I am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer

 

As we head into a long weekend for Presidents Day, we thought a sensory story time picture book celebrating Abraham Lincoln would be a great fit.  Brad Meltzer’s “I am Abraham Lincoln” had everything we were looking for.  First, this is a fantastic book to introduce biographies to little ones.  Second, the message we can learn from Abraham Lincoln is very important.  Finally, the style of illustrations catches a young child’s eye.

 

 “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Abraham Lincoln

 

This is a great lesson we can teach our kids.  Utilize this book in a multisensory way to share that message with your kids.  Embedded within the book is the importance of reading and continual learning.  Abraham Lincoln is a great American hero to open up a discussion about equality, character, and standing up for what is right.

Courage to Connect CLE believes that if multiple sensory systems are engaged in an activity, better learning will occur.  We thought we would find our favorite books and create a multisensory set of activities that can be drawn upon in the future.  We want to grow leaders, problem solvers and difference makers.  Abraham Lincoln is a great example to learn from.

This post is filled with multisensory learning activities that can be done in a variety of environments.  They can be done at home, in a classroom, or at a daycare.  We made sure all sensory systems were put to use as we navigate through the book.  Hope you enjoy!

 

Title: I am Abraham Lincoln

Author: Brad Meltzer

Theme: Presidents Day/Heroes

 

As you begin the Sensory Story Time, engage your child’s visual system by taking a picture walk through the book.  Explore the cover and all the pictures (without reading the words).  Can your child predict what the story might be about by looking at the pictures?

While taking the picture walk, can you find the way that Abraham liked to read?  He mentions it in the story.  What is your child’s favorite way to read a book?  Engaging the vestibular and proprioceptive systems can be a way for your child to enjoy reading even more as well as help them stay attentive.

Right at the beginning of the story, Abraham shares how much he likes to read.  Does your child like to read in the grass outside?  Or a bean bag chair?  Finding the right place can keep your tactile system involved while reading. 

In the story, the turtles were getting hot.  Ask your child what may be hot in the house that they have to be careful about.  What does it feel like when they touch it?  Can you use your olfactory system (smell) when something is hot or burning?  How do you know?

Abraham really liked to use chalk when writing his letters.  Could you use shaving cream (for Abraham’s beard of course) to practice writing letters?  You could pretend to carve out letters like Abraham too.  This will help your child’s tactile system

 

Abraham’s father was working on the farm in the corn.  Could you cook corn and discuss how it smells (olfactory), tastes (oral sensory) or how it feels when you shuck it?

Do you have a rocking horse to pretend to be Abraham?  This will work on balance for your vestibular system and crashing with your proprioceptive system

As the story continues, Abraham has to use his voice to stand up for what he believes in.  Can you role play with your child different scenarios that may happen?  Examples include when someone may take something from them, someone pushes them, or when your child sees someone else who is being treated wrongly.  All of these are great examples to teach behaviors and choices we hope our children will choose to use.

Finally, can you use playdoh/clay and building blocks of Legos to make a replica of the Lincoln Memorial?  

A great wrap up sensory activity to do after reading the book would be to listen to parts of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.  Engage the auditory system to extend learning.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

One Love by Cedella Marley

We love music in our house.  We use it for calming purposes.  We listen while we cook supper.  We use it to learn. 

Now we can connect it to our Sensory Stories with a great book.  “One Love” adapted by Cedella Marley is a fantastic book anytime, but we thought we would use it for Valentine’s Day!

“One Love” is a great way to discuss music and how we feel. Cedella Marley brought her father’s famous song to life with is beautiful picture book.

 

Courage to Connect CLE firmly believes that if multiple sensory systems are engaged in an activity, more learning will occur.  We thought we would find our favorite books and create a multisensory set of activities that can be drawn upon in the future.  We want to grow leaders, problem solvers, and difference makers.

One Love” is a great conversation starter to help make our world a better place.  It made me think of a great quote by Tony Evans:

“If you want a better world, composed of better nations, inhabited by better states, filled with better countries, made up of better cities, comprised of better neighborhoods, illuminated by better churches, populated by better families, then you’ll have to start by becoming a better person.”

This post is filled with multisensory learning activities that can be done in a variety of environments.  They can be done at home, in a classroom, or at a daycare.  We made sure all sensory systems were put to use as we navigate through the book.  Hope you enjoy!

Title: One Love

Author: Cedella Marley

Theme: Valentine’s Day/Kindness

A great introductory sensory activity to do prior reading the book would be to listen to the Bob Marley’s original song.  Engage the auditory system right away to introduce this terrific book.

As you begin the Sensory Story Time, engage your child’s visual system by taking a picture walk through the book.  Explore the cover and all the pictures (without reading the words) discussing what may be going on each page.

Now that you are ready to begin reading, do you have a dog or a doll?  How do they feel on your tactile system?  Do you they make you feel better? What does a kiss from your dog feel like first thing in the morning?

As the day begins for the young girl, do you notice they have both a hot drink and a cold drink for breakfast?  Which do you like?  Your oral sensory system will help you figure that out.  What did you have for breakfast?

Do you take your dog for a walk to get your proprioceptive system going?  If you don’t have one, go for a run up a hill or ride your bike.  As you run or ride, do you hear anything?  Smell anything with your olfactory system?
One of our favorite vestibular activities is to climb a tree or do the monkey bars at the playground.  Do you see how the girl is swinging upside down?  The vestibular system gives us information about our body positioning in space.  How do you feel upside down?

As the neighbors begin to clean up, can you find different items you can recycle?  Can you sort them by how they feel?  Paper, plastic and glass feel different.  In what ways?  Your tactile system will tell you. 

As the neighbors begin to work, music helps bring them together.  What songs do you like to sing when you work?  Are there instruments that make you feel good?  Your auditory system will give you clues! It may not be the best time to plant outside now, but could you get some dirt and a pot and plant something that you can keep in the house?  How does the dirt feel as you dig the hole?  When you add water, does it feel the same?  Use that tactile system again!

On a nice day or clear night, lay down on the ground for a few minutes and gaze up at the sky.  What do you see?  Could you take a picture in your mind and then draw or paint what you saw?  Combine your visual and tactile systems to create something beautiful.

As you end the story, discuss how your family feels and what you could do to make your neighborhood and community a better place!

We have found many great events that you can find at www.couragetoconnectcle.org/events that can help bring our community together!

 

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day!

Courage to Connect CLE is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

 

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

We all want our children to be empathetic, kind, and unselfish.  I enjoy being a father, but parenting can be very difficult at times. As parents and educators, we do our best to model it each day.  But sometimes you need a secret weapon.

And we found it for you.

Books.

As an adult, have you ever read a book that transforms your thoughts and actions?  One that made you change the way you approached something or how you looked at something?

This can happen for kids too.  Books are powerful.  Especially if you pick the right ones.

Kadir Nelson’s If You Plant a Seed is one of those magic books.  Pair Mr. Nelson’s books with multisensory activities can leave a strong imprint.  It will also be something you can do together. 

 

I hear and I forget.

I see and I remember.

I do and I understand.

~Confucius

 

Courage to Connect CLE firmly believes that if multiple sensory systems are engaged in an activity, more learning will occur.  We thought we would find our favorite books and create a multisensory set of activities that can be drawn upon in the future.  We want to grow leaders and problem solvers and difference makers.

And great books can be the sun to help them grow.  If You Plant a Seed is a great place to start.

We absolutely love this story for many reasons.  First, the message within the story is one we can all learn from and should be sharing with our kids.  Secondly, the pictures are very intriguing to children and are a great visual.  Finally, this book can be pulled out at various times of the year and can have a different focus each time.  What a great book for your library at home or in the classroom!

This post is filled with multisensory learning activities that can be done in a variety of environments.  They can be done at home, in a classroom, or at a daycare.  We made sure all sensory systems were put to use as we navigate through the book.  Hope you enjoy!

Title: If You Plant a Seed

Author: Kadir Nelson

Theme: Valentine’s Day/Kindness

A great introductory sensory activity to do prior to this story would be to go to the grocery store.  Have your child find a carrot, tomato, sunflower seeds, and cabbage.  If you want to extend it further (but not necessary), pick up some corn, peanuts, cucumber, and onion. 

As you begin the story, engage your child’s visual system by taking a picture walk through the book.  Explore the cover and all the pictures (without reading the words) pointing out the colors and names of the vegetables.

After reading the first page have your child identify the characters.  What do the animals like to do?  Get the child’s vestibular systems going by jumping like the bunny and the mouse.  A trampoline is a great idea for this as well. 

As you continue through the story, let’s activate your child’s olfactory system.  Using the sense of smell, can you play a guessing game to determine which one is the cabbage, carrot, sunflower seed, or tomato?  Have your child close his/her eyes and put one of the items in a bag.  Which one is it?

Turning the page, it looks like the mouse and bunny are engaging their oral sensory system.  Play a taste guessing game to identify the cabbage, sunflower seed, carrot, and tomato.  Which one is crunchy? Squishy? What other words can you use to label the foods?  This may be a great way to get a child to taste a new food using the book as an example.

After reading a few more pages the animals have created a very large mess.  Can your child use his/her tactile system to see how each of the vegetables feels?  Touch the outside of the tomato and the sunflower seed.  Do they feel the same?  Now cut them open, how do they feel on the inside?  Compare how the carrot and the lettuce feel as well.  This is a great way to add new vocabulary.

At this point, get your child’s proprioceptive system going with some movement.  Can he/she act out the story?  For example, when the animals were jumping?  Pulling out the carrot?  When the animals were mad and stomped?  When the mouse lifted the tomato to his friend the bird?  Can he/she squeeze the sunflower seeds to crack it?

Finally, as the birds released the seeds, have your child find a kid friendly bowl. Gently drop the different foods into it to see what sounds they make.  Without looking, can he/she identify which food made what sound?  Put his/her auditory system to work! 

We love books and “If You Plant a Seed” by Kadir Nelson is one is one of our favorites.  If you would like more ideas for this great book, visit our Teachers Pay Teacher page for higher level questioning sheets, games, and much more.

Great food exploration is a fun way to bring people together.  One of our awesome partners creates great food to help families.  We teamed up with the Village Project this fall for some sensory fun for those in need.  You should check them out.  http://ourvillageproject.com/

 

They have their big Nourish fundraiser coming up, please support them!

http://ourvillageproject.com/nourish/

 

Have a great day!

 

Courage to Connect CLE is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 of Super Hero Camp!

Thankfully we saved the Super Heroes from Mr. Freeze yesterday, so we could play with them today!

Super Heroes must have a healthy breakfast, so we made Red, White and Blue (Captain America/Wonder Woman) Smoothies!

Then, Miss Emily blew our mind with Iron Man Magnetic Putty!  See below for directions and a video!

We then made our own Captain America shield!

Iron Man Magnetic Putty video

Combine 2 Tablespoons of Elmers Glue All Extra Strength with 1 Tablespoon Liquid Starch.  Stir until lumpy then knead with your hands for three to five minutes.  It should be shiny and slime like.  Flatten it out like a pancake, add 1 tablespoon of black iron oxide.  Then fold edges in and knead the black iron oxide into the putty.  It can get messy, we wore gloves!  We used Neodymium magnets for this project.

Have fun...take a pic and post to our Twitter or Facebook account!

Day 1 of Super Hero Sensory Camp!

We had an awesome Day 1 of Super Hero Sensory Camp.  We opened with some great activities on the tarp for our soft start!

Then Mr. Freeze left us a message!

We followed the clues and our senses to help save our Super Hero friends!

We worked together using a variety of tools to help save the Super Heroes while sensory exploring! 

Afterwards, we designed our own Super Hero wrist cuffs with Miss Emily.

July 20 Mini-Session: Visit from the Beck Center

We had a great visit from Ms. Lauren from the Beck Center!  Together, we explored shapes in a sensory fun way.  With Ms. Lauren's help, the Lake House Rockers were formed.  The band used their singing voices, different shaped drums, the guitar, and a special ocean drum to rock out on Wednesday morning.  Check out the pictures below!  Thank you Lauren for sharing your love of music with our kiddos and giving them a special experience!

 

After visiting with Ms. Lauren, the kiddos read Shape by Shape with Ms. Emily.  The children then used cutout shapes to make their own masterpieces to take home!

 

IMG_4447.JPG

Sensory Beads

The kids can't get enough of these beads!  We bought 1,000 for $4, and we need more.  It is very deceiving the size of the package they come in, but they are a load of fun!

Link: https://barringtonholdingsinc.clickfunnels.com/landing-page9215778
 
This is a new company who has a promotional deal going on right now.  Try these beads at home for your kiddos for 4 bucks (pay only for shipping and handling).  Let us know how your kids feel about them and what you did with them. Take a a pick and send it to us on facebook.com/couragetoconnectcle or twitter.com/couragecle

Super Hero Sensory Camp!

These guys are up to no good at the Lake House!  We need your help!

These guys are up to no good at the Lake House!  We need your help!

We really enjoyed the mini-sessions and we wanted to share some info about our Super Hero Sensory Camp that starts on Monday!  We worked with the Rec Department and they set up the system so families can sign up for individual days if that is better for your schedule.  If you decide to do this, please email us (sensoryprocessingparents (at) gmail.com) and let us know what days you will be coming so we can be prepared for your Super Hero! 

1.  Go to Avon.lake.org.

2.  Scroll down and click on Parks and Recreation.

3.  Click on Courage to Connect link (middle of page)

4.  Scroll down and click on "Click here to register"

5.  On left, click on Early Childhood tab.

6.  Find Super Hero Camp and then you will have 2 options (sign up for whole week, or individual days)  

We have some great things planned for next week and wanted to give you some information.

“Every Hero has a Story” is the theme for this year’s camp.  It will be a blast!

****Please note that Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday will be at the Lake House.  Wednesday will be a field trip to the Mercy Health and Recreation Center. 

 Monday, July 25 9:30-11AM at Lake House (32756 Lake Road)

We will be introducing the senses to our little super heroes with a variety of investigative experiences.  We will explore and enjoy the area around the Lake House!

Tuesday, July 26 9:30-11AM at Lake House (32756 Lake Road)

We have some awesome Captain America and Iron Man activities that you will not want to miss on Tuesday!  We will be cooking as well...if you have any allergy concerns, please let us know right away.

Wednesday, July 27 9:30-11AM at Mercy Health and Recreation Center

The Recreation Center is behind the Premier Toyota dealership

(47190 Cooper Foster Road, Amherst, Ohio 44001)

 Day 3 of camp will be a field trip day to the Mercy Health and Recreation Center.  We will be exploring a few different parts of the Recreation Center during our camp time.  We will have our usual "soft start" and Dan will be by the front desk to help get your family to the right area.

Check out the Recreation website: http://www.metroparks.cc/mercy_recreation.php

There is a Splash Park as part of the outside grounds at the Rec Center.  Our families are welcome to enjoy the Splash Park at the conclusion of camp.  The cost to enter the Splash Park is $2 per child and you can purchase a wristband at the Front Desk.  If you want to enjoy the Splash Park after camp, please bring the necessary items (towel, swimsuit, etc.) and we will have a room to store our belongings.

Thursday, July 28 9:30-11AM at Lake House (32756 Lake Road)

Youth Challenge (www.youthchallengesports.com) will be joining us to help train our Super Heroes for the Olympics.  We have many fun activities planned as the kiddos get a chance to participate in a variety of events.  

If you have any questions, please let us know!  Looking forward to seeing you next week.

Have a great weekend!

July 10: Special Day for Special Needs at Botanical Gardens

We were excited to be invited to the Botanical Gardens first "Special Day for Special Needs" Program.  The Gardens opened early and we met some wonderful families.  We shared some of our favorite sensory bins and  calming jars with the kiddos.  We had the opportunity to not only collaborate with the Gardens, but work with the Beck Center and Arts for All.  Both great organizations to look into.  It was a great day!

 

July 6 Mini-session: Visit from the Cleveland Botanical Gardens!

We had a great visit from Jennifer McDowell from the Botanical Gardens!  To open the sensory integration, the children went on a fun "Color Hunt" to see what types of flowers were around the Lake House.  The kiddos then came in and made their own flower with different sensory materials.   On July 10, we will take our band to the Botanical Gardens for a special day...hope you can join us!

After exploring the flowers and colors with Ms. Jen, the kiddos created their own Sensory Calming Jar with Miss Emily!

1.  Find the right size and shaped bottled that would be best for your calming jar.  For our sensory calming jar, we used a 16.9 ounce Smart Water Bottle.  Voss water bottles come highly recommended as well.

2.  We feel that the best ratio for a calming jar is between 75-80% water to 20-25% glue.  For our sensory experience, we removed 4 ounces of water from our Smart water bottle to begin our sensory experiment.

3.  The remaining 12.9 ounces from the Smart water bottle we heated up on the stove.  It does not have to boil but has to be very warm.  

4.  As the water is heating, add sequins, regular glitter, and fine colored glitter (Gold/Silver) to your jar.  Adding different items will then provide different speeds for those items to fall in your sensory calming jar.  We used a funnel to help our little ones.

5.  Once the water is heated up, we poured the water into a mixing bowl and added 4 ounces of Elmer's clear glue.  We mixed the glue and water very well.  You can add food coloring but we noticed that it makes it much darker.

5.  Pour the contents of the mixing jar back into your Smart water bottle.  Tighten the top very well.  The jar will be very warm to touch for children.

Have fun with your jar!

 

June 29 Mini-session: Visit from the Museum of Natural History!

We had a great visit from Heather Lee from the Museum of Natural History!  The children investigated animals and habitats.  It was an awesome exploration using puzzles, pelts, and many other fun materials.  Make sure you check out the museum for some sensory integration fun!

 

We also created our own sensory book with Miss Emily!  Follow these simple directions to make a great book of your own!

1.  Find a book that your child really likes that you don't mind adding items to with glue.

2.  Locate items in the house that can add a tactile touch to the story.  Different shiny paper, fabrics, stickers, feathers, string, sand paper...anything that will stimulate the senses.

3.  We used glue to make sure these items stuck to the pages.  The kids went a step further and added letters to the pages that they thought were important!