Festive Fall Fun

Posted on October 12th, 2012 by Denise | No Comments

Festive Fall Fun

By

Denise Koonce OTR

 

The recent cold front helped get me into the spirit of fall even though the cold front was short lived.  The cooler weather and the faint smell of a distant fireplace just added to my excitement.  Fall is my favorite season of the year.  I have enormous cherished childhood memories regarding fall.  My mom was a private kindergarten teacher for 37 years and she was amazingly creative.  So creative that some of my fondest memories still center on fall craft activities that I did with my mom.  In past years I enjoyed incorporating many of these activities into my treatment sessions.  This year I plan on doing some of them with my daughter and I wanted to share them with you as well.  By incorporating them into therapy it breaks up some of the redundancy of required activities while still achieving the set goals and the children really enjoy the change.

Fall leaves with crayon shavings displayed in wax paperthis creates a beautiful collage of color that can be hung on the refrigerator and enjoyed daily.

Needed:  assortment of fresh fall leaves of yellow, orange and red (do not use dry brown leaves), crayon shavings, wax paper, iron, a small towel, and some newspaper

Preparation:  cut two equal lengths of wax paper preferably 12 – 16 inches long, create crayon shavings by taking old crayons and shaving them with a cheese grater, turn iron on to half strength or adjust as necessary in order to melt the crayon wax through the towel, place newspaper on a flat surface to protect the surface in case crayon shavings escape  

Activity:  place the first sheet of wax paper on the newspaper and arrange the leaves, sprinkle crayon shavings around leaves and up to an inch around the border, place the second sheet of wax paper over the arranged leaves and then carefully place the towel over the wax paper so as not to disturb the leaves, iron the towel over the area allowing the crayons to melt, therefore sticking the wax paper together and encapsulating the leaves, remove the towel and allow the wax paper to cool

Paper Jack-o-Lanterns – Create paper jack-o-lanterns to decorate the house

Needed:  crayons or markers, construction paper, glue, scissors, and to assist in grading the activity pre-cut triangles, squares, circles, and other shapes they can glue onto the pumpkin

Preparation/Activity:  Draw the outline of a pumpkin on orange construction paper then allow the child to decorate it.  The activity can be graded allowing the child to complete all of the steps or it can be adapted by completing some steps for them such as:  provide a face outline on the pre-drawn pumpkin for them to color or use precut shapes for the child to glue onto a pumpkin in order to make a face.  Then cut the pumpkin out and hang it up.  Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

Paper bag Ghoul PuppetsMake ghost, pumpkin, or mummy paper puppets and put on a puppet show.   

Needed:  small brown or white paper lunch sacks, construction paper or recycled paper, crayons, markers and glue

Preparation:  On construction paper or recycled paper, draw ghost, pumpkin, or mummy shapes (or other ghoulish shapes) making them the width of the small paper bag, cut the shapes out and then cut the shape in half across where a mouth would be.

Activity:   First have the child add a face or color the shape prior to gluing.  Lay the paper bag flat where the bottom fold is facing up and do not open the bag.  Glue the top portion of the shape to the bottom of the bag and glue the bottom portion of the shape just under the edge of the fold of the paper bag.  The shapes should be glued such that when the child places their hand into the bag and the fold is opened, it acts as the mouth.   The child could also draw a tongue in the middle of the fold.  Then engage the child in a puppet conversation or put on a puppet show.

Small bag of pumpkinsA bag of small pumpkins can be used for all kinds of fun activities such as:  hide and seek pumpkins in the ball pit (make sure the stem is off), pumpkin toss, fill the bucket/empty the bucket, or a pumpkin hunt (like an Easter egg hunt).  You can incorporate the pumpkins into any activity that you have the child picking up items and placing them elsewhere, you can also have the children draw jack-o-lantern faces on them.  Use your imagination!

Here is a favorite poem that encourages children to use their fingers entitled “Five Little Pumpkins”. 

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,

The first one said “Oh, it’s getting late.”

The second one said “There are witches in the air.”

The third one said “But we don’t care.”

The fourth one said “Let’s run, let’s run!”

The fifth one said “Isn’t Halloween fun?”

Then Wooooo went the wind and out went the lights

and the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

All of these activities can be done at home or in the clinic.  They are inexpensive to do and most of the items are readily accessible in the home or clinic.  They all incorporate one or more aspects of fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, gross motor skill, expressive and receptive language, and direction following.  Try some of these or come up with your own and share with us what you have done.  Have a fun and festive fall!!!!

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