Everybody knows the flexibility and appeal of Mr. Potato Head. Last week I used him to target the 5 senses with my preschoolers and intellectual disabilities students!
Here are the supplies I started with:
Each child was able to pick a blue or purple paper for their background (not pictured above because I grabbed those on my way to the room). This is great for requesting, using a complete sentence, and bilabials!
As we made our way through each sense, I illustrated it in a specific way. We also glued the body parts onto our paper. The blue, brown, and green sharpies were used to color Potato’s eyes the same color as our own eyes. We see colors. I placed the jingle bell inside the Mr. Potato Head toy and let each child shake it to see if they could guess using only their sense of hearing. I also put the hot chocolate powder (in an open ziploc bag) inside the toy and let the students smell it. They LOVED that smell! I also put a handful of cotton balls inside, had each child close their eyes, and feel them. We described how they feel soft. Here are some samples:
Last we added words to label what each body part does. Here’s a finished product.
You can download your own 5 senses Mr. Potato Head template, including 6 body parts and words here! This will be on sale for 50% off for the first 24 hours!
Preschool was continuing their 5 senses/all about me unit into this week, so I decided to do the one thing that I didn’t demonstrate with Mr. Potato Head – TASTE! It also happens to be football season, so we made football pudding!
I love “cooking” with kids in therapy. Following a recipe is great for following directions, verbs, nouns, adjectives, and much more. This activity also used our senses: smelling the powder, feeling the cold milk, looking at the color and how it got darker when we added the milk, and tasting the delicious pudding when we were finished! “Football pudding” is really just chocolate pudding that you’re allowed to throw. Who doesn’t love playing with their food?!
We started with milk, chocolate pudding mix, 2 gallon sized ziploc bags, and my visual recipe!
I let the students know what we were going to make and, since they’re all familiar with pudding, we talked about how chocolate pudding and a football are the same and different. I used small hula hoops and visuals on the table as a large Venn diagram. Yes, these are preschoolers but you’re never too young to compare and contrast. I modified the activity by asking the leading questions and modeling where to place the visual. This works on articulation, what function questions, verbs, basic concepts, and more! Here’s what our Venn diagram looked like when we were finished.
Next, we started cooking!
After both ingredients were added, I sealed the bag. Then, as a safety precaution, I placed that bag in ANOTHER gallon zipper bag. Make sure you seal these tightly! We didn’t make any mess and one of the paraprofessionals in the room said, “This could be a commercial for Ziploc!”
We shook the bag and then tossed it to our friends. The milk was cold, so the students enjoyed feeling how cold the bag/pudding got!
When the pudding was all made and each student got enough turns throwing and catching (and requesting to do so!), we snipped a small corner off the bag and squirted it into cups.
It was a HUGE hit!
To try this with your students, download my latest product: Football Pudding: Recipe, Visuals, and Activities. It includes all of the visuals you’ve seen in this post, PLUS: verb cards, sequencing, and a communication board for your non-verbal students. It’s also on sale for 50% off until tomorrow evening (Sept 25, 2014). The symbols used within the document are Smarty Symbols, made by Smarty Ears (All Rights Reserved). Enjoy!
***Thank you to the wonderful paraprofessional in my room who volunteered to take these pictures for me while I ran the group!