With fall in full swing, it’s time to break out all the fall activities for your little one. It’s so fun to introduce your toddler to the new sights and sounds as seasons change.
With the fall comes cooler weather, colorful leaves, and lots of fun things to find on the ground outside. There’s also a few new holidays that they’ll get to experience like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Now while candy corn is definitely not a baby or toddler-friendly treat (since it can be hard to chew and potentially a choking hazard), they can certainly learn about it as a staple of Halloween.
This fun toddler fine motor activity uses a free printable candy corn outline so they can make their own! Using tissue paper to rip, crumble, and press onto the paper, they’ll strengthen their fine motor skills and the muscles of their hands and fingers.
They’ll also learn about Halloween and fall colors and develop new language as you talk them through the activity. This can be done with preschoolers and early education as well because it’s never too late to practice fine motor skills!
What You’ll Need
- Free printable candy corn sheet (download below)
- Orange, yellow, and white tissue paper (or construction paper will work too)
- Glue stick
What To Do
- Use language: Show your child the candy corn sheet and explain to them what it is. Show them the little candy corn in the corner and point out what colors are used in candy corn. Explain to them what you’re going to be doing and the colors they’ll be using.
2. Hand them one color tissue paper at a time to rip into small pieces. Demonstrate how to do it first so they understand what you want from them. Most kids like to try to tear paper by just pulling it apart horizontally, but it’s much easier to pull one hand forward as the other hand pulls back to rip.
3. Once the pieces are all ripped, take each piece and crumble it into a little ball. They’ll really be using the tiny muscles in their fingers to do this. If they’re using construction paper, this may be a lot harder so you may want to just leave the pieces whole, but tiny.
4. Use your glue stick to smear some glue in one section of the candy corn.
5. Have them pick up each piece of crumbled tissue paper (or construction paper) and push it down into the glue. Make sure they don’t just sit the piece down and leave it, but tell them to press down hard with their pointer finger to get it to stick.
6. Repeat with all the colors until you have your finished product!
Skills that this activity addresses:
This is a fun fall activity that addresses a variety of skills. For this candy corn tissue paper crumble activity, the following skills are being strengthened for your toddler:
- Language/Vocabulary: Hearing and talking about different objects (color names, paper, tissue paper, fall, candy corn)
- Cognition: Learning and understanding new concepts and actions (sort and match new colors, rip, tear, crumble, glue, push)
- Multi-sensory learning: using tissue paper as a hands-on approach to learning new colors and concepts instead of just hearing the names
- Fine motor skills: Using and strengthening all of the small muscles of the hands and fingers to rip, crumble, and push the tissue paper down.
Ways to incorporate cognition and language:
You really can and SHOULD incorporate cognition (knowledge) and language into any activity you are doing with your little one. Just merely talking through the steps that they’re performing will help build their vocabulary and understanding of new words and concepts.
Remember your toddler is constantly listening and absorbing everything around them, including language. If they don’t already know their colors, here are a few ways to build cognition and language during this activity:
- Point to the different tissue paper colors and ask, What color is this?
- Have them say or repeat the color that they pick up.
- Ask them to point to the orange paper, yellow paper, etc.
- Tell them to name an object that is the same color.
- Work on opposite concepts like on, off, above, below, big, and small
- Vocabulary words such as color, tissue paper, glue, fall, candy corn, Halloween
- Action words such as rip, crumble, and push
Ways to strengthen fine motor skills:
This is a great activity for a child of any age who needs to strengthen their hand and finger muscles. Ripping, crumbling, and pushing use the small muscles needed to write, color, draw, fasten, etc.
Make sure that your child is doing the motions correctly.
When ripping, have them hold the paper with just their thumb and pointer finger as they tear the paper. Place their hands next to each other at the top of the paper and instruct them how to tear the paper by pulling from back to front or top to bottom rather than just pulling apart the paper (this won’t get them very far).
When crumbling, they should also only be using the tips of their fingers to crumble the paper into little balls. Have them push and squeeze as they manipulate the tissue paper.
When pushing into the glue, make sure that they use their pointer to really push the paper into the paper. Don’t let them just set it down and move on to the next piece.
I hope you and your toddler or preschooler enjoyed this fall fine motor activity. Enjoy!