Emotions Monster I Spy Page

emotions monster I spy worksheet

Working on social emotional learning with kids? This emotions monster I Spy page is a frightfully fun activity for developing an awareness of emotions with a monster theme. Use the printable page to identify emotions and facial expressions. This emotions monster worksheet uses Frankenstein faces, but it’s a hit for all monster fans!

This emotions monster I Spy worksheet helps kids identify emotions and work on visual perceptual skills using a monster theme.

Emotion Monsters

During the weeks leading up to Halloween, all things monsters are a fun theme for kids. These emotion monsters are a friendly way to develop social emotional learning with kids and make a great addition to social emotional learning in children.

You can add this printable Halloween worksheet to our list of Halloween occupational therapy activities.

How to use this emotion monsters worksheet

This worksheet is a fun way to develop several skills. First, print off the PDF below. You can enter your email address into the form and grab the PDF from your email inbox.

Next, either print off pages for each child OR laminate the emotion monsters worksheet and use dry erase markers to complete the page. Another alternative is to slide the page into a page protector sheet.

Then, get ready to help children develop social emotional skills!

When developing emotional growth in children, engaging activities are key! The basic emotions used in this worksheet can give you a starting point to cover so many emotional skills and coping strategies.

Show students the various emotions that the Frankenstein faces are expressing. You can use this worksheet in various ways to work on a variety of skills that develop self-awareness in children:

Self-Regulation Monsters

You’ll notice that this monster I Spy page has a top portion with monster faces showing a variety of facial expressions. Then at the bottom is a color coded key. Users can find the matching facial expressions and then color them in as they find matches. The facial expressions try to follow the Zones of Regulation self-regulation color themes and color concepts of the popular self-regulation program.

This free worksheet builds an exploration of colors in the zones program through repetition as they look for and color in the emotion monsters.

This is a great opportunity to talk to children about feelings, identifying how they feel in different scenarios, and coming up with self-regulation tools to address various emotions that impact functioning.

Emotions such as frustration, anger, sadness aren’t “wrong”, and it’s important to teach children that they will feel all kinds of emotions and it’s ok! Try using terms like calm monster, angry monster, sad monster, or glad monster to give children terms when using this emotional skills worksheet.

These identifying terms (and seeing them used in a fun and low-stress manner) can help with impulse control, frustration, and acting out at home and in the classroom.

Then, take the emotional regulation strategies a step further and ask kids: How do you deal with the emotional monsters inside of you? (Emphasizing that emotional monsters are not bad, it’s just a way to give feelings a name.)

Monster Feelings I Spy Activity

Use the worksheet to work on visual perceptual skills to find matching facial expressions. This Monster I Spy activity addresses a variety of skills:

  • Visual discrimination
  • Visual form constancy
  • Visual memory
  • Visual attention
  • Visual scanning

Practice facial expressions with monster emotions

Use the monster emotions activity to work on practicing facial expressions. Children can find all of the monster emotions and color in the matching monsters. Then they can copy the facial expression and identify a time they have felt that feeling.

This is a good way to practice communication or self-regulation strategies, too. When children can read the expressions of others around them, it builds awareness, empathy skills, and even school readiness. Kids can better understand that we all have a lot of emotions and big feelings happen all the time. This fun monster theme makes it fun to explore those various emotions.

Identify feelings with a monster theme

Use the monster emotions worksheet to work on identifying feelings. Ask children to find the matching images and then ask them to name the emotion that the facial expression represents. Kids will love this fun way to work on emotional vocabulary!

This monster worksheet is a creative way to get kids talking about emotions. When we teach children how to figure out WHAT they are feeling, WHY they are having that emotion, and HOW to make better choices, we build their self-regulation, or emotional regulation skills so they can make appropriate choices and manage emotions in a given situation.

Fine Motor Emotion Monsters Activity

The nice thing about this worksheet is that it can be used to work on so many areas. Fine motor skills is no exception! Rather than coloring, ask students to place a marker on the monster’s face that matches the emotion they are looking for. Try using these items:

  • Coins to work on in-hand manipulation skills
  • Beads to work on separation of the sides of the hand skills
  • Small pieces of paper to work on scissor skills and neat pincer grasp skills

Even coloring is a fine motor skill that is addressed with this creative worksheet. Asking children to color in the lines and fill in all of the given areas addresses pencil control and endurance in fine motor skill work.

Free Emotions Monster Worksheet

Want to add this printable monsters worksheet to your therapy toolbox for an approachable way to cover emotional growth in kids? Just enter your email address into the form below. You’ll receive access to the printable PDF so you can work on these areas today!

Emotion Monsters I Spy!

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    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    Add this monster emotion worksheet to our Pumpkin theme fine motor kit to round out the skill-building!

    Pumpkin activity kit
    Pumpkin Fine Motor Kit

    Grab the Pumpkin Fine Motor Kit for more coloring, cutting, and eye-hand coordination activities with a Pumpkin theme! It includes:

    • 7 digital products that can be used any time of year- has a “pumpkins” theme
    • 5 pumpkin scissor skills cutting strips
    • Pumpkin scissor skills shapes- use in sensory bins, math, sorting, pattern activities
    • 2 pumpkin visual perception mazes with writing activity
    • Pumpkin “I Spy” sheet – color in the outline shapes to build pencil control and fine motor strength
    • Pumpkin Lacing cards – print, color, and hole punch to build bilateral coordination skills
    • 2 Pumpkin theme handwriting pages – single and double rule bold lined paper for handwriting practice

    Work on underlying fine motor and visual motor integration skills so you can help students excel in handwriting, learning, and motor skill development.

    You can grab this Pumpkin Fine Motor kit for just $6!

    Movement Activities Monster OT Slides

    Recently, I’ve been sharing some occupational therapy slide decks with you. These slide decks are OT activities that can be used in teletherapy sessions as part of distance OT or distance learning. Today, I’ve got movement activities with a monster theme to share. These are monster themed occupational therapy activities that cover a variety of areas. When you access the OT slide deck, use in to work on OT activities like a therapy warm-up, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, visual motor skills, and finally, a self-regulation check-in. Each activity in the collection involves movement activities that build specific skills. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter your email to access the latest free occupational therapy slide deck.

    Movement activities for occupational therapy sessions with a free OT slide deck that incorporates fine motor, gross motor, coordination, visual motor skills, regulation and other movement in monster theme activities.

    Movement activities

    As always, my mission here at The OT Toolbox is to help you help kids thrive through the use of easily accessible tools and resources.

    try these monster activities for a lesson plan for writing, letter identification through movement.

    The slides included in this set are acceptable movement activities for preschoolers because they use letters, helping preschoolers to recognize and identify letters. The slides would also work as a movement activity for kids in older grades as well, using the handwriting and visual motor activities to build specific skills like visual motor skills needed for handwriting tasks, copying lists of words, and visual perceptual skills needed for reading.

    Monster Movement Activities for Kids

    The slide deck promotes movement activities for kids in several ways. These are the slides and an agenda of activities to use in therapy sessions:

    Warm-Up– Use the gross motor movement activities as a warm up to help with body awareness and a sensory tool to add proprioceptive and vestibular input. Kids can copy the body positioning to challenge balance and coordination, as well as motor planning. I’ve added a visual perceptual component to the warm-up movement slides by asking children to identify a partially hidden letter as they do the whole-body movements. This challenges visual perceptual skills including visual discrimination, visual figure-ground, visual closure, form constancy, and visual memory. Read more about these skills that are needed to complete hidden pictures activities, for example.

    Monster activity with movement activities for preschool and movement activities for kids of all ages.

    Writing- The writing slides in this slide deck ask kids to identify the month they are born and the first letter of their name to create a wacky monster name. They can write this word phrase to practice handwriting. The visual scanning and tracking involved in this activity really challenges the visual processing skills and visual efficiency of the eyes. The movement activity of writing their name incorporates a functional task that they may be working on in their OT goals.

    Kids will love to work on handwriting with this monster name activity.

    Fine Motor- The fine motor portion of this movement activity slide deck involves tearing paper into small pieces. By ripping paper, kids are building hand strength, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and efficiency of grasp. I’ve added a visual motor component to this activity by asking the child to use those paper scraps in shaping and copying specific shapes. The whole fine motor activity adds much-needed fine motor movement and eye-hand coordination to a shape building activity.

    Visual- The visual portion of this occupational therapy slide deck is a favorite for some kids (My own kids included!) Use the slides to work on visual perceptual skills as they find matching shadows for the monster figures in a series of three slides. After the child completes each slide, ask them to jump and and cheer!

    A monster visual perception activity for ot sessions.

    Calm Down/Check-In- Lastly, you’ll find a calm down slide that incorporates the colors of the Zones of Regulation program. Children can complete the calm down movement activities shown on the slides and then choose a color to check in for their state of feelings.

    Work on self-regulation activities with a monster theme.
    Use the zones of regulation with a monster theme

    Want these movement activity slides?

    Enter your email below. If you are currently on The OT Toolbox newsletter list, this will not add you a second time. It will simply send the slides your way. Enjoy!

    Get this Movement Activities slide deck

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      HERE ARE MORE Movement ACTIVITIES TO USE IN VIRTUAL OT SESSIONS

      Heavy work movement activity cards

      Monthly movement activities

      Teletherapy activities for kids

      Work on fine motor skills in teletherapy

      Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

      Pumpkin activity kit
      Pumpkin Fine Motor Kit

      Grab the Pumpkin Fine Motor Kit for more coloring, cutting, and eye-hand coordination activities with a Pumpkin theme! It includes:

      • 7 digital products that can be used any time of year- has a “pumpkins” theme
      • 5 pumpkin scissor skills cutting strips
      • Pumpkin scissor skills shapes- use in sensory bins, math, sorting, pattern activities
      • 2 pumpkin visual perception mazes with writing activity
      • Pumpkin “I Spy” sheet – color in the outline shapes to build pencil control and fine motor strength
      • Pumpkin Lacing cards – print, color, and hole punch to build bilateral coordination skills
      • 2 Pumpkin theme handwriting pages – single and double rule bold lined paper for handwriting practice

      Work on underlying fine motor and visual motor integration skills so you can help students excel in handwriting, learning, and motor skill development.

      You can grab this Pumpkin Fine Motor kit for just $6!

      Free Halloween Visual Scanning Worksheet

      Halloween find and color worksheets

      Today I have a free Halloween visual scanning worksheet. This one is a find and color activity that develops visual processing skills. Just print off this visual scanning worksheet and have fun with this Halloween theme! If you’re looking for a low-prep Halloween printable that builds skills, this freebie is the way to go!

      Halloween find and color worksheets are a great Halloween visual scanning worksheet activity for visual perception and fine motor skills.

      Halloween Visual Scanning Worksheet

      Therapists will love this Halloween visual scanning worksheet for the visual perceptual skills and visual scanning skills that it develops. Just print off this worksheet and grab some crayons to work on visual scanning skills with kids.

      The free Halloween worksheet set comes in two sizes. One is a very small set of coloring images. This can be used with colored pencils to work on pencil control and precision of the small muscles of the hands. For kids that are working on small motor movements of the fingers, this is a great page to use.

      You’ll also see a larger set of Halloween images in the PDF. These larger images can be used with crayons or markers to color within the lines while working on hand strength using crayons or accuracy of line awareness when using markers.

      This not-so-spooky activity goes well with our Halloween I Spy activity and all of the Halloween Occupational Therapy activities.

      To better understand what is visual scanning, you can read more here on the website.

      Visual scanning is a visual processing skill needed for so many functional tasks! Check out this resource on visual motor skills to read more.

      For more visual scanning fun, try this DIY visual scanning worksheet activity.

      Find and Color Activities

      When kids complete find and color activities like in this printable Halloween coloring page, they are developing many areas needed for functional tasks:

      • Visual scanning
      • Visual discrimination
      • Form constancy
      • Visual figure ground
      • Visual attention
      • Visual memory

      Plus, when asking children to color in a small area like the mini pumpkins, ghosts, spiders, and bats on this Halloween worksheet, they are working on pencil control, eye-hand coordination, and fine motor skills.

      More ways to use this Halloween Visual Scanning Worksheet

      I love to offer creative materials that can be used in a variety of ways to develop many skills. Try using the Halloween find and color worksheet in these ways:

      Fine Motor Play

      Cover the items on the coloring page with a small object like a coin, beads, or craft pom poms. This encourages fine motor control, eye-hand coordination, motor planning, in-hand manipulation, and more.

      Work on eye-hand coordination

      Use a BINGO dabber to add a dot of paint on each of the objects as the child finds them.

      Handwriting Activity

      Work on visual perceptual skills and handwriting- Ask the child to count the number of other Halloween objects on the page and write out each word and number to work on handwriting skills.

      How would you use this Halloween visual scanning worksheet in your therapy toolbox?

      Print off this free Halloween worksheet and use it in your therapy practice or classroom during the weeks leading up to Halloween. Or, print off a bunch and use it as a fine motor and visual perceptual activity during Halloween parties this year. However you use this free worksheet, it’s sure to be a hit!

      More Halloween Ideas

      Add this Halloween find and color pages to these ideas:

      Halloween Visual Scanning Worksheets

        We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

        Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

        Grab the Pumpkin Fine Motor Kit for more coloring, cutting, and eye-hand coordination activities with a Pumpkin theme! It includes:

        • 7 digital products that can be used any time of year- has a “pumpkins” theme
        • 5 pumpkin scissor skills cutting strips
        • Pumpkin scissor skills shapes- use in sensory bins, math, sorting, pattern activities
        • 2 pumpkin visual perception mazes with writing activity
        • Pumpkin “I Spy” sheet – color in the outline shapes to build pencil control and fine motor strength
        • Pumpkin Lacing cards – print, color, and hole punch to build bilateral coordination skills
        • 2 Pumpkin theme handwriting pages – single and double rule bold lined paper for handwriting practice

        Work on underlying fine motor and visual motor integration skills so you can help students excel in handwriting, learning, and motor skill development.

        You can grab this Pumpkin Fine Motor kit for just $6!

        Fun Dinosaur Activities for Building Skills

        dinosaur activities

        Do you know a child that is obsessed with dinosaurs? If so, these dinosaur activities are perfect for developing skills through play. Or, use the dino activities to teach dinosaurs to preschoolers, kindergarteners, and older students learning about the dinosaur age. If your kiddos are anything like mine, then dinosaurs are a year round theme that never disappoints! Finding new and engaging activities to meet that “just right” challenge, while staying on-theme, can be quite the task. We have collected a variety of free dinosaur-themed activities to add to your repertoire for all the aspiring paleontologists in your life. Use these to satisfy fine motor, gross motor, handwriting, vision, and sensory integration interventions. 

        These fun dinosaur activities develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and more.

        Best of all, when kids are interested in learning about dinosaurs, these ideas can use these ideas to encourage multi-sensory play through learning! Add these movement and play activities to introduce a dinosaur theme in the classroom or home.

        Dinosaur FINE MOTOR ACTIVITIES

        For kids that love all thing dinosaurs, these dinosaur fine motor activities develop motor skill dexterity and coordination through play. Whether it’s tracing dinosaurs, creating a dinosaur craft, or handling tools in a dinosaur dig, these fine motor activities are fun!

        Here’s the thing: fine motor skills are used every single day! They are integral to just about every occupation and a big part of what occupational therapists work on in their treatment sessions. Use the activities below to increase skills like handwriting, buttoning, zipping, typing, and more! Why NOT incorporate dinosaur fun into fine motor development?!

        Dinosaur GROSS MOTOR ACTIVITIES

        Stomping like brontosaurus, crashing like a T-Rex, and running like a velociraptor means that dinosaur gross motor skills encourage coordination, balance, endurance, and motor planning skills! 

        Gross motor movements are made by the “big” muscles in the body. Gross motor control allows for walking, running, bending, stooping, balance, and many other skills that we use every day. Not only are these movements great for a child’s development of strength and coordination, but they also strengthen the connection between the brain and the body – so, get those bodies moving with dinosaur fun! 

        • Use these ideas to have Dinosaur Brain Break. This activity encourages various gross motor movements: stomping, crashing, jumping, balancing, and more.
        • Develop your own movements, or use the options provided, to meet therapy goals in a Dinosaur Movement Game. These free printables can be used in so many ways to develop gross motor skills.
        • Use dinosaur feet to stomp, sneak, crawl, or tiptoe! Draw dinosaur feet onto paper. Place them around the room to create a dinosaur footprints path where kids can look for the next prehistoric footprint. They can hop, crawl, creep, or tiptoe along the dino footprint path!
        • Change up your wording for these exercises to dinosaur-themed ones:
          • Tight-rope walking → Velociraptor Tip Toe 
          • Boat Pose → Fallen Over T-Rex 
          • Frog Jumps → Dinosaur Jumps 
          • Flamingo/tree pose → Flying Pterodactyl 
          • Bear Crawl → Creeping Stegosaurus

        Dinosaur Crafts

        The beauty of dinosaur crafts is that they build fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, motor planning, executive functioning skills, visual motor skills, and more. All of these skills are developed through the process of creating. Best of all, when a child prefers dinosaurs as an interest, they have ownership and a sense of self-confidence with a dinosaur craft that they are proud of!

        Try adding these ideas to your dinosaur theme:

        • Make a cupcake liner dinosaur craft. Fold the cupcake liner in half. Then use it as a dinosaur head or back. Cut out smaller pieces of paper to add details like legs, scales, a long neck, or a long tail.
        • Draw dinosaur feet. Cut them out and trace onto paper. Then, you can use those dinosaur feet to make a path for gross motor play such as a balance beam.
        • Make a handprint dinosaur craft. Press the hand into green paint. Press the handprint onto paper. Then add details like an eye, long legs, a long neck, and googly eyes.
        • Make a dinosaur paper plate craft. Cut a paper plate in half to make a dinosaur’s back. Then add legs and triangles along the back. Add a small face and tail and you’ve got a stegosaurus craft that develops scissor skills.

        Dinosaur HANDWRITING Activities

        For older kids, a dinosaur theme still works! There are many ways to incorporate dinosaur literacy activities, dino letter recognition, and letter formation into handwriting tasks. Some of these include dinosaur worksheets, but others do not. That’s the beauty of these ideas: you can use what you’ve got on hand to meet the individual needs of a child or classroom. 

        Handwriting is one of the most important skills of a child. Legible handwriting is integral to the success of a student, as so much of their work is presented through written material. Occupational therapists in the schools often assist students and teachers on this subject, including working on visual and motor skills to perfect the skill of handwriting. 

        • To develop visual discrimination skills and letter form constancy, check out this Dinosaur Letter Tracing activity idea – so cute!
          • Form constancy is one skill that is necessary to understand letters and use them to write words and sentences (and to read!). Form constancy is the idea that any given letter or shape continues to be the same even when written in another environment or at an angle. For example, the letter “A” is still the letter “A” when written in a different font, on a piece of paper, or on the chalkboard. 
        • Matching uppercase to lowercase letters is a great way to assess a child’s understanding in preparation for writing with the correct letter case. It can be hard to remember – especially for letters that aren’t obvious. These Dinosaurs can help make the hard work fun!  
        • This on-theme printable handwriting book gives kids the opportunity to trace, copy, and independently write upper and lower case letters. 

        Dinosaur VISION Activities

        When it comes to adding dinosaur visual perceptual skills to play, the theme can go many ways. Use one of our dino worksheets, OR create a table-top vision activity using toy dinosaurs. These ideas are open-ended!

        Vision is a highly complex skill –  it is not just about if you need to wear glasses or not! Visual processing is the connection between the brain and the visual environment. Sometimes the way that the brain processes that visual information is not very clear, that’s where an OT can step in! Use these activities to challenge visual processing skills.

        Dinosaur SENSORY Activities

        Dinosaur sensory bins, messy fossil digs, dino small world play, and sculpting dinosaur eggs…these sensory play ideas build skills!

        Sensory processing skills are used to define the world around us – we explore our environment through sight, feel, taste, smell, and our body position. Increasing sensory awareness can improve body awareness and understanding of our environment, which can in turn help us adjust and feel comfortable. Below are some great options to explore our senses!

        • Add heavy work for body awareness, self-regulation, attention, and whole body movements with these dinosaur proprioception activities. They are great for sensory seekers and addressing interoception needs.
        • These Egg Carton Dinosaurs use bumpy muffin cups, smooth googly eyes, soft and sharp pipe cleaners, and of course, an egg carton (so many different textures possible here) to give a multi-textured experience while defining fine motor skills. 
        • Make a paper mache dinosaur egg- Mix up messy, textural paper mache with paper, flower, and water and sculpt an egg around a balloon. Let it dry and then pop the balloon. Now you can decorate your dinosaur egg!
        • Have dinosaur figures, or mini dino toys? Use them to create a dinosaur small world for pretend play, self-confidence, self-talk, and problem solving.
        • Tearing paper has always been one of my go-to activities to address fine motor and sensory concerns. This easy Tissue Paper Dinosaur activity can increase texture tolerance in a way your dinosaur-lover will appreciate.  
        • Make a dinosaur sensory bin on a train table, or in a large bin. Add materials like dry beans, corn, or shredded paper. Or add messy wet materials like slime, water beads, water, or shaving cream.
        • Use a fossil dig activity for dry sensory play. Kids can chisel and chip away at a chalky substance to find dinosaur bones. Then, use the pieces to trace and make their own fossils for more fine motor, sensory fun.
        • Can’t forget the sensorimotor activities! Dinosaur dance parties, dinosaur stomping, dinosaur copycat, the options are endless. 
        https://www.amazon.com/Dinosaurs-Are-Different-Sydney-Laurel/dp/B09HG58QDV?dchild=1&keywords=dinosaurs+are+different&qid=1633626263&s=books&sr=1-7&linkCode=ll1&tag=sugaun-20&linkId=dd1a7f4156a98354c65ad540aa9b4b57&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_tl

        Dinosaur Self-Awareness Activities

        Some of the previously highlighted activities incorporate a sense of self-awareness, including the heavy work activities, and sensory play ideas. But to take self-awareness and celebrating the differences among us, is this book, Dinosaurs are Different.

        The book is a silly take that celebrates all of our differences and can be a fun dinosaur tool to address skills such as self-awareness, body awareness, internal differences and external differences in all of us.

        Use this book to incorporate into mindfulness with kids, grounding techniques, discussions on emotional awareness, social skill development, and responsibility exercises with kids.

        Dinosaur Books

        I always love to include books in our themed activities, as a way to encourage an early love of reading, but also to further develop the understanding of our topic. As you can imagine, there are TONS of dinosaur books available to further explore your dinosaur theme. 

        Here are some dinosaur books and related activities to get started:

        Sydney Thorson, OTR/L, is a new occupational therapist working in school-based therapy. Her
        background is in Human Development and Family Studies, and she is passionate about
        providing individualized and meaningful treatment for each child and their family. Sydney is also
        a children’s author and illustrator and is always working on new and exciting projects.

        5 Fun Ways to Support Emotional Vocabulary

        teach emotion words and support emotional vocabulary development in preschoolers

        It can be a challenge to teach develop emotional vocabulary in children and teaching emotion words to preschoolers. In this blog post, you’ll find out how our bodies react to our emotions in threatening situations, how to teach the most common emotion words to preschoolers and strategies to help young children understand emotions by giving them tools to support their emotional development.

        Oh no! There Suzy goes again. She’s crying and I don’t know why. She seems hurt. Or maybe she’s nervous. Or is she sensitive to the classroom surroundings. Is she irritated or annoyed? All I did was hand her the red cup of water. I wish she knew the emotion words to communicate so I knew what the problem is.

        How to teach emotion words in preschool to support emotional literacy and emotional vocabular development through play.

        What is Emotional Vocabulary?

        Do you ever find yourself confused to why your child is screaming? 

        Did you know that there are over 34,000 different emotions?

        Dr. Robert Plutchik was able to create an emotion wheel that categorized emotional vocabulary into these 8 areas, making a comprehensive list of emotions. 

        1. Joy
        2. Sadness
        3. Trust
        4. Disgust
        5. Fear
        6. Anger
        7. Anticipation
        8. Surprise

        If there are over 34,000 emotions, you can imagine how children with only 300-600 words may feel when trying to communicate them. 

        Tantrums and meltdowns usually occur because children don’t have the emotional vocabulary to communicate their emotions in a way that others would understand. There may be a component of personal experiences or an affective states that impacts how a child expresses their feelings in a given situation.

        Think back to Suzy from the beginning of this blog. It turned out she was scared of the blender noise making the smoothie that was going to fill her red cup. In the moment of irritation/tenseness, she was too scared to remember the words she needed, so she started screaming instead. She didn’t know the emotions words to tell me the problem. 

        Emotional vocabulary, or emotional literacy is essential to a child's social emotional development.

        Why is Emotional Vocabulary Important?

        And, why is it so hard  for children to use emotion words to communicate while they are upset?

        It is very difficult for young children to express words that they are feeling. 

        Emotional vocabulary like feeling impatient, helpless, uneasiness, hopelessness, nervousness, anxious feelings, fury, or apprehensive feelings contain a lot of meaning that aren’t part of the preschooler’s vocabulary just yet. Negative emotions that “take over” a situation in the way of a tantrum, breakdown, or other behavior can impact mood, learning, and personal relationships.

        Similarly, positive emotions such as feelings of happiness, optimism, excitement, and euphoric behaviors can result in difficulty paying attention, silliness that interferes with learning or safety, or other strains on self-regulation.

        Those are feelings that we definitely see expressed in the child’s body language, facial expressions, and behavior!

        When a child has words to express their emotions, they develop resilience. They improve emotional literacy so that they can verbally express how they are feeling. Children move from feeling misunderstood to feeling certain of their situation. 

        And, when we understand components of emotion, we can help a child develop their emotional literacy by giving them words that they can recall and use even in the heat of the moment.

        Developing emotional skills by building a library of emotion terms also helps children to navigate social environments in the school, home, classroom, and community. This emotional competence carries over with experience and practice in using and understanding emotional terms, especially in the thick of big feelings. Having words for the feelings children feel fosters positive interactions with others. Improving emotional vocabulary even impacts physical health. A robust emotional vocabulary comes with time and practice, but developing experience helps in so many ways.

        All of this is related to emotional competence! 

        We all have an emotional vocabulary. Preschoolers need help to learn emotional terms.

        Emotional Literacy

        On January 15, 2021, Carolyn MacCann Ph.D., Psychology Today explained psychology Professor James Gross’ four components of feeling an emotions and Professor Klaus Scherre’s process model of emotions. She states:

        “Having emotions is a universal experience, and every person in the world has felt angry, shy, scared, or embarrassed at some point in their lives. According to psychology Professor James Gross, there are four components of feeling and emotion:

        1. The situation you are in (whatever is happening to you at that moment)
        2. The details you pay attention to
        3. Your appraisal of what the situation means for you personally
        4. Your response, including the physical changes (like blushing or shaking), and your behaviors (like shouting or crying).”

        She goes on to explain Professor Klaus Scherer’s component-process model of emotion that includes the following 5 components to emotions:

        1. Feelings (subjective feelings, like “I feel scared”)
        2. Appraisals (though patterns, like “I am under threat”)
        3. Expressions (facial and bodily expressions of emotions, like being wide-eyed with fright)
        4. Action tendencies (the tenancy to prefer certain actions like freezing or hiding); and
        5. Physical changes (physical symptoms of emotion, such as butterflies in the stomach).”

        Imagine what a small child must be feeling as they interpret the situation around them, processing what they are physically experiencing and trying to come up with a solution to the situation – all at the same time! Let’s look at Suzy, the little girl who is afraid of the blender. 

        Using Professor James Gross’s four components of feeling and emotion, she is likely feeling the following:

        1. The situation you are in – mom just handed me a red cup but I can’t hear what she is saying because there is a loud, grumbling sound coming from the counter.
        2. The details you pay attention to – I hear chopping and grumbling sounds that are deep and scary.
        3. Your appraisal of what the situation means for you personally – The blender is so loud that I can’t hear mom talking, or even hear myself telling her to stop.
        4. Your response, including the physical changes – I feel my heart beating faster, my hands are shaking a little and I’m closing my eyes because all my senses are on overload. Nothing is helping so I scream and cry, hoping mom will turn the blender off. 

        Now let’s look at Professor Klaus Scherer 5 emotional components as Suzie processes her emotions:

        1. Feelings – I am scared.
        2. Appraisals – I am in danger. My mom is in danger.
        3. Expressions – I’m closing my eyes really hard and have my hands over my ears.
        4. Action tendencies – I’m screaming because mom can’t hear me.
        5. Physical changes – I feel my heart beating faster, my hands are shaking a little and I’m closing my eyes because all my senses are on overload.

        Wow! How do you feel after experiencing first hand what Suzy is experiencing? If only she would tug on mom’s shirt and say “turn off the blender, I’m scared of the loud noise.”

        What Can You Do to Increase Children’s Emotional Vocabulary?

        Adults have had years of experience processing their emotions and learning how to communicate them, but children need help. Learning emotion words is how preschoolers can reach out to us for help. 

        Activities that teach emotional vocabulary and specific emotion words to young children in a way that they understand and remember, will make it easier for them to recall the correct words to use to describe their feelings, even when they are in a stressful situation. Emotion word lessons are best taught through an active approach. Here are five fun ways to teach emotion words to preschoolers.

        These are hands-on, multisensory activities to support emotional development in young children. They are tools for Developing and Using Emotional Vocabulary. They are fun ways to develop personal experience in developing emotional vocab!

        5 Fun Ways to Teach Emotion Words to Preschoolers

        1.Practice emotional vocabulary with Emotion face paper plates! 

        Tackle those fine motor skills while teaching emotion words. Understanding the facial expressions that match feelings help children identify and describe how others are feeling, so they know how to respond. 

        Using play based crafts, like paper plates, will reinforce how different expressions mean different things. When a child is upset, have them look in the mirror and see if they can tell you what their face is saying. Is their face happy, sad, angry or mad? Once they respond with the emotional vocabulary, you can ask “why does your face feel that way?”

        Activities like this one offers children the opportunity to practice facial expressions and body language while practicing emotion words.

        2. Use Calming down with sensory supports to improve emotional vocabulary.

        These amazing fall themed calm down ideas will help children regulate so they can remember all those feelings words that we teach them. While using the fall animal walk, have your child make a feeling face while they “leap like a squirrel” such as “leap like an angry squirrel!”

        Children remember new emotional vocabulary while they are moving!

        3. Read books about calming down and talking about emotions. 

        Soothing Sammy creates a positive spin on calming down and talking about feelings. This three step program uses tactile prompts and visual cues from a friendly golden retriever named Sammy!

        Soothing Sammy is a book and curriculum created to develop a child’s emotional vocabulary and to teach them how to calm down in a positive way.

        As children read through the story, the simple images reinforce the lessons, ones even 2 year-olds will understand. After, allow your child to build Sammy’s house out of an empty box, and place sensory calm down items in.

        Encourage them to visit Sammy’s house and read his book when they become overwhelmed. Once they are calm, talk with your preschooler about emotions and how to communicate what they are feeling. 

        Emotional literacy is the ability to identify, understand and respond to emotions in oneself and others in a healthy manner, and using books is a powerful way to practice these skills.

        Learn more about Soothing Sammy here

        Use Soothing Sammy to teach emotions through play.

        4. Play emotion pattern mirror games.

        Teaching children about patterns doesn’t only have to be on paper or with objects, we can use play patterns to teach preschoolers about their feelings.

        Children learn so much by looking at themselves in the mirror. Turn on the light in the bathroom or grab a foldable mirror and place it on the floor. 

        Ask your child to make the feeling face you say, when you say it (happy, sad, happy, sad). Take turns (as an adult) making the faces your kids name. This game is bound to bring some laughter! Repeat with more emotions words. Learn more about this activity here.

        5. Play emotion memory card games.

        Repetition is the foundation of memory! What better way to learn new emotion words then emotion flashcards.

        My favorite way to do this is with real pictures of children making different emotion faces. Print out 2 copies of your child making each of the following faces: mad, sad, scared, surprised, annoyed and excited. Place the images upside down (all mixed up) and see if your child can match them together!

        As your child learns these words, create some more picture faces of new emotions to create a more advanced emotion word lesson.

        *Note – if your child is under 4 year old, start by placing the cards face up for them to match!

        A final note on emotional vocabulary

        Emotions don’t have to get the best of us, or our children. As long as we learn the words to pair with our emotions, we are able to problem solve with family and friends. Learning emotional language will help our children as toddlers, preschoolers and all the way into adulthood.

        These five super fun emotion activities make learning emotion words enjoyable and entertaining! After repeating these games several times, little Suzy will be able to tell me that she is scared because of the noisy blender, instead of screaming at me when I’m trying to make her a healthy treat. 

        Jeana Kinne is a veteran preschool teacher and director. She has over 20 years of experience in the Early Childhood Education field. Her Bachelors Degree is in Child Development and her Masters Degree is in Early Childhood Education. She has spent over 10 years as a coach, working with Parents and Preschool Teachers, and another 10 years working with infants and toddlers with special needs. She is also the author of the “Sammy the Golden Dog” series, teaching children important skills through play.

        Ghost Deep Breathing Exercise

        Today I have a fun mindfulness exercise for kids…a ghost deep breathing exercise! This deep breathing exercise is great for Halloween or adding to a ghost theme in therapy, the classroom, or home during the month of October, when self-regulation can use the fun of Halloween and ghosts with major calming benefits. You can grab this free mindfulness printable below!

        This ghost themed activity is a powerful self-regulation activity for kids this time of year!

        ghost deep breathing exercise for self-regulation for kids with a ghost theme

        Ghost Deep Breathing Exercise

        If you’ve been reading The OT Toolbox for long, you may have seen our pumpkin deep breathing exercise printable and our spider web deep breathing exercise. Both are fun ways to add a holiday theme to self-regulation needs.

        Today’s Ghost Breathing Exercise is another fun Halloween themed therapy tool to use with kids!

        For more mindfulness exercises, you can check out the other deep breathing exercises here on the site.

        I love this deep breathing tool because it has a fun ghostly “woooo-hoooo” addition where kids can add their own fun and non-spooky ghost noises as they slowly breathe out.

        Add this resource to ghost themed therapy activities or calming exercises all during the month of October. It may even be a good way to get excited ghosts and goblins to calm down before a big Halloween party!

        More ghost activities

        This self-regulation tool is a great addition to these other ghost activities that build skills:

        • Ghost sensory bin (make bread ties into ghosts for fine motor sensory play!)
        • Ghost craft– This simple ghost craft develops scissor skills, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, and more.
        • Ghost Catch Game– All you need is a recycled milk carton and an old sock for bilateral coordination, crossing midline, gross motor skills, eye-hand coordination, core strength, and more.
        • Ghost Cookies– Baking with kids is such an awesome way to develop executive functioning skills. These ghost cookies are spooky fun!

        Free Deep Breathing Exercise

        You can print off this ghost deep breathing printable and use it in therapy sessions all month long!

        Enter your email address into the form below to access this freebie.

        Free Ghost Deep Breathing Exercise

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          Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

          Don’t miss this pumpkin activity kit for fine motor skill work all month long!

          Pumpkin activity kit
          Pumpkin Fine Motor Kit

          Preschool Occupational Therapy

          preschool occupational therapy

          For parents of preschool children that require occupational therapy services, there can be a lot of questions. Here, we’ll try to cover preschool occupational therapy services. OT for preschoolers and early intervention occupational therapy services can be a whole new world for parents of preschoolers!

          Preschool occupational therapy information, including what OT looks like in preschool settings, and early intervention occupational therapy

          Preschool Occupational Therapy

          From 3-5, children are developing in so many ways. From motor skills to cognition, to language…the preschool age is a time of massive changes. Be sure to check out these preschool activities for hands-on strategies to impact learning and development during the preschool years.

          For the youngest of learners, classroom concerns tend to be centered around achieving developmental milestones, learning proper social practices, and creating an environment that all children can learn and grow in.

          What does OT Look Like in the Preschool?

          Occupational therapists can work with teachers to improve and sustain an environment that will support the growth during this very important time in childhood.

          What they learn in preschool partially determines their future success – particularly when it comes to social, emotional, and cognitive skills. In fact, studies over the years continue to show that socio-emotional intelligence in preschool and kindergarten is a great predictor of future academic success (Rhoadesa et al., 2011).

          Early Intervention Occupational therapy

          Typically early intervention is a service that works with children aged 3 and under. For some states in the United States, early intervention continues through age 5. For children in those states, early intervention occupational therapy can occur in preschool settings.

          Early intervention occupational therapists focus on functional participation of tasks at home, in the school, and in naturally occurring environments such as daycares.

          An occupational therapist working with a preschool may:

          • Complete assessments of skills of ability to achieve age-appropriate levels, developmental progression, etc.
          • Support parents, teachers, and the family unit of the child through a family-centered model.
          • Set-up the overall environment for occupational success.
          • Offer recommendations for sensory play to boost sensory integration skills.
          • Offer developmentally appropriate activities.
          • Create a library of books that promote the development of social and emotional skills.
          • Work collaboratively with preschool teachers to support the preschooler’s needs and offer support and suggestions to meet student’s needs
          • Adapt daily activities to support development.
          • Create a self-calming area and visuals such as class schedule, individual schedule, or task schedules within the home or classroom, or school-wide environment.
          • Encourage use of transition tools to help preschoolers move from one task to another.
          • Build a fine motor “gym” where students can develop fine motor skills while they play.
          • Recommend sensory deprivation materials like a tent, headphones, or sunglasses to calm an overwhelmed student. 
          • Or develop a program to boost core strength and trunk stability – both very important for sitting at a desk throughout the day.  

          OT Assessments in Preschool

          In preschools, occupational therapists may ask parents and teachers to complete a quick check list (with space to add comments). They will complete an evaluation and document observations made during the evaluation. They may complete a sensory profile either preschool or via a caregiver form. Evaluation may occur at the preschool, in the home, or in various locations within the school, home, or other natural settings such as daycare.

          A play-based assessment will be completed to note the preschoolers abilities and levels using a variety of toys and items. Some common preschool OT assessments include the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales (PDMS–2), the Developmental Assessment of Young Children-2 (DAYC-2), the Miller Function and Participation Scales, and the Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-2).

          Occupational therapy evaluations in preschool assess areas such as:

          • Reflexes- A child’s ability to automatically react to environmental events.
          • Functional Skills- A child’s ability to complete daily tasks required in the home and school as well as identify the amount of assistance the child needs.
          • Positioning, balance, posture- A child’s ability to sustain control of his or her body within its center of gravity and retain equilibrium.
          • Sensory Processing- Sensory processing abilities, baselines, and regulation during activities in the home, classroom, or other natural setting.
          • Social Emotional Development- A child’s ability to regulate emotions and behaviors in tasks and learning at age-appropriate abilities. This can include peer interaction, adult interaction, and family interaction.
          • Locomotion- A child’s ability to move from one place to another. The actions measured include crawling, walking, running, hopping, and jumping forward.
          • Object Manipulation- A child’s ability to hold and manipulate objects, toys, and materials of various sizes. Examples of the actions measured include catching, throwing, and kicking.
          • Grasping- A child’s ability to use his or her hands.
          • Visual-Motor Integration- A child’s ability to use his or her visual perceptual skills to perform complex eye-hand coordination tasks such as reaching and grasping for an object, building with blocks, and copying designs.

          For more resources and tools on preschool occupational therapy and early intervention, check out this resource on OT Early Intervention.

          Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

          Fun Pumpkin Activities that Build Skills

          pumpkin activities

          Are you looking for some super cute pumpkin ideas for the fall themed occupational therapy sessions this season?  Pumpkin activities are great for fall, for Halloween, and for Thanksgiving. Once the weather cranks down and turns a little crisper, you can look around and see pumpkins everywhere…big pumpkins, little pumpkins, orange pumpkins, white pumpkins, and even jack o’ lanterns. 

          These pumpkin activities build fine motor skills, gross motor, sensory, visual, and learning skills. Add to a pumpkin lesson plan in therapy, the classroom, or home.

          Pumpkin Activities that Build Skills

          Pumpkin activities are great fun for young kiddos, preschoolers, and even the older kiddo gang.  If you’re looking for craft, motor, snack, emotions, sensory, or perceptual activities, this list will inspire you to get into the fall spirit with the kiddos in your world. Not only will you be having fun, but you’ll also be building some important skills too! 

          The best thing about these pumpkin themed activities is that they develop many learning areas as well: math, literacy, science, STEM and more.

          All of the ideas listed below can be added to pumpkin theme lesson plans in the school or therapy clinic, used in preschool pumpkin activities, and added to a toddler approved ideas to keep kids at home busy.

          Let’s begin by saying this is the place for all things pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins, and as you explore the lists below in this activity round-up, think about which ones will not only be fun, but build important skills for your kids!  So, if you need something pumpkiny to jazz up your therapy sessions, classroom or at home theme this season, this post is right where you need to be! Proceed…

          These are great for adding to your Halloween occupational therapy ideas!

          Fine Motor Pumpkin Activities

          Fine Motor Pumpkin Activities that work on fine motor skill development such as hand dominance, dexterity, in-hand manipulation, separation of the two sides of the hand, and strength.

          Fine Motor Pumpkin Worksheets– This Pumpkin activities kit develops fine motor skills in a big way! Work on pinch, grip, eye-hand coordination, motor planning, and dexterity using a pumpkin theme. Just print and play to use the pumpkin lacing cards, pumpkin fine motor paths, pumpkin cutting activities, and the handwriting pages.

          Pumpkin Craft– All you need is a couple of bottle caps, paper, and glue to make this bottle cap pumpkin craft that builds fine motor skills in a big way.

          Scoop and Pour Pumpkin Seeds- After pumpkin seeds are removed from the pumpkin, they are a great fine motor tool for kids! Dye them and use them in to sort the seeds by color. Or, use them in scooping and pouring activities

          Pumpkin Seed Mosaic Art– Use dyed pumpkin seeds to make mosaic art projects and really refine those fine motor skills. You’ll love to see a pumpkin seed mosaic AND the benefits of this craft: in-hand manipulation, separation of the sides of the hand, pincer grasp, and visual motor skills.

          Pumpkin Seed Suncatcher– A pumpkin seed suncatcher is a pumpkin seed craft that builds fine motor skills in a big way: pincer grasp, eye-hand coordination, separation of the sides of the hand, dexterity, finger isolation, graded release, and more.

          Pumpkin Finger Print Art– This pumpkin finger print art is a fun way to work on finger isolation, separation of the sides of the hand, and incorporate messy, sensory play.

          More pumpkin fine motor activities:

          Gross Motor Pumpkin Activities

          Gross Motor Pumpkin Activities that work on gross motor skill development such as overall strength and endurance, coordination, eye-hand coordination balance, motor planning and control, body awareness, motor and postural control, and core strength.

          Pumpkin Race- Grab a couple of mini pumpkins or small gourds. Kids can race to move the mini pumpkins from one side of the room to another.  

          Pumpkin Balance Activity– Use some of the ideas in our indoor balance beam post with a pumpkin theme. Make pumpkin shapes from felt or paper and use them to work on balance, coordination, motor planning, stooping, bending, and other gross motor skills.

          Pumpkin Emotions Activities

          Pumpkin Emotions and Feelings Activities that work on overall emotional awareness such as the identification and recognition of emotions and feelings in others and in self. Social Emotional Learning using Pumpkins is a fun way to teach emotions, sharing, empathy, and other social emotional skills.

          Pumpkin Emotions Activity- Toddlers and preschoolers love this Pumpkin Emotions Activity– This pumpkin emotions activity helps toddlers identify emotions, name feelings, and develop learning through playing with a fun pumpkin emotions game, all on a vertical surface, so gross motor skills and eye-hand coordination skills are developing, too.

          Pumpkin Faces– Make toilet paper roll pumpkin prints and then draw faces onto the dry prints for an emotions pumpkin patch.

          More Pumpkin Emotions Activities

          Pumpkin Visual Perception Activities

          Pumpkin Visual Motor and Visual Perceptual Activities that work on memory and perceptual skills which include game play, scanning, and letter formation and prewriting. 

          Pumpkin I Spy– Use the materials in the Pumpkin Activity Kit to work on visual motor skills with mazes and motor activities. The kit includes I Spy pages, too, so working on visual perception with a pumpkin theme is fun!

          Pumpkin Worksheets for Visual Scanning- Working on visual closure, form constancy, or visual discrimination? Print off our pumpkin visual perception worksheets. It’s part of our free visual perception packet.

          More Pumpkin Visual Motor Activities

          Pumpkin Sensory Activities

          Pumpkin Sensory Activities that include multiple sensory systems such as interoception, tactile, proprioceptive and olfactory tolerance and engagement in simple sensory play.

          Pumpkin Egg Carton Craft– Use an egg carton to make a mini pumpkin craft. We used them in an Egg Carton Pumpkins Fall Sensory Bin for sensory play. In this sensory bin, we used mini egg carton pumpkin crafts to create a sensory play experience. Simply fill a sensory bin with dry materials and then add the pumpkin egg carton crafts for tactile sensory play.

          Pumpkin Deep Breathing – Incorporating mindfulness into a pumpkin theme is easy with our pumpkin deep breathing exercise. Print it off and work on calming input to assist with self-regulation, focus, and attention.

          Dye pumpkin seeds– Use food coloring or paint to Dye Pumpkin Seeds to use in sensory bins, tactile exploration, and more. Why not add them to a sensory bottle, too?

          Pumpkin sensory play can include lifting pumpkins for heavy work. Lift a heavier pumpkin and move it to a different space to add calming proprioceptive input, motor planning skills, bilateral coordination, and more.

          Toddler Pumpkin Activities- Toddlers and preschoolers can use a box or basket and mini pumpkins or small gourds. Taking time to inspect pumpkins is a fantastic sensory experience for toddlers and preschoolers. Toddlers and preschoolers also love sorting pumpkin seeds.

          Carve a pumpkin with kids. This is a fantastic multi-step, messy, heavy work activity for kids. Children that resist messy activities or touching pumpkin guts can work on different aspects of carving a pumpkin, such as drawing on the outside, scraping a cleaned out pumpkin insides, or cleaning off pumpkin seeds.

          More Pumpkin Sensory Activities

          Pumpkin Themed Snacks

          Cooking with kids is a valuable activity to develop executive functioning skills. It makes sense to incorporate cooking tasks into a pumpkin theme! These Pumpkin Snacks provide a fun themed alternative to regular snack time by incorporating a pumpkin and/or jack o’ lantern theme. Why wouldn’t a kiddo want to eat these fun snack time ideas?!

          Pumpkin Recipe

          This pumpkin recipe is kid-friendly so it has simple steps, but kids can develop so many skills like fine motor input, executive functioning skills, and sensory processing skills through olfactory (smell), visual, and gustatory (taste) senses.

          Pumpkin Recipe for Kids

          This recipe makes 3 pies (great for preschool!)

          Pumpkin pie ingredients:

          • 4 eggs slightly beaten
          • 1 can of pumpkin
          • 1.5 cups sugar
          • 1 teaspoon salt
          • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
          • 1 teaspoon ginger
          • .5 teaspoons cloves
          • 2 cans (12 oz each) evaporated milk
          • 3 pie shells

          Combine the ingredients. Stir well. Fill the pie shells. Bake the pies at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. 

          Pumpkin Muffin Recipe- Getting kids active in the kitchen is so helpful in building skills: executive functioning, fine motor work, bilateral coordination, motor planning, sensory exploration…Use this pumpkin cupcake recipe and to mix, stir, pour, and bake!

          More pumpkin themed snacks

          Pumpkin Learning Activities

          Pumpkins can be used for so many learning activities:

          1. Sort pumpkins by size and weight
          2. Make a pumpkin volcano with baking soda and vinegar- Just carve a pumpkin and then add baking soda and vinegar for a science reaction.
          3. Have a pumpkin float experiment to see if pumpkins float- Use a bin of water and make predictions on whether the pumpkin with float or sink
          4. Make a pumpkin pie!

          We hope that you enjoyed all of the goodies that you found here that are perfect for the fall season whether it be Halloween, Thanksgiving, or simply just to celebrate the season!  

          Pumpkin Activities Kit

          For more pumpkin fun this Fall, grab the Pumpkin Fine Motor Kit!

          Work on underlying fine motor and visual motor integration skills so you can help students excel in handwriting, learning, and motor skill development.

          • 7 digital products that can be used any time of year- has a “pumpkins” theme
          • 5 pumpkin scissor skills cutting strips
          • Pumpkin scissor skills shapes- use in sensory bins, math, sorting, pattern activities
          • 2 pumpkin visual perception mazes with writing activity
          • Pumpkin “I Spy” sheet – color in the outline shapes to build pencil control and fine motor strength
          • Pumpkin Lacing cards – print, color, and hole punch to build bilateral coordination skills
          • 2 Pumpkin theme handwriting pages – single and double rule bold lined paper for handwriting practice
          Pumpkin activity kit
          Pumpkin Fine Motor Kit– perfect for building skills with a pumpkin theme!
          Regina Allen

          Regina Parsons-Allen is a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant. She has a pediatrics practice area of emphasis from the NBCOT. She graduated from the OTA program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, North Carolina with an A.A.S degree in occupational therapy assistant. She has been practicing occupational therapy in the same school district for 20 years. She loves her children, husband, OT, working with children and teaching Sunday school. She is passionate about engaging, empowering, and enabling children to reach their maximum potential in ALL of their occupations as well assuring them that God loves them!