Science in Mind.

August 29, 2022

The creativity of our team members is unequalled anywhere. Not only are they designing lessons and activities for their class to have access to a general education curriculum, but also embedding individual goals and designing their activities around deeply special needs. Here is the blog spot where we’ll share some of the Science activities they carry out here at Crossroads. 

Magic Milk 8.30.22

Some early childhood students, here for daycare over the end of summer break, enjoyed an experiment with milk and paint. Heads up, this is a visual experiment, not a tasting one!

The video is short and sweet, but you can hear one of the boys exclaiming, “look at mine!” as the ingredients of the experiment, milk and paint, combine and interact. The children were excited about the activity and earlier in the day, Ms. Steph, their teacher, led them to each help collect one of the materials they would later need.

Children's science experiment

Making Chalk & Bubbles 8.19.22

Making your own bubbles and making your own chalk are two fun science projects that the children in Room 5 were able to participate in this week.

Today Room 5 made bubble juice, bubble wands, and then made bubbles! We also made sidewalk chalk paint with equal parts corn starch and water and food coloring! It was a blast!

— Jill O'Dea

We’ve provided a link from for some of the science and a recipe for bubble-making. Let us know how your experiment goes!



Sprouting Seeds 6.23.2022

Students in Room 5 learned about the cycle of a seed to a plant, recently. One of their experiments was to sprout seeds.

They placed a seed inside a plastic baggie, with a wet paper towel, then taped the bag to the window. As roots began to sprout, the students were able to view the transformation through the clear plastic. When sprouted, the class planted the sprouts and brought them home.


A Day at the Beach  6.17.2022

It’s that time of year, when kids from 2-102 want to get their fingers and toes in the sand and the water. Because of the season, teaching about the ocean and other beach environments is well-timed right now.

Here, Room 8  is enjoying their Sensory Centers, something that is routinely scheduled to help students learn about their senses through their play. This week, one of the centers was water and the other sand and toys. A fun exploratory experience at the beach, right in the classroom!

Their joy is evident in their faces and postures, and so much fun to see.

Sensory Science 5.30.2022

As we’ve mentioned before, there may be up to 33 senses, not just 5 or even 7. Interesting indeed, however, for our purposes here at Crossroads,  we tend to focus on the five basic senses that are part of the NYS curriculum, and that our youngsters can comprehend – and : sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.

Students learn about the senses, and to relate them to their related body parts. We hear with our ears, feel with our fingers, and see with our eyes.

At Crossroads lessons and learning experiences for students often combine more than one sense, in order for learners to appreciate how they complement each other.

Recently in Room 8, students enjoyed sensory centers, where there was sand play with kinetic sand and tools, side by side with a coloring activity and a multitude of colors to work with. Music added a contemplative and creative mood to the room.

The centers allowed children to experiment with how a substance felt in different states, as well as how it looked and smelled. Colors. Scents. Sounds. Textures.

Asking children “how does it feel?” gives them a chance to think about and put words to their senses. Asking them what they see gives them a chance to focus on what is present in the world around them. The request to put into words the smell of something brings forth imagining past smells for comparison, but also gives children vocabulary to interact with the world and people in it. And that is always a good thing.

Creating Tornadoes 4.4.2022

If you hear some of the children here talking about a vortex, it just might be because they’ve been learning about tornadoes. Here in Morning Daycare, students made a tornado in a jar with Ms. Stephanie; everyone had a turn to follow the steps. The group also recently erupted with excitement when they made a volcano.

Want to try it? Here’s a link to show you how. 

Exploring the Weather 3.25.2022

Students in Room 5 are learning about weather, and today’s activity includes a demonstration of a simplified process of rain and clouds.
Here’s Mrs. Jill’s explanation of what she did, and instructions for those who want to try: “Water in the pitcher. Shaving cream on top. Food coloring dropped on it.”
You can see that students are fully enthralled. What a great way to explain the rain!

3.17.22 Volcanic Eruption
Students in Room 8 learned a bit about what a volcano is, and what it means to “erupt.”

Children had a turn each to put in the ingredients, baking soda, dish soap and vinegar, and watch it erupt! “A” shown below, loves science in his classroom, and really enjoyed this activity.

The class has an actual volcano beaker to use, but in case you want to try this activity, it’s possible to use other beakers, including playdoh, as shown in the link below from

Easy Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano for Kids

3.11.2022 Color Mixing

Red and blue making purple, red and yellow making orange – do you remember learning how to mix secondary colors from primary ones, and then tertiary colors, and so on? It’s a confusing concept, yet also a fascinating one if presented in a way that makes sense for the child learning.

Check out Room 14‘s recent science experiment here, and how Mrs. Megan used some color filters to help her students make choices as to what color to make in their cups. Using clear water and food coloring, students made choices, followed directions and were highly engaged throughout the lesson. Clearly the lesson was presented in a way that made sense and drew them in.

2.22.2022 Sensory Bins

We’re all about hands-on learning, and when it comes to science, what better way to learn about the senses than by making and playing with Sensory Bins. Room 8‘s students enjoyed experimenting with their sense of touch, sight, smell, taste, and even hearing with bins last week. Colorful rice, beans, metallic coil ribbon, pompoms, wrapped valentine candy… students loved the visual drama and the sensations of hard/soft, smooth/rough. Spoons and cups were provided for children to get a feel for dipping and pouring, while children certainly dug in with fingers as well.

2.3.2022 Groundhog Day Shadow Art

Yesterday, while everyone was waiting to learn what Punxsutawney Phil would decide, students in Room 14 were busy learning about how shadows are formed from the casting of light.

Mrs. Megan and her crew brought all the students into the hallway of the business office suite and turned off the lights. Students were instructed to stand up against a large sheet of poster paper, while a flashlight served as the “sun” and Megan traced their shadows, one at a time, one on top of the next. The end result? A masterpiece that every child will remember!

1.25.2022 Blubber Ice Experiment

Did you know that arctic animals, such as seals, whales, and certain types of penguins have blubber that holds in heat and insulates these animals from the ice and cold? Thick layers of fat in their bodies, known as “blubber” are an adaptation to the frigid climates of their habitat. Room 14, who has been learning about the arctic recently, got to do an experiment to see exactly if blubber would keep their own hands insulated from ice.

First, they learned about blubber and what it is. Using a worksheet taking them through the scientific method, each child made a prediction, then tested, and then recorded his or her results.

Part of the test was without blubber, while the second part was with it. Each student had a chance to put their hand into a bowl of ice-cold water, to see how it would feel without blubber. The next step was to feel the ice water with a protective plastic bag full of blubber which Mrs. Megan had prepared for the lesson. The blubber – cooking shortening- was lumped in a bag, and that bag was bagged in another bag which students put their hand in one at a time, mitten-like. The blubber-mittened hands went into the bowl of ice-cubed water, triggering the experience of not feeling the chill that was expected.

What a great activity to make something so far away and hard to comprehend, concrete and interesting!

8.2.2021 Soda Bottle Blast Off Experiment

Science comes in many forms, and today we get to see an experiment that Room 5 did recently. 4 bottles of soda were used,
Diet Coke, specifically. Into each of the bottle, different numbers of Mento was added. The bottles had different colored lids so they could tell which traveled farther from the chemical reaction. Watch and see!


7.13.2021 Touch, Smell, Sight – Senses at work together.

Although there are some that say there are up to 33 senses, not just 5 or even 7, here at Crossroads we tend to focus on the five basic senses that our youngsters can comprehend – and that are part of the NYS curriculum: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.

Students learn about these senses, and to relate them to their related body parts. For instance, we see with our eyes, we smell with our nose and so on.

Sensory activities for young learners can incorporate more than one sense.

Case in point, a recent shaving cream activity in Room 2 allowed children to experiment with how the substance feels, looks and smells. Soft and mushy. White and puffy. Clean and woodsy.

Children can be asked, “how does it feel?” and think about this concept. Being asked to describe what they see will elicit thinking and then language as they explain what they see. The request to put into words the smell of something brings forth imagining past smells for comparison. Etcetera.

Sometimes teachers and therapists have students write in the shaving cream, targeting handwriting skills. Other times skills are targeted for spelling words, math facts, or fine motor. There are many benefits of this type of play, in other words.

Here we can enjoy pictures shared by Room 2 – it’s clear that they enjoyed this activity very much.

Have science activities that work well for children? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments! 

5.11.2021 Benders Butterfly Science Garden

Be sure to check out what’s happening with this grant-funded project!


Bender’s Butterfly Science Garden

5.1.2021 Research Projects

After familiarizing themselves about a variety of under-water creatures, students in Room 11 were able to select one of the animals they wished to learn a lot about. Each student did research on their animal and created a poster to showcase his work, displaying facts and drawings to inform viewers about the animals.

Here are some of the finished products.

4.2.2021 Sensory Bins

Learning about the senses as part of the NYS Science curriculum, is something that children typically love, because there are so many hands-on ways to engage. When it comes to the sense of touch, what better way to help children explore this sense than through sensory bins, which can be created to include a variety of textures. See what the students in Room 14 recently did; these Easter bins were created by Ms. Melissa, TA.

Visit our Pinterest page for more ideas for Sensory Science! 

3.3.21 States of Matter

When we start to teach young children about states of matter it is always in simple ways. Concrete, hands-on ways of learning are best. That’s why making and playing with oobleck is so cool. You can talk about solid when it is in its hardened state, and liquid when you try to pick it up. For kids as young as these learners in Room 2 (18 months) gas and plasma states are a bit too advanced.

The sensory aspect of oobleck is another realm of science that teachers here embrace, particularly because sensory challenges arise with our students so often. Giving children opportunities to experiment with different sensory mediums can help to foster desensitization and decreased difficulties.

Here’s a recent oobleck activity with E and R from Room 2. You’ll love the facial expressions! We do!

CLICK HERE for a Wikipedia explanation of States of Matter.



1.29.2021 Welcome to Room 14’s Arctic Animal Museum!

The students in Room 14 have been working hard on their arctic animal research. Studying the animal’s habits, offspring, food, and sleep patterns gave them plenty of art projects, writing assignments, and practice with the process of inquiry. Awesome job, Room 14!

7.29.2020 The art and science of the Roller Coaster!

There’s a lot of science involved in the way a roller coaster works. Types of energy, technology, waves, design, force, and more. It’s a great summer theme for a classroom full of boys who love amusement parks, and this teacher, Mrs. Lindsay, knows it.

The art works here are work products from their theme. The students each designed their own roller coaster and put himself on it, pictorially. They are also building carousel swings, pictured on the window sills. And last but not least, they made some cotton candy with classroom-made puffy paint, because every trip to the amusement park ends in one of those, right?

4.24.2020 A (virtual) field trip to The Catskill Animal Sanctuary 

Last week, our school age classes were able to take a field trip to Catskill Animal Sanctuary. It was attended through Zoom, and learners saw the amazing and beautiful animals that have been rescued and are being cared for by the sanctuary. Giddy goats, portly pigs, shaggy sheep and other rescued farm animals were enjoyed by the children, parents and staff members in attendance.

From the sanctuary’s website:

“Over the years, we’ve rescued thousands of animals. Hundreds currently call the Sanctuary ‘home.’ “

Mission: Catskill Animal Sanctuary rescues farmed animals, ignites social change to end their exploitation, and champions vegan living.

Did you attend? What did you see? What did you learn? What was the best part? Leave a comment below.

4.10.2020 In time for Easter weekend!

Thanks to Mrs. Rebecca for finding this great science activity which comes from Lessons for Little Ones, by Tina O’Block. She has used this activity in the classroom, and felt it would be a great one to share with our young learners who are learning at home.

Jelly bean science activities 

4.1.2020 Walking Rainbow Experiment and More for Spring!

Since we’re still all working and learning at home due to COVID-19, teachers and therapists are working with parents and students from a distance, to provide resources and support. We are so very proud of our students and families for all their hard work. We know this is such a challenging thing to take on. Please let us know if we can help in any way.

In the meantime, many of the resources being sent home are also being shared for the purposes of making them available to other families, those from Crossroads and those from other parts of our community. We hope you can benefit from the hard work the teachers and therapists are putting in.

Today we have a message to share from Mrs. Rebecca, Room 5’s Early Childhood Teacher, with some resources for her spring science-themed activities.

Hi Everyone,

Hope this sunny day is making you smile! Today I have a couple of spring worksheets and a science experiment for you to try. The science experiment is one of my favorites and is called a walking rainbow. There is a worksheet to help you talk about what’s happening. Here’s the website:

Flower Garden Shapes (2)        rainbow walking water experiment             Spring Patterns Cut-and-Paste (1)

There’s overlap of skills to be addressed, too. You’ll be able to target a plethora of important skills while working on these awesome activities! Thanks Mrs. Rebecca! Your hard work and sharing are greatly appreciated.

10.24.19  Learning about the senses of the human body is one of our favorite components of science. Lessons about our senses and the body parts that use them are super interesting to children and offer a great many activities and experiments to build comprehension.


Sensory play can include activities for any of the senses, whether smell, sight, taste, hearing, or touch. Activities can have added benefits of social interaction opportunities and experiential learning, too.

This sensory play activity from Room 4 is one that is a favorite for Crossroads kids from youngest to eldest: shaving cream play. Today we have some terrific pictures to share, thanks to the classroom team.

Shaving cream play can help children understand their sense of touch in a manner that they are frequently receptive to. Shaving cream is soft and smooth, smells nice and encourages an endless number of movements for the little fingers playing with it. Children sensitive to different sensations will benefit from experimenting, as well.

Activities to try can include squishing shaving cream, spreading it, molding it or finding things buried in it. Making lines – straight, crooked, curves, squiggles – supports early handwriting development, as does writing letters, numbers and words. Working together in groups, large or small, fosters social skills and fun, giving kids a chance to get downright silly together. Using words to describe the feelings of the shaving cream on their hands – wet, fluffy, soft… or to name the letters or numbers, reinforces and fosters the use of language to communicate and builds vocabulary.

 So a science activity becomes a creative time, a social time, a handwriting time, a math or literacy time!

2.7.19  Room 11’s most recent Science experiment taught students about chemical reactions and dissolving.

You know what happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar, right?
If you’ve done the activity once it’s memorable. You know that the chemical reaction between the two ingredients will lead to the cup running over.

Kids find this extremely awesome.
Science is needed in any classroom and for this group it seems especially important. They’ve been working really hard this year on group cooperation skills, on self-control and self-management, and these types of experiments require those skills. For the class to be conducting an experiment like this shows how much progress they’ve made this year.

The coolness factor of this experiment was boosted even further by adding food coloring. Not only are the colors cheery, but squeezing the tiny containers, the students got to work on their fine motor skills and controlling the number of drops they let out.  Remember how hard that was when YOU were 8 or 9?


Next, by pouring in the vinegar, the frothy swell of the combination was compelling. All of the students were clearly engaged.

Do you remember what it felt like when an experience like this was something new? When you didn’t already know what would happen? Or, even if you did know, maybe you’d done it before, but how cool it was to see it again. Honestly, most of the teachers still get excited when the chemical reaction occurs!



Isn’t it great that they could have this experience? To conduct an experiment, create a chemical reaction, feel the WOW of it? It’s REALLY great!


Rainbow volcanoes. Room 11. February, 2019

Related articles: .

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Outdoor PlayREOPENING PLAN (and other COVID-19 Updates)