The sun is setting sooner. The weather is getting cooler. The leaves have just started to change colors. Fall is in the air! It is such a sensory rich season. From the sound of leaves crunching underfoot to the smell of hot apple cider, there is so much to experience and enjoy with your child, whether you want to be inside or outside. It is the perfect time to create memories while building sensory motor skills doing some fall-inspired activities.
There are many benefits to cooking with your child. They learn the importance of paying attention, following directions (either by reading the recipe or listening to an adult provide directions). Sometimes the recipe does not go as planned, which can help with developing problem-solving skills. For the physical demands of cooking, both sides of the body need to work together for mixing, chopping, pouring ingredients into a bowl. Plus, your child can increase hand and arm strength. There is the pride that comes from successfully completing a recipe that the entire family can enjoy!
Here are some links to fall cooking activities to do with your child.
Cooking With Kids - The OT Toolbox
20 No-Bake Recipes For Kids | Healthy Snacks & Treats | Busy Little Chefs
35 Healthy Apple Recipes for Kids (mylittlemoppet.com)
Between the change in the weather and school starting, Fall is a big time for changes. This may be when your child is looking for something familiar and comforting. Time spent at home, with favorite blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and family can provide that stability. Making a pillow fort or indoor obstacle course to work on building planning and problem-solving skills. Crashing into pillows can provide a safe way to get out some energy. And the input provided to your child’s body can help with regulating their bodies and prevent emotional outbursts. A favorite blanket or stuffed animal can create a positive sensory experience from the familiar texture and, possibly from the familiar smells associated with them.
Enjoy the leaves
Even when a day is cold and gray, the colors of fall can be stunning. There are so many things that can be done with leaves. A walk through the leaves can include an I spy activity or scavenger hunt. Can you and your child find a red leaf. How many yellow leaves do you spy? Are the leaves more rounded, or are they more pointed? Leaves are also very sensory. How does it feel to jump into a pile of leaves? How do the leaves sound when you step on, or walk through, them? Leaves can also be great for art projects, which addresses attention, problem-solving, hand strength.
The opportunities for Fall learning and fun are endless, from hayrides to apple picking to carving pumpkins, and more! Here are some links for Fall activities you can do with your child:
30 Fun Fall Activities For Kids - Shannon Torrens
Fall Bucket List for Toddlers and Preschoolers - Busy Toddler
10 Fall Activities For Teens To Make This Season Memorable • Parent CabinParent Cabin
As always, the staff at Life Span Occupational Therapy are always brimming with ideas to share with you and your family. Feel free to ask for other Fall activities that can be particularly beneficial for your child.
Visit our Pinterest page for more ideas and activities
Jenni Christensen COTA/L