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What do you think of when you think about fall? Fall brings cooler weather, colorful leaves, large pumpkins, crisp apples, fragrant spices and rowdy football! The new season also brings fresh opportunities for fun seasonal-inspired activities. There are so many learning objectives you can address by doing hands-on activities...sequencing, gross motor skills, reading, storytelling, listening comprehension, fine motor skills, rhyming, and so much more! Below are some activities you can participate in this fall:

*Go on a fall scavenger hunt. Walk around your school, neighborhood or in your community park. Pay close attention to the sights and sounds around you. Search for signs that the season is changing. For example, what changes do you see in the plants? Do you notice any differences in the animals you see? Are people dressed any differently?

*Carve a pumpkin. Not all carved pumpkins have scary faces. Be creative...How about carving out the first letter in your child's name? Or carving your child's favorite animal. Maybe try carving small stars all over the pumpkin to create a starry night. Make sure you save the seeds! Pumpkin seeds can be roasted to eat.

*Make a scarecrow. Gather up some old clothes. Stuff them with straw, craft stuffing or crumbled paper. Assemble the pieces to make a scarecrow. Add features to the face with buttons or a permanent marker. Discuss the steps you used in making your scarecrow.

*Sample some apples. Get several different kinds of apples. Cut them into slices and let your child sample the different kinds. Describe the differences between the apples. Are some crunchier than others? Are they different colors? Which ones are sweeter? Does your child have a favorite?

*Sing some fall songs. If you don't know any, make one up. Just take the tune of one of your child's favorite songs and change the words. For example, "The Wheels on the Bus" can easily become "The Pumpkins in the Patch". Or "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" can turn into "Five Little Apples Hanging on the Tree."

*Make s'mores. Who doesn't love a warm, toasted marshmallow on top of gooey, melted chocolate, sandwiched between graham crackers? Cool fall evenings provide the perfect setting for a backyard campfire and some marshmallow-roasting fun. If building a campfire is not possible in your area, you can make s'mores in the microwave. For a good thinking challenge, allow your child to give you directions on how to make the s'mores and follow their directions precisely!

*Create leaf art. While on your fall scavenger hunt, gather up some leaves. Glue the leaves onto paper in groups to make pictures. Try making a leaf man, leaf bird or a leaf car! Add details with markers or crayons.    -Article credit given to Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S.,CCC-SLP

Tracy Schoeppner
(704) 753-2800