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Fall Fun
By Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
What do you think of when you think about fall? Fall brings cooler weather, colorful leaves, large pumpkins, crisp apples, fragrant spices, and rowdy football! The new season also brings fresh opportunities for fun seasonal-inspired activities. There are so many learning objectives you can address by doing hands-on activities… Sequencing, gross motor skills, reading, storytelling, listening comprehension, fine motor skills, rhyming, and so much more! Below are some activities you can participate in this fall:
  • Go on a fall scavenger hunt. Walk around your school, neighborhood, or community park. Pay close attention to the sights and sounds around you. Search for signs that the season is changing. For example, what changes do you see in the plants? Do you notice any differences in the animals that you see? Are people dressed any differently?
  • Carve a pumpkin. Not all carved pumpkins have scary faces. Be creative… How about carving out the first letter in your child’s name? Or carving your child’s favorite animal? Maybe try carving small stars all over the pumpkin to create a starry night. Make sure you save the seeds! Pumpkin seeds can be roasted to eat (there are many seasoning suggestions online!) or dried to use in craft activities.
  • Make a scarecrow. Gather up some old clothes (or old doll clothes if you want to make a small scarecrow). Stuff them with straw, craft stuffing, or crumpled paper. Assemble the pieces to make a scarecrow. Add features to the face with buttons or a permanent marker. Discuss the steps you used in making your scarecrow.
  • Sample some apples. Get several different kinds of apples. Cut them into slices and let your child sample the different kinds. Describe the differences between the apples. Are some crunchier than others? Are they different colors? Which ones are sweeter? Does your child have a favorite?
  • Sing some fall songs. If you don’t know any, make one up. Just take the tune of one of your child’s favorite songs and change the words. For example, “The Wheels on the Bus” can easily become “The pumpkins in the patch.” Or “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” can turn into “Five Little Apples Hanging on the Tree.”
  • Make s’mores. Who doesn’t love a warm, toasted marshmallow on top of gooey, melted chocolate, sandwiched between graham crackers? Cool fall evenings provide the perfect setting for a backyard campfire and some marshmallow-roasting fun. If building a campfire is not possible in your area, you can make s’mores in the microwave. For a good thinking challenge, allow your child to give you directions on how to make the s’mores and follow their directions precisely!
  • Create leaf art. While on your fall scavenger hunt, gather up some leaves. Glue the leaves onto paper in groups to make pictures. Try making a leaf man, leaf bird, or a leaf car! Add details with markers or crayons. If leaves are scarce where you live, make your own! Just cut leaf shapes out of fall-colored construction paper.
  • Read a fall-themed book or short story. Visit your school or local library for fall-themed books to read with your children. You can even find short stories online! Handy Handout #17 “Autumn With the Elk” (https://www.superduperinc.com/handouts/handout.aspx) is one example of a fall-themed short story that is available online.
Everyone enjoys taking a break from the “same ole same ole” every now and then. Give your lessons a fun fall twist by mixing them in with some of the activities listed above! Be sure to incorporate your child’s learning goals into the activities. (For example, if your child has articulation goals, have him/her listen for target sounds in the vocabulary words used in the activities. Or if your child is working on answering questions, ask him/her questions related to the activity.) You’ll find your children will be more interested and their participation level will increase when you take a break from your usual routine. For more information about seasonal activities, see Handy Handout #242: Holiday and Seasonal Activities.
 
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