Halloween is almost here! Enjoy these festive “OT Tested and Kid Approved” Halloween activities while supporting your child’s development. Discover the therapeutic benefits of these Halloween inspired therapy activities to do at home or in the clinic.
There’s something so satisfying about pounding pegs into a pumpkin! Channel your child’s desire to hit or pound something with this Pumpkin Bash activity. Using a wooden mallet to pound push-pins or golf tees into a pumpkin provides practice for fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. Picking up the push-pins or golf tees promotes a pincer grasp and overall hand and finger dexterity. CLICK HERE
These cute Jack O’ Lantern Cookies are SO easy to make it’s scary! Use ready-made ingredients to assemble this Halloween cookie craft. There are several skills that your child will practice assembling these adorable cookies Your child will improve fine motor skills while using a spoon to mix, a knife to spread and scissors to snip! Mixing requires strength and the use of two hands (one to hold the container and the other to stir with a spoon). Learning to hold a knife properly to spread the frosting and snipping candy straws with scissors is a fun way to improve utensil use.
Use this recipe for handwriting practice and executive functioning skills. Your child will benefit from the handwriting practice while practicing their sequencing skills to follow the directions for reach step. Have your child write out the steps before making their cookie… this strategy has always been an effective incentive to write a neat and sequential recipe with a sweet reward at the end. CLICK HERE
These cheesy quesadillas are to die for! Use your favorite cheese and experiment with different types of tortillas or colored wraps. Use scissors to cut out ghost and monster shapes. Cutting through tortillas strengthens little hands because there’s more resistance than when cutting through paper. Pro tip: Remember thumbs on top when cutting. Add colorful toppings to make the faces. Talk about the colors and the different types of faces (scary, happy, sad) that you can make with various veggie ingredients! CLICK HERE
Is your child constantly touching things? Does your student have trouble sitting still while listening or while waiting? Do you ever find yourself saying, “Keep your hands to yourself!” If the answer is yes, then this Pumpkin Balloon Fidget is a super sensory solution for fidgety kids. Whether your child is feeling anxious or seeking touch input, this little Pumpkin Fidget helps keep busy hands busy. Or use a white balloon to make a cute, squishable ghost! CLICK HERE
Keep in mind, from a sensory perspective, kids with sensory processing challenges appear as if they can’t seem to stop the need to keep touching things or constantly fidget when required to sit still. When it comes to sensory processing, your child’s nervous system responds to stress, overwhelm, excitement, or in some cases boredom, in different ways.
In occupational therapy, we use fidgets to 1.) Help kids maintain their focus 2.) Help satisfy the need to constantly touch things 3.) Strengthen hands and fingers by providing a repetitive resistance exercise (squeezing and pinching).
Let’s get messy! In occupational therapy we have a few good and gooey reasons to make slime! Introducing different textures in a fun way can help some kids improve their tolerance to wet and sticky textures. When your child can tolerate other wet and squishy textures such as finger paint and playdough, making slime may be a fun thing to try. CLICK HERE
Playing with slime can help satisfy a kid’s sensory need to constantly touch things for kids who are sensory seekers for touch input and can have a calming, regulating effect.
Pushing, pulling, stretching, rolling and pinching slime strengthen hands and fingers by providing a repetitive resistance exercise. Picking and pulling out hidden items out improves finger dexterity and precision.
Wishing you a safe and Happy Halloween!