fall activity Archives | Play It Forward Therapy
Thanksgiving Turkey Cookie

Thanksgiving Turkey Cookie

These tiny Turkey Cookies will be gobbled up in no time!

Use ready made ingredients to assemble this Thanksgiving Turkey Cookie craft.  There are several skills that your child will practice to make these adorable cookies, whether it’s a single treat or a flock of sweet turkeys to grace your Thanksgiving dessert table.

Your child will improve fine motor skills while using a a knife to spread and scissors to snip!  Learning to hold a knife properly to spread the frosting and snipping with scissors are fun ways to improve utensil use.  Challenge dexterity by placing 5 candy corns in the palm of the hand, then shift the candy corns from the palm of the hand to your thumb pad and index finger tip without help from the other hand.  This fine motor coordination skill is called palm to finger translation.

Picking up these tiny chocolate morsels is excellent for developing a pincer grasp (pinch between thumb and index finger). An alternative is to buy the ready made candy eyeballs, which will be easier for younger children to grasp.  To challenge and practice  fine motor skills, enlist your child in making several Turkey Cookies arranged on a plate as a colorful centerpiece at your next fall gathering!

Turkey Cookie

Ingredients

  • 1 Nilla wafer Cookie
  • 1 Mini Nilla Wafer Cookie
  • 1 Mini Marshmallow
  • 2 Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 5-6 candy corns
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 dried cranberry (Craisins)
  • Chocolate frosting

Supplies:  Knife, scissors, toothpick (optional). 

Other Ideas:  Use red gummy candy or licorice for the gobbler.  If using an Oreo cookie for the body, stick the candy corn tips sandwiched between top and bottom half. Then place the head on top.

Directions

  1. Body: Spread the frosting over the Nilla Wafer Cookie.
  2. Head: Stick the Mini Nilla wafer on the bottom half of the body.
  3. Feathers: Place 5 candy corns in a semi-circle shape above the head.
  4. Eyes: Using scissors, cut a marshmallow in half and put the sticky side down for 2 eyes.  Add chocolate chip to the center of each eye. Press the pointy side of the chip into the marshmallow.
  5. Beak and gobbler: Cut a small triangle shape from the orange slice and a thin strip of dried cranberry for the gobbler.  Place the gobbler next to the beak.

You may also like a pretty Pressed Leaf Placemat

Fine Motor Clothespin Turkey

Fine Motor Clothespin Turkey

Clip-on clothespin feathers are the perfect accessory for this turkey’s dressing!  This cute and clever Thanksgiving craft is perfect for preschoolers to strengthen their fine motor skills. It also involves following directions and is excellent practice for fine motor skills such as cutting, coloring, gluing and pinching.  Pinching clothespins helps strengthen the muscles important for developing dexterity.

Pinching is a necessary fine motor skill to help support your child’s independence during every day routines such as pulling up a zipper, pinching buttons to poke them through the hole or when grasping a crayon or pencil.

Clothespin Turkey

Supplies

  • Small paper plate
  • Construction paper: brown, orange
  • Markers
  • 9 clothespins
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Watch the video to follow these simple directions.

 

CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW

You may also like a pretty Pressed Leaf Placemat

Jack O’ Lantern Cookie

Jack O’ Lantern Cookie

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 to make these adorable cookies, whether it’s a single treat or a platter of pumpkins to bring to your next party.

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 with scissors are fun ways to improve utensil use.

And did you know that chocolate chips can be therapeutic?  You don’t ever have to convince me to eat chocolate!  However, picking up these tiny chocolate morsels is excellent for developing hand dexterity, especially pincer grasp (pinch between thumb and index finger). You can get several repetitions in if you decorate lots of little pumpkins.

Add to the challenge by placing the chocolate chips on the face with the pointy sides up.  This will make the face look like a classically carved pattern with a triangle-shaped nose and eyes.  Decide whether your Jack o’ Lantern’s mouth will be happy, sad or scary!  However, no matter how scary these Jack O’ Lantern Cookies try to be… they’ll always be cute, little pumpkins that’ll get gobbled up faster than you can say “goblin”.

Jack O’Lantern Cookie

Ingredients

  • Oreos or other round cookies
  • Mini Chocolate chips
  • Orange frosting OR Vanilla frosting and red and yellow food coloring
  • Green Sour Punch Straws

Supplies

  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Scissors
You may also like spooky Halloween Snacks.
Pumpkin Bash

Pumpkin Bash

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.

Pro Tip: Pay attention to how your child grasping the push-pins by making sure that thumb and index finger OR thumb/index/middle finger are “pinching”  and the other fingers are tucked into the palm (ring and pinky fingers should not be flaring out).  Check out the video below to see examples of a proper grasp.

Another perk to this pumpkin activity is the fact that it takes some strength and resistance to pound the items in.  The rhythmical, repetitive nature of pounding with the mallet provides proprioceptive input which is “deep pressure input” to the arm and shoulder muscles.  This type of sensory input is helpful for body awareness and can be a calming activity to help keep your child focused and entertained.

Get out your aggression and get creative!   Enrich this activity by make designs or a face on your pumpkin, sort and talk about the colors, count the number of push-pins or golf tees.

Pro Tip:  Be sure to keep the push-pins and golf tees organized in a container and check the area afterwards to avoid stepping on any!

Pumpkin Bash 

Supplies

  • Pumpkins
  • Wooden seafood mallet
  • Colored push pins
  • Colored golf tees

You may also like Jack O Lantern Cookies.

Spooktacular Halloween Snacks

Spooktacular Halloween Snacks

This is probably the only time I don’t mind hearing “Boos” from my kids at the kitchen table!  Your kids will surely think these Ghost Quesadillas are a spooktacular snack.

Classic quesadillas are kids favorite and they can be customized in so many ways. These cheesy bites of deliciousness in a toasted tortilla are sure to please, especially when your kids can gobble up the ghost or monster (instead of the other way around)!  Or perhaps a cute-quesadilla such as a jack o’lantern made from an orange sun-dried tomato wrap?  Get creative and have fun!

Use your kid’s favorite cheese and experiment with different types of tortillas or colored wraps.  Use scissors to cut out ghost and monster shapes.  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!

If your child tends to be “afraid” to try new foods, enlist his or her help to make the quesadilla for you or someone else.  Interacting with the food, different textures, colors and shapes is an excellent opportunity to improve a picky eater’s tolerance for various textures of foods.

Quesadillas

Ingredients

  • Tortillas (flour, corn, flavored)
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sliced olives
  • Colorful sweet peppers (green, red, yellow, orange)
  • Carrot coins

Supplies

  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Griddle or frying pan
  • Non-stick spray
  • Spatula

You may also like Pencil Cookies.

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