Tag Archives: gingerbread

The Brothers Grimm


img_4697img_5258We had a lot of fun with this week’s theme. Our book is just fantastic and we have to thank Ms. Lois, Ms. Jen, and Ms. Kim who were a huge help with costumes for our students. Be sure to check it out!

Our sensory group explored boxes filled with color and texture. The fine motor groups made fairy tale themed art projects and the language group made a snack the Grimm brothers would love!






img_4719img_5106We filled this box with play figures and props representing different characters from Grimm Brothers stories. There were lots of things to explore and find but the magic wand with flashing lights was a real favorite!

img_5116The social studies access point recognize a person in a story, can be addressed with this activity.





img_5110img_5369Pink “princess” sand and letter P’s were sifted with a little sieve. The sand is such a pretty color and very enticing to the students. They really enjoyed watching it cascade down!

img_5048Track a falling object is a science access point.





img_5242img_4722Yellow rice, red and black beans, represented the colors of the German flag—-the Grimm brothers came from that country! In addition to letter “G”‘s to find, there was a picture of the actual brothers to find at the bottom of the box.

img_4757The science access point track the movement of objects that are pushed or pulled, is addressed with this activity.





img_4674img_5266The students had lots of fun with our Big Bad Wolf box. The wolf mask (from Target) wasn’t TOO scary and the students had fun trying it on. We also included some grandma glasses, a little plush wolf, and some fun fake wolf fur to complete the look.

img_4714The science access point recognize one or more external body parts can be addressed with this activity.

img_4766img_5104Ok, so we had a few more photos that were too cute to leave out!

img_5344                                                                              How could we resist 🙂





img_5255img_4728In the story, Jack sold his cow for those magic beans he planted.


In our box of mixed beans, there were 3 little cows for our students to find and count.

img_4711Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.





img_4703img_5332We put some colorful confetti in our oobleck this week to make it look like the icing that decorated the gingerbread house from Hansel and Gretel. As usual, it was gooey, messy fun!

img_5383Recognize that pushing and pulling an object makes it move is a science access point.





img_5263img_4676There was a little pond for our frog “prince” to play in. We also included a measuring cup for scooping and pouring.

img_5070Recognize a model of a real object is a science access point.





img_5125img_5128We scented our water with Snow White approved Bath and Body Works country apple scented lotion. The students really liked the yummy scent of the matching lotion.

img_5123Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.





On Tuesday our students made some pretty cute Cinderella carriages.

img_4801img_4807First we discussed the shape our paper punch would cut out and asked our students to identify a circle using communication symbols. The students either used eye gaze or pointed to the circle.

img_4803Recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape is a math access point.





img_4924img_4822The students glued their pumpkins down onto construction paper. Then they glued their photos onto their pumpkins.

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





img_4916img_4884Next the students punched out 2 circles. Our paper punch is a difficult to press, so the students did need help with this step.




img_4841Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.




img_4861img_4947The circle “wheels” were then glued to the bottom of the carriage.

Match one object to a designated space to show one-to-one correspondence is a math access point.







img_4878img_4838Ta DA!

img_4955                                                             Let’s go to the ball!




On Wednesday the students made a dwarf forest using tree stamps! The dwarves were made by gluing the photos of the students faces on this: dwarf-template

img_5140img_5137First we discussed the shape and color of our poster board.

The math access point recognize an object with a two-dimensional shape, and the science access point identify objects by one observable property, such as color are addressed here.





img_5145Next we asked the students to identify the number 5 on a number line.

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.








img_5157img_5159We glued thread spools onto our tree stamps to make them easier for our students to grasp as each stamped 5 trees onto the poster board. We emphasized stamping UP and DOWN!

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





img_5177img_5185Then the students picked out their dwarves and put them into the forest. It turned out pretty cute!

img_5192Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.



img_5196Ta Da!

So…..kind of like herding cats but we did get a group shot 🙂









Our language group had fun making “Jack’s Magic Bean Dip” in honor of Jack and the Beanstalk.  We used pixon symbols throughout the group to model how our students can use symbols during activities.

img_5475img_5475We started out by putting a can of cannellini beans that had been drained and rinsed into a food processor.  Next, we passed around the 2 cloves of garlic that had been chopped up.  Each of our students took turns smelling the garlic.

img_5471They had to indicate whether or not they liked it by pointing to the symbol for “I like this” or “I don’t like this”.  It turned out to be about half and half for our students.





img_5478img_5473After we put the garlic in the food processor we let each of our students taste a little bit of lemon juice, which was the next ingredient to put in.  We talked about how lemons are SOUR.  Again, they got to convey if they liked it or not and again it was split down the middle.

img_5486We put 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into the food processor.





img_5495img_5497Next, we added some fresh parsley.

img_5501We also used some dried oregano which our students got to smell and tell us if they liked or not.





img_5506img_5518Finally, our students got to use a switch to activate the food processor so the ingredients could be chopped.  Our students used symbols to tell us if we needed to chop up the ingredients MORE or if we were ALL DONE.

The students really liked using the food processor 🙂





img_5535img_5536Once we were finished, we counted out bowls and put some of the magic bean dip in each of them.  We sprinkled a bit of salt and pepper on the dip and added some cut up tortillas.

img_5530                                                                                YUM!



img_4684Hope you enjoyed our unit on the Grimm Brothers! Join us again next time for more 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!

Week 15—Christmas and Letter O


Christmas was the theme for our Sensory and Fine Motor groups. Our Language group’s theme was the letter O.

Sensory Group—Christmas

We finished our holiday unit by learning about Christmas this week starting with Cara’s book.  We have our props and sensory boxes ready, so let the merry making begin 🙂

We let our students wear finger puppets while we read our book.Finger puppets are so fun and great for working on finger individuation. For other students, they are helpful for calling attention to and increasing visual regard for their hands.









After finishing the story, we turned off the lights so we could turn on our battery operated ones! Our students were entranced and loved looking (addressing visual functions) and touching them.

In addition, they were able to strengthen finger intrinsic skills turning them on/off.

We found these lights at Target.








When we finally turned the lights back on we opened our first sensory box in which we placed a variety of items related to our theme. We had large jingle bells, some green garland, fat chenille stems, pompoms, mardi gras beads, and yarn in the colors of red and green. We also put in a little doll Christmas sweater, snowman ornament, felt Santa and Christmas cut outs, a tiny stocking, package bows and some assorted theme related toys.

Whew! What a lot to explore and discuss the different properties of!








We cut our candy cane, reindeer and star (all symbols of Christmas) shapes in our gingerbread scented playdough. Some of our students needed reminders that the playdough was “not to eat”. We generally know which of them have a tendency to want to sample things and so make sure to redirect them when needed.

Playdough is great for working on hand strengthening when squishing and squeezing. When pinching small pieces or rolling between fingers, you address finger individuation skills.







Garland is everywhere at Christmas, so we had to have some to explore! Its soft, shiny and easy to grasp. Its also visually very appealing to our students.

They had so much fun holding and shaking it, or—

having it draped around them 🙂








We looked for the letter C hidden among

the red and green beans (Christmas

colors). Also an opportunity to practice

scooping and pouring skills.









We practiced pre writing patterns in oobleck, which we scented with peppermint extract to remind us of candy canes.

Peppermint aroma has been associated with increased attention and alertness

We also added some red and green glitter for visual interest and to encourage tracking.

We finished by rinsing our hands in gingerbread scented warm water and rubbed on some of the  lotion to help us think about Christmas the rest of the day 🙂





Fine Motor Group—Christmas

On Tuesday we began by reading Cara’s “Merry Christmas” book and had lots of fun with the finger puppets. Then we made a reindeer!

We started by passing (counting as we did so, of course) out one large floor puzzle piece for each student and painting it brown.

Painting is a fun way to gain practice grasping and using writing utensils.

On an additional note, putting paint shirts on and off helps work on dressing skills—got to fit those ADL’s in where we can!







Then we passed out 2 slightly smaller floor

puzzlepieces to each student. This time we

counted by 2’s as we passed them out—

math access points!

These pieces were painted black.









We then glued the antlers to the head, added 2 googlie eyes and 1 red pom pom nose—working on math access points and pincer grasp skills!











And here he is—-Rudolph the red

nosed reindeer!











On Thursday after reading Cara’s book again, we made some snowflake ornaments. Thanks to Alice W. for this great idea!

We started with a snowflake made from puzzle pieces that had been pre-glued together. These were regular size puzzle pieces.

The reason for our puzzle mania this week?  Well, they were FREE —-and we LOVE free!











We painted them with a mixture of white

paint and a little glue.









Then we sprinkled them with fake snow while the paint was still wet. Jeannie put the snow it a sugar shaker to make it easier for our students.

You could put the snow in a bowl and have your students pick it up and sprinkle using their fingers to work on translation movements.









Look at this lovely little flurry of snowflakes!

Just so sparkly and pretty. They are going to look lovely hanging on a tree or window.










The Language Group—Letter O

First we took Orange beads Out Of the bowl and strung them Onto Orange string!

This activity addresses bilateral coordination and pincer grasp skills.









Our students with more significant physical differences used  plastic tubing and larger beads.










Next we pulled apart Our stretchy tubes and joined the ends to make an O.

The tubes help work on upper extremity strengthening (pulling apart) and eye hand coordination (joining the ends).









Then we took a paper plate (from which Joy had precut a little section) and began making an Owl.

Our students chose which color markers they wanted to use—-they didn’t have to choose Orange 🙂









After they had finished coloring the plate they cut the Orange wings. Some of our students practiced cutting straight lines with the adaptive tabletop scissors.







Other students practiced cutting curved lines with

either an adaptive or regular scissors.









The wings were then glued On to the plate. Then we added 2 eyes and 1 beak (math access points) and made sure to put them in the right Order—the beak goes under the eyes (directionality concepts).

We taped a loop of Orange yarn to the back.









Ta Da—Our Orange winged Owl













We finished the session with Cara’s sound game and looking at all the O words we found this week—Oh so much fun.

Wow, what a week! Well its about time for Winter Break so we will not be doing any more groups until the new year.  We have some great stuff planned so please join us again in 2012 for more fun Group by Group.