Fall is an exciting time of the year with cooler weather setting in and the changing leaf colors. For some parents of special needs children, this is a great time to get out of doors because the temperatures have cooled and there are plenty of fun activities in most communities. When choosing activities, parents should take into account the amount and type of sensory stimulation that their children can enjoy. Some children love touching, tasting and seeing plenty of things while others may only be able to do one short activity at a time before heading someplace quiet.
Plan a Treasure Hunt
Parents can plan a fun treasure hunt by making a list of things that children can find outside their home or in a local park. Some good autumnal examples include different colors of leaves, acorns, pinecones, tree bark, a bird’s feather, a twig, and a rock. This can help children learn how to follow directions and organize their thoughts while also running off some energy.
Go to an Orchard or Farm
Children can find so many fun things to do at a farm. Many farms have special activities just for children during the fall. For example, parents can look for a farm that has a corn maze or a pick-your-own-pumpkin patch. Other farms offer apple picking, animal feeding, hayrides or pumpkin carving contests. Fruit picking can help with gross motor movements while pumpkin carving can help with fine motor skills.
There are so many things that children can do with leaves. Not only do many enjoy jumping in piles of leaves but also they love to use them for art projects. Children can gather leaves and glue them to papers or can ask their parents to create pretty decorations for them by sealing colorful leaves between clear contact paper. Children can also try leaf rubbings by placing a leaf under a sheet of paper and coloring with a crayon on top of the paper.