                  TA DA!!!



On Thursday we painted a mountain blue bird—–the state bird of Idaho! You can find the template here Idaho state bird

IMG_3347IMG_3362We started by asking the students to use communication symbols to identify the color “blue” then they started painting their birds. The birds were precut out of poster board to make them a little sturdier and we used a “fat” brush to get more coverage.

The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed with this activity.





IMG_3381After they had finished painting, the students practiced their pincer grasp skills by giving their birds googlie eyes.

Matching one object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence is a math access point.We practiced this by squeezing a glue dot and instructing the students to put the eye on top, which most of them needed a little help with.




IMG_3342Ta Tweety Da!











We brought food back again this week and made instant mashed potatoes.  Cara created a powerpoint to go over the recipe.  Here is a link to the recipe: We Can Make Instant Mashed Potatoes.

IMG_3281IMG_3288First, we went over what ingredients that are in the recipe.  One-by-one, we put these ingredients into a microwaveable bowl.  Our students got to help POUR the ingredients in.  We also counted out how many cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons of ingredients we needed.

IMG_3285Recognizing differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids is a math access point addressed here. Recognizing the next step in a simple pattern or sequence of activities is another math access point addressed.


IMG_3305After STIRRING the ingredients together, we put the bowl in the microwave for 4 1/2 minutes.  While we waited on the potatoes to finish, Cara asked questions pertaining to the book, such as, “what color is the state bird?” and “what is the state insect?”.  We referenced the book if our students had difficulty answering.

Using pictures, symbols, gestures/signs, or words to communicate meaning is a language access point.




IMG_3313After the potatoes were done, we counted out bowls for each of our students.  Then the fun part came: eating our instant mashed potatoes!  YUM!









IMG_3302IMG_3217What a great week, so much fun learning about the state of Idaho! Please join us again next time. We will have ideas for things to do, to explore, and to make——                                                                                                 IMG_3107                                                                                                Group by Group!

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