Halloween is such a fun holiday for kids! This year it can be especially important to create some ghostly games and activities at home for your children, since certain events might be cancelled due to the current pandemic. Here are some favorite spooky activities and how to use them to grow your child’s speech and language skills!
1. Mr. Pumpkin Head
A Halloween twist on the classic! Instead of Mr. Potato Head, make a pumpkin your child can use to create different faces to learn names of body parts and prepositions like in, out, on, and off. Start with a medium-sized fake pumpkin. Drill holes into it in the spaces where the various body parts will go. Take the body parts/accessories from your child’s Mr. Potato Head toy and dress up the pumpkin instead! An alternative? Use stickers of body parts to make faces on a fake (or real) pumpkin.
2. Scary Snacks
There are so many adorable halloween kids snacks online. Search for some and help your child follow the recipe to create it. Some of my favorites:
While following the recipe, challenge your child to use his or her auditory memory skills. Tell your child a list of a few ingredients (more or less, depending on their age). Then see if your child can remember them all and take them out. Tell your child a few steps at a time, using sequencing words such as “first”, “then”, “before” or “after”.
3. Costume Party
Don’t wait ‘til the 31st to dress up! If your child doesn’t already have one, create a “Dress-up Corner” or bin with old costumes, accessories, etc. that you find around the house. Have your child use the items to create a costume. This is a great activity for working on “where” questions (for example, ask your child, “where does a hat go?”), “who” questions (“who are you?”), and spatial concepts like on and off. After dressing up, your child can even earn a treat by “Trick or Treating” to different family members in their rooms around the house!
4. Spooky Reads
Look through your child’s bookshelf and take out the Halloween-related books. This month’s Join the Storybox books Trunk or Treat! (board book) and Does Frankenstein Get Hungry? are perfect. Put them in an area that’s easily accessible and seen by your child, like a reading nook, playroom, or side table in his or her room, to encourage your child to pick it up and take a peak spontaneously. Read these books throughout the month before bedtime. Reading is one of the best things you can do to develop your child’s language skills! Point out new vocabulary words, practice asking and answering questions, and draw attention to print!
Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist