5 Halloween Activities for Toddlers to Boost Language
When kids think of Halloween, trick-or-treating, dressing up, and lots of candy come to mind! Halloween may only last a short while, but you can use this holiday as inspiration for themed activities for language development. With these spooky fun activities, you can boost your toddler's language skills throughout October. These activities are also a great way to get some seasonal speech practice.
Bake Something SpookyBaking spooky treats are perfect for opening your toddler up to new sensory experiences that also lead build language skills. If you want to keep it as simple as possible, dip whole apples in melted caramel for the traditional candy apple treat.
Or you can teach your toddler how to make Rice Krispies Eyeballs! Instead of flattening Rice Krispies treats in a sheet pan, simply roll into 1-inch balls and place a large M&M in the center to make an eyeball. The same Rice Krispies treat recipe can be molded into ghosts and pumpkins as well.
You can boost your child’s language skills by:
●Reading the recipe out loud
●Helping your child follow the directions in order
●Having your toddler roll the rice crispy balls and talking about the texture, smell, and taste
All Hallows’ Eve Sensory BagWhen a child’s senses are activated simultaneously it opens the door for an increase in language development. Your child can talk about the feel, color, movement, and the objects inside the sensory bag.
To make a sensory bag, start with hair gel. If you can find a green or orange hair gel for the sensory bag, that’s great! But if you want to use clear hair gel, add 2-3 drops of food coloring or craft paint to make Halloween colors. For the inside of the bag, think of anything related to Halloween and small enough to fit inside a plastic sandwich bag.
Here are some ideas:
●Small plastic bats
●Green, black, or orange dyed spaghetti (they represent “guts”)
Halloween Inspired SlimeIf you want to take your toddler’s sensory experience as well as his/her language to the next level, try a Halloween inspired slime! Slime is easy to make and allows your child to get a completely different sensory experience compared to sensory bags. Your toddler can touch, squeeze, and smell the slimy texture along with the Halloween themed items like eyeballs.
To make this language boosting sensory slime, try the following recipe!
Combine 5 oz of glue, 1 Tablespoon of baking soda, and add (desired amount) of glitter paint into a bowl. Stir till combined, then mix in 3 Tablespoons of saline solution. Roll the slime mixture in your hands until it’s no longer sticky. Then add in Googly eyes! Store in a plastic bag, glass, or plastic container.
Painting PumpkinsPumpkins are an absolute must for Halloween. But there are two problems with carving pumpkins:
●Carved pumpkins do not last long
●Carving pumpkins is not a toddler-friendly activity
Instead of carving pumpkins, try painting pumpkins! Not only will painting pumpkins increase concentration and fine motor skills, but it also helps boost language. When children create any type of arts and crafts project they are proud of their accomplishment! They want to show it to you and tell you all about it. Use this creative pride to your advantage to boost language skills by asking engaging questions about the painted pumpkin and incorporate new vocabulary.
You and your toddler have the opportunity to discuss:
●Halloween designs to paint on the pumpkins
●Colors to use
●Different color combinations
●The best places to display your toddler’s pumpkin artwork
Halloween Memory MatchMemory games help increase your child’s concentration, focus, memory, and language skills. A simple memory game for toddlers consists of matching squares or tiles centered around a common theme. This time the theme is anything to do with Halloween.
Common Halloween themed items for memory tiles include:
To play this memory game, create memory squares with the following above Halloween items printed onto paper. Place them upside down on the table or floor. Start by having your toddler turn one card/tile over at a time, and try to match the image on the tile. As you're doing this game, engage your toddler in conversation with questions about the images and where your child thinks the hidden image is.
Any holiday is a great excuse to help your child interact with new activities to fuel creativity and imagination! Even better, these Halloween based activities can be done throughout the month of October. This gives you 31 days of spooky fun language boosting activities!
About the Author Liz Talton is a regular contributor for Speech Blubs blog, a speech therapy app for toddlers. She is a work at home mom of 2, so she is always on the lookout for new activities that will keep the little ones busy. Her background is in psychology, and she is dedicated to motherhood and writing.
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1. Learn with Adrienne has some wonderful videos that are fun and functional to help toddlers increase their language skills. All of these activities can easily be incorporated in to home environment and across multiple settings.
2. Accessible Chef is one of my favorites because you can target language skills through cooking. They have a list of different recipes with all of the steps and visual supports to support each recipe. There is also a section where you can use their recipe creator tool if you have a recipe that is not listed on their website. They have a bank of pictures, so it is convenient if you are looking for specific ingredients to create your own recipe.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing quarantine activities and things that I am doing at home.
Sweat it Out
Quote of the Week:
"If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness and to strive and achieve." -Les Brown
Felt Like a Kid Moment:
This week I felt like a kid when I was enjoying Google's 3d animals more than my daughter :)
Find out all of the 3D animals you can see on Google's 3D animals: https://9to5google.com/2020/03/28/google-3d-animals-list/
What are some of the activities that you all are doing in quarantine? I would love to share them with others too in a post.
(Purchases through affiliate links below earn me a small commission with no extra cost to you. See our Disclosure Policy here.)
Sight Words.com is a wonderful free resource that provides a "detailed curriculum outline" for different lessons related to sight words. This website provides activities, techniques and materials that are beneficial when learning sight words. There are sight word lists for grades PK-4th grade.
Enjoy exploring Sightwords.com. Special Thanks to Margo for sharing this wonderful resource!