3 Fun Fall Sensory Activities For Kids



The start of the new decade has called for sudden changes and adjustments due to Covid-19. Our lives continue to shift as we balance work, family and educational responsibilities, especially while having to do so simultaneously under the same roof.


Optimistically, we look forward to referring to the pandemic in past tense and meanwhile seek a sense of normalcy. Fall is here and Children and adults alike are anticipating the traditions of trick or treating, getting creative with costume play and collecting sweet treats with friends and family. Here are 3 fun Fall activities that are fun, safe at home alternatives that encourage sensory interaction: Painting Pumpkin Pals, DIY character headbands and masks, DIY Slippery Snake Snack.


Sensory play is an important factor in child development as it engages fine motor skills and creates an understanding of the surrounding world. The following activities stimulate the senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch and involve movement and body awareness (also known as proprioception)


Before we get started here are the ingredients and supplies needed for the 3 sensory activities


Ingredients

Large marshmallows, raisins, white candy melts, gummy worms, food coloring


Supplies

2 inch headbands, paper clips, pumpkin, paint brushes, paint (acrylic), paper plates, styrofoam cups, toothpicks, scissors, glue, decorative items (tissue paper/wrapping paper/construction paper, googly eyes, fuzzy balls, etc...), markers/crayons, pipe cleaners /ribbon (to secure masks)


Painting Pumpkin Pals

Sensory interaction: sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch and proprioception




First things first, involve your child in the pumpkin picking process. This is a great opportunity for them to practice engaging body movement such as lifting the pumpkins to see which is the right size and weight. Keep in mind the pumpkin does not have to be perfect because we are making unique little pumpkin pals and celebrating the differences in their looks!


Step 1: Grab your favorite colors to paint your pumpkin pal's head.

Tip: Paint the front of the pumpkin's face and wait for 5 minutes to dry and repeat for the back of the pumpkin's head. This will help to make sure your paint does not smear.


Step 2. Glue on your googly eyes, however many you want your monster to have. You can use different sizes as well!


Step 3: Add in the details. Use paint to create your pumpkin’s mouth. Happy, silly, shocked expressions bring your little monster to life.


Step 4: Give the pumpkin some character. Take your pipe cleaners and bend into spirals or zigzags to create cool shapes for the hair. Take the fuzzy balls and glue around the pumpkin so it’ll have cool spots all over.


After a few days when it becomes time to dispose the pumpkin the fun can continue by carving out the top to explore the contents inside. Have your child feel through the pumpkin and describe the difference in texture, the smells and later create treats like pumpkin bread or pie to have a taste!



DIY Headbands and Superhero Masks

Sensory interaction: sight, touch, movement and balance





Step 1: Download, print and cut NESS's Unicorn Headband and Superhero Mask stencils here




Step 2: Grab 2 paper plates and trace your headband and mask (one on each plate) and cut the pieces.

  • Additional step for headband: After cutting, bend along “fold here” tabs of the unicorn ears and horn. This will help to secure pieces to the headband.


Step 3: Use your decorative items to create a cool design. Get creative! Using various textures is great for stimulating the sense of touch.


Step 4: Assemble pieces together.

  • Headband: Take 2 paper clips for each cut out piece and secure onto the headband,

  • Mask: If using pipe cleaners, take your scissors and bend the sides of the mask to make a small slit to insert the pipe cleaner on each side. After inserting the pipe cleaner, twist and bend each end together to mimic sunglasses’ arms. If you are using ribbons simply cut according to head size and tie together.


DIY Slippery Snake Snack

Sensory interaction: Sight, Touch, Smell and Taste




Step 1: Put your candy melt into a bowl and warm up for 1 minute (check periodically and stir as needed)


Step 2: Pour the candy melt into cups and use your food coloring to create cool colors. Mix it all up.


Step 3: Place your marshmallows into the colors of your choice and mix it with your spoon. Take a toothpick to pick up the marshmallow and insert into a styrofoam cup to settle. Use your spoon to cover any missing spots


Step 4: After settling for 5-7 mins assemble your snake by connecting each marshmallow with the toothpicks.


Step 5: Cut your gummy worm and raisin in half to create the tongue and eyes and place on the first marshmallow.


We look forward to seeing all of your amazing creations this October and hope that your family has a safe and fun celebration!


Comment down below with your favorite activity!