By: Scott Buie
Fall is in the air. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler, and Halloween is right around the corner. When you are getting your Halloween decorations ready for this year, don’t forget about the fun, family activity of pumpkin carving. Pumpkin carving is a great activity to work on many skills that you would work on in occupational therapy.
Have your child scoop out the inside of the pumpkin with their hands and a spoon. This is a great way to work on:
- Tactile sensitivities with the slimy texture
- Bilateral coordination when stabilizing the pumpkin and scooping
- Grip, fine motor, and upper body strengthening when scooping and scraping out the insides.
- Motor planning the different components of the task
Have them separate the seeds from the pulp
- This works on bilateral coordination, manual dexterity, and tactile sensitivities.
- Bonus: bake the pumpkin seeds to work on sequencing when following a recipe and trying new textured foods
Have your child draw the face on the outside of the pumpkin
- This works on fine motor skills and allows your child to be creative when designing the face.
For older children with good safety awareness, have them carve the pumpkin face
- This works on bilateral coordination, motor planning, fine motor skills, and strengthening