Halloween is a favorite time of year for the Building Blocks Therapists! We love all the fun activities we get to do with our kiddos to work on various speech, language, and feeding goals. A simple visit to the pumpkin patch opens up a window of opportunities for speech and language enhancement. Once the perfect pumpkin is picked, take it home, cut the top off, and reach inside for slimy fun! Kids either love it or hate it, but it’s a great way to explore a different texture. Dig out the seeds and cook them for a snack. This is a great opportunity for sequencing and problem solving steps.
Before you carve it, you can use special push-in face pieces (found at CVS, Target, etc) to practice what kind of face (scary, silly, smiley, surprised) you want the final carving to be. The book, Pumpkin Heads, can provide some inspiration. If your child is older, have he or she create stories to go along with the different faces created. For the younger kids, Five Little Pumpkins, is a great book for acting out actions and filling in the words.
Halloween cookie cutters in the shapes of ghosts and pumpkins make regular sandwiches much more fun to eat! Using cookie cutters to cut out cookie dough, bread, and tortillas in different shapes and “painting” with pumpkin cream cheese can capture the interest of even the pickiest eater. Often times, playing and manipulating food in a non-eating way, can increase the interest or tolerance for a new food. While trying the new food doesn’t always happen, it’s just as important to become more comfortable around new foods. Cooking, touching, and experimenting without the pressure to eat, can accomplish just that.
Happy pumpkin season!