As the weather turns crisp, you may be wondering how you can engage your child in fun Fall activities. For children who experience sensory challenges, the outdoors makes a great sensory playground. The cooler Fall weather is a perfect time to plan some fun outdoor activities! Here are some things you can do this Fall:
Taking a hike will help to develop sensory skills. Help your child focus on the senses that are activated during your hike. Concentrating on one sense at a time will increase the intensity of each sense. Try starting your hike by blindfolding your child and holding their hand. Without their sense of sight, their other senses will be enhanced, Ask them what they smell or hear while blindfolded. Lead them to a tree trunk and allow them to feel and guess what they are touching. At the end, take off their blindfold and ask what they see around them. Encourage them to be as descriptive as possible.
Allowing your child to help with yard work is a great way for them to release their energy while helping with their muscle development and motor skills. Raking leaves and picking up fallen branches help with motor skills. Their whole body will be worked out and the muscles in their arms and legs will be developed. Before taking the yard waste to the curb for garbage day, have some fun by jumping into the piles of leaves! This will allow your child to activate their senses of touch and sound by feeling and hearing the crunchy leaves under them.
Have your child help you carve out a design or simple smiley face on a pumpkin. Allow your child to feel the guts and seeds in their hands as you hollow out the pumpkin. This is a great way to develop their sense of touch. Have them separate the guts from the seeds. You can even have them count the seeds out loud. Once the pumpkin is ready, you can carve the design on yourself if you prefer.
Many orchards offer open tractor hay rides, cider donuts, and of course – apple picking. A day at an orchard will stimulate every single sense and help develop motor skills. Most of their time will be taken up by picking the apples where they will be able to smell and feel the apples. Picking the apples will help with developing motor skills as well. Once the apples are in the basket, your child’s sense of taste can be activated by biting into their freshly picked fruit.
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