10 Spooktacular Activities for Your Little One

Halloween is upon us!  In the midst of decorating pumpkins and finding the perfect costumes, there are several activities you can do at home to work on your child’s development while celebrating this “spooktacular” season.

1. Visit a Pumpkin Patch:  There are lots of pumpkin patches this time of year.  Find one that is kid friendly.  Let your child pick out their pumpkin and decorate it.  You can paint the pumpkin, use stickers or markers to make faces and have fun!  Targeted skills:  motor and sensory coordination, language development and cognitive skills.

2. Squishy Pumpkins:  Find some orange hair gel.  Put the gel in a Ziploc bag (make sure it’s taped tightly closed).  Draw a pumpkin face on the outside of the bag.  Encourage your child to “squish” the pumpkin.  How does it feel?  Talk about the way it squishes and moves.  Use your fingers to draw designs.  Targeted Skills:  visual, motor and language stimulation.

3. Pumpkin Toss:  Find a large pumpkin basket or bucket.  Encourage your child to toss bean bags or balls into the pumpkin.  Targeted skills:  motor skills, body awareness and hand-eye coordination.

4. Dress Up Fun:  Gather some old Halloween costumes and let your child play dress-up.  Putting on different clothes and accessories is fun and works on a variety of skills!  Targeted skills:  self-help (dressing), language development, sequencing and motor coordination.

5. Leaf Painting:  The leaves are already starting to change colors and fall to the ground.  Why not take advantage?  Have the kids pick 5-10 different kinds of leaves that they really like.  Grab some thick paper and washable paints.  They’ll have a blast unleashing their creativity.  Targeted skills:  motor coordination, sensory skills and language development.

6. Leafy Fun:  If you have a ton of trees in your yard, enlist your kids to help.  They won’t even know they’re doing chores.  Rake the leaves in piles, let them have a hay day, jumping and rolling.  Then just before it’s time to head inside, bring out the bags and stuff the bags to make scarecrows. Targeted skills:  body awareness, balance, motor coordination and language development. 

7.  Make a Scarecrow: Find some old clothes: jeans, long sleeve shirt (flannel shirt if you can). Grab some of those twist ties that you never use (if you don’t have those then rubber bands will work too). Fill the jeans and the shirt separately, tying off the openings. Sit the scarecrow on the porch, adjusting the pieces as necessary. For the head, use an old pillowcase—draw a face on it and put a hat on top. Targeted skills:  sequencing, motor coordination, language development and dressing.

8. Time to Bake:  Kids love to get involved in the baking process.   Cracking of the eggs, stirring the mix, and of course, licking the bowl.  Invite your child into the kitchen and see what fun evolves!  Targeted skills:  cognitive, sequencing, math, motor skills and language development.

9. Down and Dirty: Fall is a great time for gardening, Put on some old clothes and spend some time digging in the yard and planting some seeds.  Targeted skills:  cognitive, language development and motor skills.

10.  Pumpkin Ball:  Find an orange ball and draw on a pumpkin face. Encourage your child to roll, throw and kick the “pumpkin.”  Targeted skills:  motor coordination, balance, language stimulation and body awareness.
All these activities are fun for the whole family and can easily be adapted to fit your child’s needs.

Now It’s Your Turn:  What fall activities do you like to do with your child?   

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