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5 FUN FINE MOTOR ACTIVITIES FOR HALLOWEEN

The weather is getting chilly again, and Halloween is almost here! Here are some great ideas for indoor fun that will help children develop their fine motor strength and coordination skills.

5 Fun Fine Motor Activities For Halloween:

Tissue Paper Pumpkin:

Supplies: construction paper, markers, tissue paper, gluegirl carving a pumpkin

*Draw a pumpkin on construction paper. Tear small pieces of tissue paper, and using one hand, scrunch up the pieces with your thumb, index and middle fingers. Dip the tissue paper into glue and place it on the construction paper to fill in the pumpkin.

Haunted House:

Supplies: popsicle sticks, glue or superglue (use with supervision), construction paper, paint

Use construction paper as a base for the popsicle stick house, as the glue may get messy on a table. *Make a floor out of popsicle sticks and secure it with glue to the construction paper. Glue popsicle sticks together to make the walls and the roof. To make a slanted roof, secure the roof to the walls on a diagonal. Once the glue on the house is dry, you can paint it black and paint on ghosts and goblins.

Ghosts:

Supplies: kleenex or paper towel (to make a bigger ghost), cotton balls, thread, marker

*Place a few cotton balls in the center of the kleenex or paper towel for the head of the ghost. Next, fold the napkin in to wrap it around the cotton ball, and secure the head by tying a thread around it while letting the rest of the napkin flow.

To hang it up, pull a threaded needle through the top of the ghost’s head. Make sure the thread is long enough to hang to hang on something, and loop it through to make a knot.

Pumpkin Carving:

Supplies: pumpkin, marker, pumpkin carver (it is easier and safer to use than a knife, and you can buy one at walmart, stencils (optional)

*Draw a face on the pumpkin with stencils or free-hand, and carve away! This is a great activity to develop motor control and strength.

Halloween Necklace:

Supplies: Halloween colored beads of all shapes and sizes, beading wire or thread

*Make a knot on one of the thread, and start stringing the beads! Using small beads is great for fine motor control and precision. For additional coordination and fine motor muscle development, instruct your child to hold 3-5 beads in the palm of their hand, and as they need the next bead, have them use their thumb, index and middle finger to get the bead out of their palm. Make sure their palm is facing up so that they cannot compensate and use gravity to help them get the beads!

Monsters, Zombies, and Ghosts, Oh My!: Help Children Who have Fears about Halloween Feel Safe and Have Fun

With the costumes, candy, games, and parties Halloween brings, it can be an exciting time for many children! For some children, however, it can also bring about fears and concerns, especially with graphic costumes, haunted houses, and talk of various monsters. Here are some tips to help your child who is scared feel safe and have fun on Halloween.

Tips To Help Your Child Not be Scared On Halloween:

1. Listen to your child’s fears and provide validation.
-Halloween involves a variety of activities, some that will feel exciting and others that may spark fears in young children. Talk to your child to see what aspects of Halloween she is looking forward to and what components concern her. This can help your child feel comfortable talking about Halloween so that she can scared boy on halloweenopen up to you about fears as she has them.
-Children may not know what they are afraid of until they come face to face with it-on TV when there is a commercial for a haunted house, at the store when they see a monster mask, or at school when other children talk about frightening costumes. Be mindful of these instances to understand what scares your child.  
-When children express fears or concerns, acknowledge your child’s feelings to empathize. In an effort to reassure their children, some parents may inadvertently minimize their children’s fears (Ex. “Don’t be scared. It’s just a mask.”). Instead, show your child that it is okay to feel scared and ask questions to understand her specific fears (Ex. “I bet it was scary when the kids were talking about bloody costumes at school. Are you afraid that they will wear those costumes to your school party?”)   
2. Help your child feel safe by explaining that Halloween costumes are “pretend.”

-After listening attentively and validating your child’s concerns, reassure your child by explaining the concept of “pretend.” (Ex. “Those monster masks are scary, but it’s not a real monster. On Halloween, people wear masks and costumes that are pretend. That means it isn’t real-it’s just dress-up time for one day.”) 

3. Make adjustments to help your child feel safe.
-Schools generally have a non-violent costume policy. Confirm this rule with the school and reassure your child that scary costumes are not allowed. 
-Steer your child away from Halloween aisles at grocery stores. Some masks and costumes may be too gory, graphic, and age inappropriate for your child to see.
-Talk to your older children about their siblings’ fears so that they can be sensitive about what to talk about in front of their brother or sister. Older children can also provide validation and support to their younger siblings (Ex. “Your brother used to be scared of those masks too but not anymore. Paul, can you tell Jane what helped you to not feel scared anymore?”)
4. Choose child-friendly activities that can make Halloween fun!
-Churches, universities, and community centers offer activity-filled days for the entire family to enjoy. Project Pumpkin at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, for example, invites children and families from the Chicagoland area to enjoy a safe day of trick-or-treating and carnival games!   
-Help your child choose a lighthearted costume so that she can focus on her own chance to dress up! Here is a great website with Halloween costumes for children with easy-to-follow instructions to make at home!
-Keep the focus on aspects of Halloween that are silly, fun, and interactive. Carve friendly faces into pumpkins, make Halloween-inspired snacks, or play Halloween-themed games!
What helps your children to feel safe on Halloween? What fun activities do you do with your children on Halloween?