Getting a little messy can allow kids to be more actively engaged in sessions. When they are having fun, students don’t always realize they are working on skills. Sensory activities help with this problem and allow us to focus us checking on their speech and language, fine motor, gross motor, or other therapy needs. Getting everyone busy with their hands allows mundane skill work to be more productive. When individuals may be shy to talk or share, giving them something to work out the nerves allows them to focus more. Halloween is the perfect time to implement some sensory fun for kids of all ages.
Ready Set Pumpkin Guts
Carving pumpkins is not something that all kids have done. This means that many may not have had a chance to check out pumpkin guts. Pumpkin guts are a simple and easy sensory activity which can be used in a variety of therapy sessions. Think about your space and what may or may not work for your students.
Open several pumpkins ahead of time. For younger kids, they may have fun putting their hands into the pumpkins and pulling out the stringy and gooey innards. Have some plastic containers ready to put the seeds, strings and pumpkin parts into. If there is limited time, scoop out the inside of several pumpkins into a large plastic container first. Allow kids to get their hands dirty and share what they see, feel, smell, and like or dislike about it.
If you have students who may shy away from getting dirty, you can still have pumpkin guts sensory fun. Pre-K Pages shares how to make Pumpkin Sensory Bags. To do this you will need gallon sized freezer bags, pumpkin guts, items to put inside for an I-spy game, and I-spy cards. Follow their directions and think of ways to work on fine motor or speech goals with the cards and items you need to find.
Pumpkin Slime Time
Kids of all ages are still into making slime of all kinds. Take some time to make a pumpkin variety to use in sessions. I Heart Arts n Crafts has a recipe for Fluffy Pumpkin Slime that is easy to make ahead or with kids. You will need half a cup of white Elmer’s glue, unscented shaving cream, orange food coloring, saline solution, baking soda, and pumpkin scented oil.
When finished with the slime kids can roll it into shapes, letters, or numbers for fine motor practice. Perhaps everyone will take turns modeling how to make something with their slime. Step by step directions are great practice for speech and language Think about the needs of your students and guide an activity around the slime that works on their goals.
If you plan to send the slime home, put them into containers for the kids to keep. Be sure to include a link to the recipe for families to make more. Multilingual families will benefit from a translation, so include that in case they are unable to get online.
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