Tag Archives: basketball

The History of Basketball book


March Madness is here!!  Lots of people get hyped up around this time of year due to all of the basketball games being played, so we decided to do a some research and find out a little more about the game of basketball.  The book talks about WHO invented basketball, what the first pro game was, and how March Madness originated in the first place.  We learned so many interesting things about the game of basketball!  We do have one student featured in our book on our “THE END” page, so make sure to check it out!







Here is a link to the book: The History of Basketball

The History of Basketball


With March Madness going on we thought it would be fun to learn a little bit about the history of the sport. The sensory group explored boxes related to different facts about the sport. The fine motor groups made basketball themed art projects and the language group played an adapted version of the game.







James Naismith invented the game of basketball. This box was dedicated to him and had lots of Canadian symbols since that is where he was born. We included a toy stethoscope because not only was he a PE teacher but he was also a physician—-how cool is that!

Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point that can be addressed with this activity.





Using Koolaid we made our play dough a nice bright basketball orange. The students could make balls, stamp letter B’s, or just squish and squeeze the play dough. They throughly had a good time.

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.





Basketball is played with 2 teams consisting of 5 players each.We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to reinforce some math facts with this box! There were 5 blue and 5 red items for the students to explore and sort——-or shake 🙂

The math access point solve simple problems involving joining or separating small quantities of objects can be addressed here.





There were more opportunities for sorting with this box filled with beads in the colors of the NBA—-red, white, and blue! Of course, it was mostly an opportunity to wear or shake the beads!

Identify objects by one observable property, such as color, is a science access point.





In 1936 basketball became an Olympic sport. Using giant fluffy chenille stems the students had fun making circles, joining them together, and taking them apart. The chenille stems also provided another opportunity to discuss colors.

Recognize when an object is added to or taken away from a situation is a math access point.





The students were encouraged to draw circles/balls in this orange tinted shaving cream.

Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point.





We put some foam numbers in our water play this week. The students got to “score” by scooping up either 2 or 3 points!

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.





Since the original hoops were actually peach baskets, peach was the obvious scent to use this week for our water play and lotion! Our students are getting pretty good at using the Pixon board to tell us where they want the lotion.

Recognize one or more external body parts is a science access point.






On Tuesday the students made their own basketball playbooks!

We started with a rectangular piece of paper with a basketball court sketch and some X’s and O’s drawn on it by Ms. Zenia the fabulous OT intern!

Then the fun began! The students got to operate a switch activated drawing tool to illustrate their play calling. There were certainly some interesting strategies planned 🙂

Distinguish between objects in motion and objects at rest is a science access point.





TA Da—-game on!











On Wednesday the students made paper plate basketballs!

We started by identifying the shape of our plates and color of our paint using communication symbols.

Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point. Identify objects by one observable property, such as color, is a science access point.





Then the students stamped their plates with a dish scrubber. We emphasized stamping UP and DOWN.

Recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship is a math access point.





TA DA—-time to play!











We had our own tournament today in honor of March Madness.  We used an All-Turn-It spinner that had 2’s and 3’s all around it to signify the points that basketball players make during a game.

Both adults and students got to be in the tournament.  We started out by picking 2 names out of a bag.  These 2 people would play against each other.

We had communication boards in front of each student so that they could convey “my turn”.  The 2 “players” took turns and had 3 times each to press the switch and see what points they got.





We used a white board to write down the points that each player made.  Once they each went 3 times, we added up the scores and talked about who had MORE points.

Once we figured out who the winner was, the next 2 players competed and so on until we finally had an overall winner.





This group was so great today because it gave the adults a great chance to model the use of the communication boards while they were playing the game.  Everyone got so excited, too, when we had to go into overtime if the players tied.

                                               Finally, we had a winner!




Of course, we can’t NOT have a little snack in this group so we summed it all up with some basketball shaped Vanilla Wafers 🙂

Join us next time for more fun and learning——-Group by Group!

March Madness book


IMG_9951March Madness is in full effect right now, we decided to go ahead and do a theme about it since we haven’t ever really touched on this topic before.  We learned some pretty neat things about March Madness, such as who the winningest team is and also which team has had the most NCAA tournament championship wins.  Since we’ve been trying to get pictures of our students in each of our books, we feature our own basketball team on the front cover of this book and added in a picture of another student on the back cover.  We hope you enjoy!





IMG_0115Here is a link to the book: It’s Time for March Madness

March Madness


IMG_0210It is that time of year——time for March Madness! So we are all about the NCAA basketball tournament this week! Our sensory groups explored basketball themed boxes. The fine motor groups painted their basketball themed art projects. The language group made bouncy balls!







IMG_0238IMG_9895Lots of college teams compete in the tournament and UCLA has won the most championships! This box contained pompoms and beads in the team’s colors—–blue and gold. In addition to the color, the items can be differentiated by texture.

Identify common objects by one observable property, such as color, is a science access point.






IMG_0331IMG_9961Blue and white rice represented The University of Kentucky which has had the most WINS of any university—–how cool is that! We put in the letters N C A A for our students to find and there was a little picture of a basketball player at the bottom of the box.

IMG_0289Match objects by an observable property, such as size, shape, and color—-in this case the letter A’s—is a science access point that can be addressed here.





IMG_0287IMG_0077Everybody has a favorite team to cheer for so we put a bunch of colorful shaker pompoms into this box. Of course we made sure to include some in the colors of our favorite teams 🙂

We also included a goofy fan hat for the students to wear and our fans had a blast with this box!

IMG_0097Initiate a change in the motion of an object is a science access point.





IMG_0257IMG_9915The students had fun with this bright orange play dough—–very eye catching! We encouraged them to try to roll the play dough into balls or to use the cookie cutter to cut out letter B’s.

IMG_0135Recognize changes in observable properties of materials is a science access point.





IMG_9892IMG_9954This year the final four games will be held in Houston, Texas so we dedicated this box to the state. We used paper shred in the colors of the state flag (red, white, and blue) and put in a big white “lone” star that is also seen on the flag. We also included a cowboy, horses, and cows—-other things we associate with the state.




IMG_0259IMG_0082There was a fun little cowboy hat (thanks Ms. Kim) which our students

—–and teachers :)—–thought was lots of fun.

IMG_0105The science access point recognize a model of a real object can be addressed with this activity.








IMG_9913IMG_0300The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was founded by President Teddy Roosevelt so we went “all american” with some red and blue glitter sprinkled into our oobleck this week 🙂 As usual the students had a blast with it and those little bits of sparkle made it even more inviting!

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.





IMG_9964IMG_0156We went with a “sporty” scent for our water play, hands were rinsed in Old Spice Denali scented water. You may notice we even tied our circle shaped bowl into the theme—-rather clever, if we don’t say so ourselves 🙂 Since getting the highest score is the object of the game, we included some numbers for our students to scoop out and SCORE!

Recognize quantities 1 to 3 using sets of objects, pictures, or number names is a math access point.





IMG_0342IMG_0346Instead of lotion this week we used some Coca Cola scented lip balm. We figured all that cheering would make any fan want a nice cold soda! The students loved the scent which we applied to wrists, ears, or hands—–NOT lips of course!!

Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.







On Tuesday our students painted paper plate basketballs.

IMG_9996First we discussed the shape of our plate and asked the students to identify a CIRCLE using communication symbols.

Recognize a common object with a 2-dimensional shape is a math access point.






IMG_0004IMG_0001Then students also used communication symbols to identify the color ORANGE.

The science access point identify objects by one observable property, such as color is addressed here.






IMG_0018IMG_0024We wrapped some bubble wrap around a scrubber sponge and encourage the students to stamp UP and DOWN.




IMG_0013Recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship, such as up and down is a math access point.





IMG_0017IMG_0022Ta DA—–

IMG_0011                                                                  let’s play some B-Ball!





On Wednesday our students made some basketball jerseys  using paper bags.

IMG_0177First the students identified the color of our paint using communication symbols.

Identify objects by one observable property is a science access point.








IMG_0187Then they started painting their “jerseys”.

Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.









IMG_0194IMG_0198Next they identified their number and placed it on the wet paint.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.








IMG_0217IMG_0222TA DA—-

IMG_0228put me in coach——






IMG_0216—–I’m ready to play!













To celebrate March Madness, we made our own bouncy balls!  We actually used 2 different recipes so that we could COMPARE them to see which one worked better.  These are the 2 recipes that we used: DIY bouncy balls  Since both of these recipes contained borax, we VERY closely supervised our students!

IMG_0357IMG_0360We started by asking our students to choose which 2 colors they wanted the balls to be (since we were making 2 different recipes).

After we tallied up all the votes, we discussed which 2 colors had the MOST votes: blue and pink it was!

Compare quantities using language, such as more, less, or the same is a math access point.





IMG_0369IMG_0376We started with the first recipe in the link above.  Our students helped us POUR the ingredients into each of the different cups.  We observed the white glue change colors when we put in the food coloring.  When we poured the glue mixture into the cup with the borax/water, we observed the glue becoming solid—–how cool is that!

IMG_0379The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here.





IMG_0406IMG_0407Once we took the glue mixture out of the water, we had to squeeze the water off and form the ball (this was done by an adult). After the ball had hardened somewhat, everybody got to touch it!

IMG_0403Recognize 3-dimensional objects, such as balls (spheres) is a math access point that can be addressed here.






IMG_0388IMG_0397Then we made the next recipe. We talked about how the amounts of ingredients were smaller and how the steps were DIFFERENT.  We also got some good math skills in by discussing how we needed 2 half tablespoons to make 1 whole tablespoon while measuring out the ingredients.

IMG_0392Distinguish half from whole using objects is a math access point.





IMG_0408IMG_0414Once both balls were made, we compared the 2 by bouncing each of them.  Before we bounced them, though, we HYPOTHESIZED which one we thought would bounce higher.  Although they bounced about the same height, we think the blue one (from the first recipe) went a little bit higher! The students loved this part of the activity 🙂

Distinguish between objects in motion (kinetic energy) and at rest is a science access point.




IMG_0277Thanks for joining us this week for March Madness and we hope  your bracket did well 🙂

Join us again next week for more fun and learning——Group by Group!




IMG_3054In honor of the Kentucky Derby we learned about the state of Kentucky this week. All our sensory boxes were related to details about the state! The fine motor group made some fun art projects and it was derby day in the language group. We sure learned a lot about our 15th state!

We also want to brag a bit this week, we were selected as “one of 20 blogs to grow your OT practice” by the people at otpotential.com—–SWEET!







IMG_2821IMG_2998Since the derby inspired our theme this week we HAD to have a box dedicated to it.

The champion horse is usually draped with a wreath of roses, hence the term and so we put rose petals as the base of our box. Then we put a variety of horses including ones that were big, little, soft, hard—–lots of things to compare and contrast here!

Recognize similarities and differences in size of objects is a math access point that can be addressed in this activity.




IMG_2963IMG_2815This box of “bluegrass”  was such fun to explore! We included Lincoln Logs (the president was born in Kentucky) and cars (a leading industry in the state).

There were also symbols of the state such as fresh water “pearls” and a cardinal. The very first cheeseburger was served in Louisville so we put a little play food one in our box!

IMG_2797The science access point recognize a model of a real object is addressed here.






IMG_2837IMG_3136A voice output device with the happy birthday song (2 Louisville sisters wrote it) had our students dancing!

The Kentucky Derby is also home to the worlds biggest fireworks show—-ours was a little smaller but our students sure had fun with our little light up toy (found at Target).

Use senses to recognize objects is a science access point.





IMG_3097This box was filled with GOLD just like Fort Knox! It may not have real but our students thought it was a lot of fun—-really, who wouldn’t love diving into a box full of gold beads 🙂

Track objects in motion is a science access point.








IMG_2812The University of Kentucky basketball team is the winningest NCAA team ever—–how cool is that! The team colors are blue and white just like our rice. Four blue K’s could be found in the rice and a picture of a basketball player could be found under the rice.

Recognize objects that are identical is a science access point.







IMG_2807Coal is the state mineral and coal mining continues to be an important industry in the state of Kentucky. In this box 2 different size spoons were included for scooping fun in our black bean coal.

The math access point associate quantities with language, such as many, a lot, or a little can be addressed here.







IMG_2989IMG_3158If you have a MAMMOUTH umbrella you can make a Mammoth Cave! We made our cave by taping garbage bags around the edge of the umbrella. Animal coloring pictures were taped inside and some toy bats hung down. Our students had a blast using a flashlight to search for animals in the cave habitat.

IMG_2893                                Match common living things with their habitats is a science access point.





IMG_2864The happy birthday song was the inspiration for our scents this week. We figured birthday songs and birthday cake go together and since Philosophy makes a cake scented bath gel—-PERFECT!

There was a big scoop and a little melon baller for fun water play. The melon baller had a little hole at the bottom of the bowl—–so much fun to use that to use that to fill the scoop!

Recognize different containers that hold liquids and track objects in motion are  science access points.





IMG_2877Continuing a birthday party theme, we asked our students to choose between 2 different soda scented lip balms—-applied to WRISTS NOT LIPS of course!

Their choices were Sprite and Fanta, both very yummy scents, however Sprite turned out to be the overwhelming favorite!

The language access point effectively communicate wants and needs using gestures/signs, pictures, symbols, or words.







On Tuesday we made some Derby Day decorations!

IMG_3004IMG_3007We started by asking the students to show us the color red using communication symbols. Then we gave them a piece of red tissue paper and asked them to tear and crumple it up—-to make red roses! A great activity for bilateral coordination.

Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.




IMG_3057After they finished making their roses they dipped them in glue and attached them to a horseshoe, using this template: horseshoe.

This activity addresses eye hand coordination and pincer grasp skills.

The horseshoe was then glued onto a rectangular piece of paper AFTER we discussed the SHAPE of the paper!

Recognize an object with a 2 dimensional shape is a math access point.







IMG_3070IMG_3047Lets celebrate Derby Day—–

IMG_3027                                                                                          TA DA!!!!



The red cardinal is the state bird of Kentucky. Since they also live in our state, we decided our Thursday art project would be to make bird feeders for the cardinals around our school! Recognize that animals need food is a science access point addressed with this activity.

IMG_3278Our students did a really great job spreading peanut butter on a pine cone—-although it was a little hard to resist the temptation to sneak a taste for themselves 🙂

Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.







IMG_3267Then they put their pinecones in a tray, practicing pincer grasp skills as they picked up and sprinkled birdseed on top of the peanut butter. This activity was pretty messy but the students had a BLAST!!!!

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






IMG_3313TA DA!!!










IMG_3350After everyone had finished their bird feeders we brought them outside and hung them up—–there are going to be some pretty happy cardinals around here soon 🙂












IMG_3185It was a race for the roses in the language group!  The focus for group was to follow the directions. In addition to verbal prompts we used picture symbols to help our students follow the directions. The students raced 2 at a time holding a hobby horse (some of them needing a little help, of course).








IMG_3191The racers had to make sure to watch and listen for the directions to “GO” and “STOP”.   Everyone got a turn to race and it was all very exciting 🙂








IMG_3177IMG_3206For our student “spectators”, we provided some fun hats to wear—–everyone knows that when you’re at the Kentucky Derby, anything goes!

IMG_3200                                                                                    Even pizza hats!




IMG_3219IMG_3225Once a jockey won, their horse received a floral wreath, just like the ones received by the real winners of the race.








IMG_3230This was such a fun activity, filled with so much fun and laughter——because that is just how we roll Group by Group 🙂