Halloween Activities that Promote Speech and Language Development
Halloween may look a little different this year, but we can still find fun and safe ways to celebrate the holiday! Celebrating Halloween is also a great way to work on promoting your child’s speech and language skills. Here are a few of our favorite activities for Halloween 2020!
1.Indoor Candy Scavenger Hunt (in lieu of trick-or-treating): Hide candy around your house and incorporate spatial concepts. Hide candy under, in front of, behind, above, below, next to, etc. and ask your child where he/she found the candy. Weather permitting, you could even have an outdoor candy scavenger hunt in your backyard. If your child is working on developing certain speech sounds, you can plan ahead and buy candy that has your child’s target sound. For example, if your child is working on the S sound, you may buy: Twix, Snickers, Skittles, Starburst, Swedish Fish, or Reese’s.
2. Sorting: After your indoor (or outdoor) candy scavenger hunt, have your child sort his/her candy by color, size, shape or candy type (chocolate/gummy, hard/soft, etc.). For shape, it may be helpful to use the candy itself, rather than the wrapper/packaging (e.g. M&Ms are round, but the packet may be a square or rectangle). For children who benefit from visual support, you can use construction paper or colored cups for sorting by color or cut out various shapes and have your child match the shape of the candy to the shape of the paper.
3. Outdoor Halloween Scavenger Hunt: Instead of looking for candy, go on a search for Halloween-themed things while walking outdoors! You can easily create your own or you can download one for free here. It may be helpful to look around your neighborhood before going out to make sure Halloween things are sure to be found!
4. Pumpkin Carving: This is one of my favorite activities when working on sequencing! You can talk about the steps to carving a pumpkin before (or after) you carve your pumpkin. For children who benefit from visual support, take pictures along the way! For example, take a picture of your child:
- Cutting off the top
- Scooping out the seeds
- Drawing the eyes, nose, mouth
- Cutting out the eyes, nose, mouth
- Putting a candle or light inside
5. We love decorating our house for just about every holiday, but Halloween is definitely a family favorite. Window clings/stickers can be easily found at the Dollar Store, grocery stores or even your local Halloween pop-up store. You can target spatial concepts or following directions while putting up your window stickers. You can also review concepts such as size, shape, quantity (e.g. few, many), spatial relationships and texture (e.g. rough, smooth). You can also find Halloween lights (for inside or outside), wall décor, table-top/mantel décor and more!
6. Arts and Crafts: There are so many engaging projects to make for Halloween. From cotton ball ghosts to Halloween paper lanterns, you can easily make Halloween crafts using items around your house. You can even use your child’s crafts as your Halloween decorations! Arts and crafts are great for vocabulary development, requesting (by keeping the materials out of reach), sequencing, following directions and asking/answering questions. For arts and crafts ideas, visit Halloween Crafts for Kids and Halloween Crafts for Toddlers.
We hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!
If you have concerns about your child’s development please don’t hesitate to reach out. TherapyWorks team of pediatric therapists would be happy to consult with you and provide recommendations. Click the button below to answer a few questions about your child. A member of the TherapyWorks team will follow up with you.