Fall is a fantastic time of year to provide your child with sensory activities. With school under way, most children start to feel the effects of an increased work load and longer periods of sitting in school. Taking advantage of the weather and fall activities can help regulate your child for continued success at school and home.
Here are 10 fun fall sensory activities!
1. Raking leaves
Raking leaves into a pile is great heavy work for your child. It helps to provide proprioceptive input (deep pressure) to their muscles and joints, increasing body awareness and strength.
2. Once you have a pile, allow your child to run and jump into the leaves
This provides both some movement (vestibular input) as well as crashing (proprioceptive input).
3. Hide familiar objects in a pile of leaves and have your child try to find them
This provides your child with tactile (touch) input as well as works on some discrimination skills. To make it more difficult, have them try to find the objects with their eyes closed and guess what the object is.
4. Have your child make a rubbing of a large leaf that they found
Place the leaf under a piece of paper and have them color the paper, transferring the image of the leaf. Have your child use small or broken crayons to facilitate a tripod grasp.
5. Have a leaf blowing race
Give your child a straw and instruct them to blow a leaf across a table or across the sidewalk. This activity provides oral motor input as well as heavy work through their mouth.
6. Make a leaf person
Have your child glue different shape leaves on a piece of paper to make a person. Draw on arms, legs and other body parts. This is a fine motor activity that also works on promoting body awareness.
7. Go on a nature hunt
Provide your child with tweezers or tongs. Have them pick up acorns and pine-cones using the tongs. This activity will work on increasing grip strength and precision.
8. Carve a pumpkin
Carving a pumpkin (with assistance) facilitates fine motor skills as well as providing a great wet tactile activity. Have your child scoop out the inside and play in the mess. Picking out the seeds to toast works both on a pincer grasp as well as provides a great snack. If your child is sensitive to touch, try having them wear latex-free gloves.
9. Use pumpkins as bowling balls
Bowling with pumpkins provides your child with heavy work by lifting the pumpkins as well as some object manipulation skills through rolling the pumpkin towards a target.
10. Have your child compete in pumpkin races
This requires them to race (through obstacles if desired) while carrying a pumpkin. This activity will help with motor planning and agility as well as provide your child with vestibular and proprioceptive input.