- Read a Halloween book. Choose something that is age appropriate for your child. If you child is under 2 years, ask them to point to pictures in the book. Around 2 years and older you can begin asking simple what and where questions. For example, what is the witch wearing on her head? What color is the ghost? Where is the pumpkin on this page?
- Create a sequencing activity with pictures about Halloween night. Children get so excited about dressing up and going out to get candy. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to them and the thought of something different can be exciting as well as nerve racking. Take some pictures of your child eating dinner, wearing their costume and the walking around outside. You can then put together the sequence with your child. If you child understands numbers you can even have them put a number next to each picture. #1 We are going to eat dinner. #2 We are going to put on your costume. #3 We are going to go trick or treating. You can make a sequence as simple as this for 2 year olds and more complicated for older children.
- Create a Halloween craft. There are so many ideas out there for Halloween craft ideas. By doing a craft project together with your child, you are working on sequencing, increasing vocabulary, following directions and increasing expressive language skills. Some of my favorite craft websites include:
- Sort through the candy. If your child is old enough, you can begin working on categories. For example, have your child put all the m&m’s in one pile, all the white wrappers in a second pile and all the red wrappers in a third pile. You could work on categories of chocolate vs. sugar candy vs. pretzel/chips. Increase vocabulary by teaching your child labels such as “this candy is soft, while this candy is crunchy.”
- Create a scrapbook after the event. Once you have settled down from your child’s sugar high sit down and create a scrapbook to mark down your memories. You can work on receptive language skills by asking simple questions, “ Who is in this picture? Who was dressed as a dinosaur? What did you get when you went trick or treating?” This also is an excellent time to work on sequencing. First we cut out the picture, then put the glue on the back and then stick it to our paper. You can work on having your child describe what is happening in each picture, which continues to address vocabulary and expressive language skills.
What are your favorite Halloween books and crafts? Post pictures of you and your child doing them together to Beaumont Parenting Program’s Facebook page and we might feature you in a post.
–Kristina Frimmel, M.A. CCC-SLP