Tag Archives: bubblewrap fireworks

New Years Around the World


img_4574img_3665Happy New Year! We welcomed 2017 with a fun New Year’s theme. Our sensory groups explored boxes related to New Year’s celebrations. The fine motor group (we only had one because it was a short week) painted fireworks and the language group made some lucky New Year’s food!








img_3640img_3773Celebrating the New Year is all about the passing of time so we thought a “sands of time” box would be fun. Dry fluids are so mesmerizing as they are swirled around with fingers or drifting down from the sifter scoop.




img_4170Track a falling object is a science access point.






img_3662img_3738People often wear colorful beads while celebrating. As usual, this eye catching box of colorful beads was a hit with the students.

img_3708The science access point track objects in motion can be addressed here.






img_4226img_3649We recorded some firework sounds on a voice output device and added a couple of discovery bottles with beads and confetti——a total New Year’s Eve experience 🙂




img_4218The science access points track objects moving up and down; and apply a push to move an object are addressed here.






img_4167img_3770We put the numbers 2-0-1-7 for the students to find in a box of dried black eyed peas. Here in the south, black eyed peas are eaten for luck on New Year’s Day!

img_3749Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.






img_3644img_4179We included a light box this week to represent all the colorful lights and fireworks associated with New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Needless to say, the students really loved this box!



img_3698Recognize a source of light energy is a science access point.






img_4251img_3656More color was found in our shaving cream messy play——it was sprinkled with confetti this week! The students had a blast creating their own swirling patterns.

Very eye catching!

img_4210Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.






img_3695img_4216Hands were rinsed in bubbly scented water from Philosophy. We had a couple of different sized scoops for the students to compare and contrast.

Recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids is a math access point.






img_3803img_4268We found a Bath and Body Works lotion that was called Midnight so we HAD to use it for this theme 🙂 Whether rubbed on hands or necks, a great way to work on body part identification!

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






img_4313img_4329We finished by popping some firecrackers—–of the bubble wrap kind!

This is always a lot of fun and resulted in lots of smiles and giggles.







img_3864img_4083Vestibular, visual, and auditory input is provided in this activity which addresses the science access point recognize and respond to different sensory stimuli.





img_3902It also addresses the how to have FUN access point 🙂







In keeping with our New Year’s theme, the fine motor group made fireworks pictures!

img_3942img_3945We started by discussing the color of our paper and then asked the students to identify the shape using communication symbols.

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







img_4024img_4009Then the students stamped a colorful mixture of neon paints onto their paper. We emphasized stamping UP and DOWN.

We made our stamper by fringing then rolling up a piece of craft foam. It’s held in place with a rubber band.

img_4054Recognize a movement that reflects a spatial relationship, such as up and down is a math access point.






img_3972img_3986Glitter was added for added sparkle—-you know we never pass up the opportunity to add glitter to a project 🙂

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







img_4064img_4038Ta DA!

img_3974                                                                     Colorful fireworks…….






img_4116The pictures looked pretty cool in regular lighting but the paint seemed to fade into the paper a little, so we brought out our blacklight.

WOW under blacklight——–let the oohs and ahhs begin!









This is going to be a new, fantastic year and we wanted to start it out by eating some foods that are considered lucky for the New Year.

We made 2 different things today for our lucky New Year’s snack.  Here is a powerpoint with the recipes:  lets-make-a-lucky-new-years-snack.  Pixon communication symbols are used throughout the recipes so that our students could match the symbols on the book to their own symbols.  The symbols used are some of the symbols that we use frequently.

img_4363First, we started by making some cornbread.  Cornbread is supposed to symbolize gold because of its color.  I’m sure none of us would mind finding some gold during this new year!

Our students helped count out the cupcake liners and we talked about the number 6.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.







img_4365img_4373Then we poured in the cornbread mix, an egg, and some milk.

Recognize when an object is added to a situation is a math access point.








img_4382img_4389Our students helped MIX up the ingredients.  Then we put them in the oven to bake.

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







While the cornbread was baking, we started making our drink: Banana Grape Smoothies.  In Spain, when the clock strikes midnight, people eat 12 grapes–one for each month of the new year.  It’s been said that sweet grapes are a sign of good months to have while sour grapes are a sign of not so great months.  We made sure all of our grapes were super sweet!

img_4408img_4415We first felt the grapes and bananas that had been in the freezer.

They were COLD!!

img_4402The science access point distinguish between hot and cold objects can be addressed here.






img_4426img_4432We put those in the blender then added some grape juice, vanilla Greek yogurt, and some cinnamon.  Our students helped PUT each of these ingredients into the bowls.  Very tricky at times (grape juice!) 🙂

img_4441The science access point recognize when an object has been added to a situation is again addressed here.





img_4463img_4470Then they got to activate the blender using a switch–always a fun time.

img_4490Recognize that electrical systems must be turned on (closed) in order to work is a science access point.






img_4547img_4509Finally, when our cornbread was ALL DONE, our students got to eat some cornbread with grape jelly and drink their grape smoothie.

img_4570                                                           Cheers to a brand new year!!





img_3671img_3757We are so happy to be back and looking forward to a year of fun and learning——Group by Group!

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!