It’s that time of year! Halloween is just around the corner and so in your therapy clinic or school-based OT sessions, or even OT teletherapy, you may be thinking up Halloween occupational therapy activities that work on specific functional goals. Here, you’ll find a collection of Halloween fine motor activities, pumpkin occupational therapy activities, Halloween sensory play, and more. Use all of these ideas to help kids work on a variety of OT goals using a Halloween craft or ghost activity. This pumpkin deep breathing exercise is just one idea!
For activities and ideas to address all needs, check out these occupational therapy activities.
Here are occupational therapy themes that we’ve covered so far. Use them to make therapy planning a breeze…and make your life easier!
Halloween Occupational Therapy Activities
We LOVE to create and come up with fun crafts and activities that double as a tool for addressing specific skills!
Here you will find a variety of Fall and Halloween activities that can address skills such as fine motor, visual motor, visual perception, scissor skills, hand strength, dexterity, core stability and strength, executive functioning, and so much more.
Check out the variety of ghost crafts, pumpkin art, Halloween games, and other ideas. It just might be the perfect addition to your therapy plans this month!
Ghost Occupational Therapy Activities
We’ve come up with some fun ghost activities here on The OT Toolbox! Try some of these ideas in your therapy clinic or as a home program recommendation this Fall. I love that these ideas can be done on an individual basis or as a small group. Use them in a classroom Halloween party planning or as a fun Fall fest activity.
This ghost craft is an easy way to work on scissor skills. Kids can also address skills such as bilateral coordination, hand strength with a simple halloween craft that uses just paper, crayon, scissors, and a hole punch. Use these ghosts to decorate for Halloween and monitor scissor skills.
This ghost craft for sensory play is a fun one for kids to make but also use in sensory bins or fine motor activities.
This ghost craft uses recycled materials and can be a tool for working on dexterity, precision of grasp, in-hand manipulation, bilateral coordination, hand strength, and more! These ghosts would make a fun addition to the therapy clinic, OT doorway, or even a bulletin board decoration.
This gross motor ghost game can be played over and over again while working on eye-hand coordination, visual tracking, visual convergence, core stability, reach, and other skills. Kids will participate in vestibular and proprioceptive input with a ghost theme!
Bat Occupational Therapy Activities
These bat activities will be an easy way to work on specific skills while making Halloween fun and not spooky for kids.
This bat Halloween craft is a fun on skills like scissor skills, bilateral coordination, fine motor skills, sensory input, and letter formation.
Looking to pair a Halloween book and activity for a party or small group? This Stellaluna activity can help kids with specific and purposeful skills such as sight word recognition or math skills while working on visual scanning, visual tracking, visual discrimination, figure-ground, bilateral coordination, crossing midline, and more.
Pumpkin Occupational Therapy Activities
Be sure to check out the many pumpkin activities are to be found here on The OT Toolbox! Use these fall ideas all season long from Halloween through Thanksgiving!
The Pumpkin Activity Kit covers tons of fine motor skills, visual motor skills, coordination, and more.
Kids can make pumpkin stamp art using a paper tube while working on bilateral coordination, crossing midline, eye-hand coordination, visual motor skills, visual perception, and fine motor grasp. You can also make pumpkin stamps with a foam curler or other stamp.
Pushing into the classroom? Work on English Language Arts, math, or other classroom lessons by using small pumpkin stickers right in the classroom. This pumpkin activity can be a big boost to fine motor skills, visual scanning, eye-hand coordination, precision, distal mobility, and more.
We know how awesome carving a pumpkin is for fine motor, gross motor, and sensory needs. Once you carve that pumpkin, use the pumpkin seed in sensory play by dying the pumpkin seeds. It’s a great addition to Halloween sensory bins, fall fine motor activities, and other seasonal activities.
Love Halloween sensory bins? Make a set of pumpkins from an egg carton to work on fine motor skills. We’ve used these pumpkins in so many ways over the years.
Spider Occupational Therapy Activities
Spiders don’t need to be spooky! These spider activities and games can be a powerful way to work in some much-needed skills!
Work on bilateral coordination, motor planning, fine motor work, heavy work, vestibular input, and gross motor strengthening with this giant spider web activity.
Make a spider craft using recycled materials to work on fine motor skills such as hand strength, in-hand manipulation, separation of the sides of the hand, pincer grasp, and scissor skills.
Helping out with math or other classroom lessons? This math spider craft that we did addresses doubles and near doubles but you could use it to work on any math facts or ELA lessons. Sneak in bilateral coordination, scissor skills and more with this fun spider activity.
Make a noodle spider craft and help kids with fine motor skills such as in-hand manipulation, separation of the sides of the hand, and more.
Halloween Sensory ACTIVITIES
Recommending a sensory task for kids at home as part of a home program? This Frankenstein smoothie recipe is an awesome way to encourage calming proprioceptive input through oral motor work. Kids can get in on the recipe creation action to sneak in a few executive functioning skills, too.
Halloween Fine Motor Activities
So many of the activities we shared above work on and strengthen fine motor skills. Here are more Fall fine motor activities that use items such as fall leaves, scarecrows, or other Harvest items.
We’ve included many Halloween fine motor activities in this blog post. They are great for building hand strength.
Support finger strength by using bat mini erasers in theraputty exercises. Include some Halloween dexterity activities like the fingerer yoga activities we show in the video below. The Halloween dexterity exercises are fun as a handwriting warm up or as a fun way to get those fingers moving. Check out our video below…or you can catch it over on YouTube.
These Halloween fine motor exercises would be a great warm up to a writing task or gross motor activity.
Fall Sensory Activities
We’ve shared a lot of Fall sensory activities here on The OT Toolbox! You can find all of the posts here:
- Fall Auditory Processing Activities
- Fall Vestibular Activities
- Fall Proprioception
- Fall Tactile Sensory Activities
- Fall Visual Processing Activities
Choosing Wisely Occupational Therapy Activities
Remember that the craft or activity is the means to working on specific underlying areas, but also, so often kids really struggle with completing aspects of play or crafts. Addressing certain skills right in the craft can make it meaningful and purposeful. When we talk about “Choosing Wisely“, we are occupation-based activities. AOTA has guided us in Choosing Wisely recommendations that we can consider when coming up with OT activities and ideas. Using scissors to work on a Halloween craft with kids is something they need help to become more independence (scissor use) via a fun activity that they are proud to complete and show off (a ghost craft for example). Consider the occupational performance components in crafts and activities that meet the specific needs of the child or individual.
In that way, using a craft in occupational therapy can address a variety of different skills, with different levels of accommodation or modification, input, cues, or difficulty, based on the specific needs as determined by the occupational therapy professional.
Halloween Activities for Occupational Therapy
What are your favorite Halloween Occupational Therapy activities? Is there something you do each year with the kids you work with? Let us know in the comments below!
Halloween Cutting Activities
Many times, occupational therapy practitioners work on the functional skill of cutting with scissors.
Snipping paper, cutting shapes, and making crafts require cutting straight lines and multi-angular shapes with scissors. We can use the Halloween cutting activities in occupational therapy sessions to work on this motor skill:
- You’ll LOVE these free pumpkin scissor skills pages that allow kids to “cut the pumpkin” and work on line awareness, cutting curved and angled lines, and even coloring. It’s free to print and go!
- Use this ghost craft to work on scissor skills this time of year.
- Or, snip strips of paper to make a spider, pumpkin sensory bin filler, or squares of paper to fill a pumpkin template.
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
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.