The seasons are changing, the air is more crisp, and the leaves are turning all different colors. It’s that wonderful time of year when you can be outside with your little ones during the day and have them experience all that fall harvest has to offer.
However, there are still those days where it may be raining or a little too cold and you need something to do with your toddler inside! A fun, fall fine motor activity will be perfect for your toddler to stay entertained.
Toddlers are constantly learning, and their brains are little sponges. It’s important to have activities that are particularly focused on language development (labeling) to get them talking more verbal.
Additionally, they are always trying to improve their fine motor skills (small movements of the hands). It’s equally as important to have activities focused on improving strength in their hands to help them develop hand dominance and coordination.
Here is a quick, fun, and cheap activity to help your toddler improve their fine motor skills, while also encouraging them to label different fall themed objects.
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What you will need:
- 2-4 windows, preferably in safe reach for your toddler by standing or using a stool with adult supervision
- A wet paper towel
- Fall window cling-ons (found at your local Dollar Tree or Amazon)
What to do:
- First, wipe off any dust from the window with a towel. This can prevent the cling-ons from sticking. Your toddler can of course help and just say, “lets clean the windows!”
- Next, verbally go over each picture on the sheet to get them excited. Label items they may know or don’t know.
- Show them what they will be doing by modeling for them how to do it. Pick the first cling-on picture and show them how to safely put it on the window.
- This is the fun part! Have them peel the stickers off and put each on the window.
- You may need to help your toddler peel off the fall window cling-ons and also to space them out so they are not on top of each other.
6. When you’re finished, bring your toddler outside to check out their hard work.
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Skills that this activity addresses
Toddlers learn best through play and hands-on activities. Since their attention span is limited to a few minutes at a time, it is important that activities are short and exciting to keep them engaged.
Many skills can be addressed in this activity, as long as it is kept playful and fun! Here are some specific skills you can work on:
Language/Vocabulary and Cognition
By labeling different fall pictures, your little one is learning new words that they may or may not have known. This also gives identity to objects they may see in front of someone’s yard when they are walking, trick-or-treating, or if they go to a pumpkin patch.
Ways to Incorporate language and cognition:
- Always try to label objects during an activity.
- You can ask your child if they can identify it first before telling them.
- If language is still emerging, you can ask them to find and point to the picture “ Where is the leaf?”
- Color and shape identification could also be incorporated “What is an orange circle?”
Related post: 21 Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Talk
Fine motor skills
Your child is improving their fine-motor and bilateral coordination, by strengthening small muscles in their hand to help pull off stickers from a sheet and placing it on the window.
Spatial awareness and directionality
Your toddler will become aware that stickers need to be spaced apart to see them on the window, and you can add directional words (above, below, next to, etc.) to improve awareness of where stickers should go in relationship to each other.
Ways to incorporate fine-motor coordination and spatial awareness:
- Have your toddler peel the stickers off using a pincer grasp themselves to stick onto the window.
- For children who have difficulty peeling stickers, you may need to peel a small amount off of the edge, enough for them to pinch and pull it off.
- Directional words can be used to help improve their spatial awareness “Let’s put the pumpkin above the scarecrow!”
Hopefully your toddler enjoys this fall window cling-on fine motor activity as much as mine did!
Related Post: Fall Leaf Fine Motor and Coloring Pages
About the Author:
My name is Rebecca Razzano. I am a proud Mommy of a 2 year old girl and 3 month old boy, and my days are filled with snuggles and lots of giggles, with the occasional cry (or 2)! I am a pediatric occupational therapist from NJ. I usually am working with littles ones in an elementary school, but right now I am a stay at home mom. Every day is an adventure in my household, and I can’t wait to share more stories and activities with you! You got this!