For those little ones that need a little more help making a Jack O Lantern at Halloween, here are my suggestions for a successful pumpkin experience....
1. Endure the mess of the pumpkin - EMBRACE the goo!! (see sensory post) Use the hands, not the scoopers and/or spoons
2. Instead of using a knife to cut the pumpkin, here are some alternative that the child can do with less assistance from mom/dad/family/etc.
MY FAVORITE : This is made by Pumpkin Masters and is currently VERY difficult to find. I recently purchased some online to have in my "stash" for therapy during Halloween time. Using the punch outs elimiates the need for precise fine motor skills, but yeilds a nice, clean result. The metal stencil is punched through the pumpkin with the wooden hammer. I LOVE THESE!
MY OTHER FAVORITE
Another Pumpkin Masters, this kit uses the same concept as the punch outs, but uses pegs (like Light Brite) to create a face or picture on a pumpkin. Another GREAT adapatation for pumpkin carving!
Posted by YOUR OT HELP at 11:42 AM
Clothespins work the fingers and hands. Have the child squeeze the clothespin with the thumb and pointer finger to open and close the clothespin. You can have your child help you actually put clothes up to dry or have them put clothespins on the rim of a container.
Posted by YOUR OT HELP at 4:12 PM
Use an old food container (cool whip, butter, sour cream, etc) and cut a circle in the top. You can judge the circle size based on what you want the child to put in the container and how much you want them to push it in. For example, if you put in cotton balls, I would make the circle cut out smaller than the cotton ball to help the child push and work at putting in.
Posted by YOUR OT HELP at 4:09 PM
With my classroom starting a unit on colors, it's a perfect opportunity to create "color" necklaces from beads. Depending on your child's age and skill level, different sized beads may work more effectively than others. My students, who are identified being at least one year behind with their fine motor skills, will be beading with pony beads. Skill level also determines what type of string or twine you use. The smaller and bender the string the more difficult the task.
Posted by YOUR OT HELP at 4:18 PM