Fun Fall Crafts!

Posted on September 27th, 2013 by Denise | No Comments

Fun Fall Crafts

By

Denise Koonce OTR

The pumpkins have arrived at local grocery stores along with multi colored gourds and that always begins my transition of thought from summer towards fall.  I love fall with the array of colors it provides on the trees and across the fields.  The mystery of fog in the morning and the crisp coolness it brings.  I say I love fall, but here in Houston I adore more the thought of fall since fall in Houston is a bit limited.  That is probably why I go over board with fall decorations trying to provide the atmosphere of fall if only in and around my home.  The tubs containing fall decorations come down from the attic and begin to transform the front porch, entry way and dining room into a scene out of Aspen, Colorado or a pumpkin patch in the north-east.  The hues of yellow, orange, and brown weave their way into our daily world helping us to imagine fall is present, despite the Houston weather indicating otherwise.  Fall also begins the blur of holidays to come and the endless changing of decorations that do not cease again until after spring.  Fall is also the beginning of fun craft activities with the kids.  There are hundreds of ideas floating around TV programs, magazines and the internet.  I, however, selected a couple that also incorporates skills that are commonly worked on in therapy. 

Fuzzy Pipe Cleaner Lollipop Spiders

Materials Needed:    black pipe cleaners, small googly eyes, round or oval lollipops, glue or a cool glue gun

One pipe cleaner will serve as one set of legs, a left and a right.  Therefore find the middle of the pipe cleaner and wrap the center of the pipe cleaner around the handle of the lollipop, by the candy end, two times to secure the pipe cleaner.  Continue this process until all 4 sets of legs are completed.  Bend the ends of the pipe cleaners to represent a leg segment so the completed product will stand on a surface.  Then glue the eyes onto the pipe cleaners in the middle of the lollipop handle.  OOoo, Scary Spider!

Autumn Tree Painting

Materials Needed:    Acrylic or tempera paint in black and fall colors, paintbrush, paper, and a drinking straw

Be sure to use a work surface that can be washed or cover your work surface with newspaper or a disposable tablecloth.  It is also a good idea to cover the young artist in an apron or painting shirt in case of paint splatter.  It is helpful to tape the paper to a flat, firm moveable work surface such as a piece of cardboard covered with wax paper or an old dry erase board.  Thin down your paint to give it a watercolor like appearance once applied to the paper. 

Paint the entire paper surface with different fall colors but try not to overlap the colors.  Let dry completely.  Then, with the black paint and a paintbrush add a tree trunk.  The remaining branches will be created by blowing the black paint in the direction you want by placing a small line of thinned black paint in the areas where you want branches added.  You can move the paper around to better blow the paint in the directions you want the branches to appear. 

In addition to being fun, each of these has an inherent therapeutic value.  They both work on fine motor skills, visual perception, and painting with a straw adds some great obicularis oris work (lip pursing), prolonged breath control and therefore abdominal work.   Depending on the surface and the environment you chose, you can work on standing, single leg stance, or sitting with proper head, trunk and hip alignment and subsequent control.  These crafts can also be adapted to add further sensory stimulation or fine motor work.  One suggestion I would make while doing the lollipop spiders is to have extra lollipops on hand for immediate consumption which leads to numerous oral motor activities!!!!

If you have fun fall craft ideas that you have used with success, please share them with us.  Now, go out and have fun with fall!

lollipop spiderfall tree

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