Now that fall is in full swing, it’s a fun time to explore nature and complete fun fall activities and crafts. Since preschoolers thrive on their senses, sensory play and activities will help enrich their development.
Pumpkin Spice Play Dough– Preschoolers love play dough. Squishing hands through the soft texture is very stimulating, plus it encourages creativity. Take it up a notch by making it with a fun fall scent like pumpkin.
Here are the ingredients:
1 cup water
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cup flour
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/4 cup salt
1 tsp vegetable oil
Food coloring (optional)
Add an orange color to the play dough to revolve around the pumpkin theme.
Harvest Sensory Bin – Grab any size bin you desire and fill it with nature. Wood chips, shells, acorns, corn husks, pine cones, hay, etc. are just a few of the many items you can use to fill the bins. Put toy cars and tractors into the harvest bin and watch your preschooler become a little farmer.
Painting Pine Cones – Preschoolers and painting go hand in hand. Go outside and hunt for pine cones, bring inside, and paint with spice paints. Add your favorite fall spices to autumn paint colors. The pine cones will display beautiful autumn colors with fall scents.
Sweet Potato Goop – Many preschoolers like to get all gooey and sticky. Getting messy is just plain fun sometimes. Try this fun idea for sweet potato goop.
Harvest Puffy Finger Paint – When it comes to preschoolers and finger painting, you can’t go wrong. Make it more exciting with turning simple paint into puffy paint. Just mix equal parts red, orange, yellow and brown food coloring with Elmer’s glue and shaving cream. After it dries, the texture is puffy. It’s so much fun.
Harvest Discovery Bottles – These are so much fun to make and play with. Fill a plastic bottle with mini leaves, mini pumpkins, etc. To see more, click image.
Let your creativity flow and watch your child’s creativity flourish as you do. Try new things, even messy ones, and encourage your child’s willingness to do the same.
What is your child’s favorite activity? We’d love to see your ideas for fall fun. Share a link to an activity you discovered in the comments below.
This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.
To further your reading, we have a special ebook that we would like to send to you. It’s entitled “RETHINK EDUCATION, Turning Scary Questions About Home Education Into Exciting Possibilities.” It was written after countless conversations with moms who are either considering homeschooling or struggling with doubt. My heart in writing it is to offer hopeful answers to some of the questions moms tend to be asking… and you might be surprised at which ones didn’t make the list. I would love for it to become a resource you could share with your friends who are considering home education, or who are wondering if they’ll keep going. So, grab your copy today! – Leslie Nunnery
Many parents find out in a well-child appointment that something isn’t quite normal with their precious child, as we did. We went through the system of early intervention for testing and therapy for each of our special needs children for years. Generally Early Intervention is for birth to 3 years old then you change over to public school, but what if you want to homeschool?
When I first brought up homeschooling to my Early Intervention team they all just looked at me astonished. Most were not openly hostile, they just didn’t understand why I would want to. A special needs child can be exhausting and intense. There were also things like therapy and additional learning needs that needed to be addressed. The general consensus was its okay to homeschool a normal child but one with special needs was outside a parent’s ability.
Let me assure as a mom to 5 children with medical needs, 4 of whom have autism, YOU CAN HOMESCHOOL! I know you can. I do it every day. My children are flourishing with homeschooling.
The first thing I needed to do was decide if I wanted to keep some contact with public school therapy system. Did I want to go with an IEP and try for therapy? All states provide testing when you can show a clear nee, but not all states will provide therapy. There are a handful of states that allow full access to school therapy, usually at the school. Most states put homeschooling at the bottom of the barrel and you get what is left over (if anything is left over.) Then there are a few states that are clear: you either come to school and get therapy or your child doesn’t receive anything at all. Here is a list of State Law Requirements for Special Needs Homeschoolers that I compiled on my site.
I decided to leave the public school system and get my children tested at a private OT clinic and the local Children’s hospital for Physical Therapy needs. The private clinics were a split decision. One of my rules is I sit in on all appointments. One clinic assured me that mothers in particular hindered children’s progress. We happily moved on from that one. The next clinic was a delight! We stayed with them for years and all my children attended it at some point for needed therapies. We would have the appointment and the therapist would give us homework to keep the progress moving throughout the week. We were even able to shave off weeks to the ‘normal’ therapy schedule.
The Children’s Hospital however, was an unexpected pitfall that is all too common. The hospital was so used to working with the public school system that they didn’t even stop to consider we were homeschooling. They even included another clinician to the Physical Therapy appointment that was meant as a school therapist. They started contact with the local school district IEP team without even asking us! The whole experience was uncomfortable and needlessly intrusive. In the end the results were very disappointing: The therapist told me that while my daughter was buckled into her wheelchair she was safe enough for a classroom setting and therefore under their current financial restrictions she would not get therapy.
I walked away from the public school and the quasi school delegates without a shadow of a doubt. My daughter went to the original private therapy clinic we loved and she thrived.
Let’s talk money, which can be the make or break of getting therapy. Many therapy options are not covered (such as music therapy.) There are great stories where parents found a way to make it happen, but overall if your child needs a therapy you need to look at the community therapy assistance such as the local University therapy school, Scottish Rite, and pay out of pocket private care. There are also a growing number of home based therapy books, online programs, and tutorials that are a much cheaper option. There are scholarships available to some special needs families that you should look into.
You can homeschool your child with special needs successfully! You can continue getting needed therapy for you child even if you have to think outside the box. Homeschooling your child with special needs can easily help your child flourish in ways others cannot imagine. You love your child and have a beautiful grand vision that starts early with therapy and choosing homeschooling. Enjoy the journey, I know I am!
Author Heather Laurie: a veteran homeschooling mom of 5 and advocate for the special needs community. Her family homeschools and thrives despite the unique challenges of a genetic disease that causes problems from learning disabilities, autism, to strokes. Sharing how to have a Hope-filled, Help-filled, Peace-filled home even when facing significant problems when speaking or in her book, Homeschooling When Learning Isn’t Easy. Please check out Heather’s Site– SpecialNeedsHomeschooling.com— for great information, resources, helps, and encouragement.
Hi there! Jan Bedell, The Little Giant Steps’ Brain Coach here to introduce you to The NeuroDevelopmental Approach to Life. “The what?” you might ask. Let me explain, it’s really easy once you break it down. “Neuro” means having to do with the brain. You already know about “development” – to cause to grow or progress. The “life” part of this approach is the fact that the brain controls everything you do so when it works better, all of life and learning is easier. An organized brain is the foundation of all learning.
To some extent, The NeuroDevelopmental Approach to Life is really what you do every day in your homeschool family. You stimulate your child’s brain so it grows. To make your life easier and your efforts more effective, Little Giant Steps teaches you how the brain works at different levels of development and how to stimulate it, outside of traditional curriculum, so it works better.
Who has been helped by this approach? Valedictorians, adults, struggling learners and children with learning labels. The NeuroDevelopmental Approach to life has enhanced the abilities of thousands.
We will be sharing neurodevelopmental tips on how to help the brain function better in workshops at all the Teach Them Diligently conventions this year. In addition, we are offering NeuroDevelopmental Screenings on Thursday before the convention kicks into full gear.
For more information about NeuroDevelopmental Screenings, Click Here. I look forward to seeing you all at Teach Them Diligently this season!
Join Leslie as she welcomes Jan Bedell of Little Giant Steps to our Museum of the Bible Speaker Spotlight! Learn all about how her neurodevelopmental approach to learning can revolutionize your homeschool, find out more about the neurodevelopmental screenings she will be offering onsite at TTDAtlanta and TTDSandusky, and enter to win one of 5 neurodevelopmental screenings! (See links and enter to win below the video) Whether your child is advanced or struggling to keep up, learning how their brain functions will be tremendously empowering to you as you seek the best way to teach them. Jan can help you do just that!
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