Fall is here and the season offers a variety of spectacular sensory experiences for children and adults alike. Below are some of our favorite autumn activities.
1. Admire fall foliage
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors. Visit a local park with accessible hiking trails; embark on a driving tour; or even take a fall foliage train ride to see the changing leaves in all their glory. The colorful scenery, clean fresh air, flocks of birds flying south and the sounds of the leaves under foot provide a truly fabulous feast for the senses.
2. Carve a pumpkin
Whether you purchase one at a supermarket or visit a neighborhood pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving offers an array of sensory experiences. Designate an adult with excellent fine motor skills to carve the pumpkin. Observers can participate by touching the pumpkin, noticing its physical characteristics and coming up with ideas for what the carving should look like. Once the pumpkin is carved, let observers touch the gooey insides of the pumpkin and smell the pumpkin’s sweet aroma. Cap the experience by cooking and tasting pumpkin seeds, or making and eating some pumpkin pie.
3. Go apple-picking
Visit a local orchard to learn about and sample the variety of apples available. Is the apple sweet or tart? What is the apple’s texture and color? Pick the apples you like best, take them home and make an apple pie or apple sauce. Taste and enjoy!
4. Take a hayride
If accessible, take a hayride. Feel the wind in your face, the texture and smell of hay, and enjoy the slow bumpy ride. Nothing says fall like a hayride!
5. Pick leaves
While a trip to a park is great fun, you can pick leaves just about anywhere. Recognize the colors, shapes and textures of leaves from different trees. Listen to the sound of the leaves when you crumple them in your hands, or walk and ride over them in your wheelchair. Then come home and make a leaf collage.
6. Make a fall sensory bin
You know those leaves you picked? They can go into a fall sensory box which may also include gourds, mini pumpkins, acorns, dried corn husks, kernels and beans. Add some plastic measuring cups and scoopers, and let the kids touch, scoop and pour. Sensory box users who don’t have use of their hands can try Enabling Devices’ switch-activated pouring cups to get in on the fun.
While you enjoy these sensory activities, start your Halloween planning. It’s time to for kids and older Halloween enthusiasts to decide how they want to dress for the holiday. Think about favorite book, TV and movie characters they may want to portray, and begin brainstorming about costume ideas. Look for Enabling Devices’ upcoming Halloween blogpost for more ideas.