Sometimes we forget how much language skills are involved in art! At office we do A TON of art with all of our kids……but each kid is working on different skills. These skills include: vocabulary skills, theme related vocabulary skills, fine motor skills, following written directions, following verbal directions from teachers, following verbal directions from peers, sequencing skills, preposition skills, problem solving skills, visual spatial skills, a handful of social communication skills (i.e.: making choices, asking for help, taking turns, requesting, commenting and much more), and so much more!!
In our blog today we want to show you all the great things you can work on while making a Halloween Monster!!!
First things first…..you need to get all your supplies:
- Black paper
- White paper
- Coffee filters
- Water bottle
- Any visuals you want to use during this activity
- Hint: for the eyes and mouths -- You can stick to simple circles for the eyes and faces but OR your can mix it up with different shapes for the eyes and different feelings for your faces!
- Monster Example: Many of our kids need to see an example of what they are doing so that they can 1) understand what they are doing and 2) help them put everything together. For younger kids you many only need 1 example but for some older kids if you are working on them making “different” faces then you may want to have a few examples.
- Ready to go: make sure you have all your pieces cut out and ready to go: eyes, horns, teeth, mouths, etc.
- Visuals: make sure that you have your visuals for the activity ready to go
- Remember the MORE prepared you are the easier the activity will flow – which means you will be able to hit all your target areas!
Now it’s time to play:
- Day One:
- Today is the day where you work on the child coloring the Coffee Filter with Markers. They can color however they want! When they finish they get to spray it down with the water bottle.
- Day Two:
- Today is the day where they get to glue on their monster faces!
Next let’s talk about all the GREAT Concepts/Skills you can work each day:
- Fine Motor: As an SLP we are not OT’s so we are not “teaching them their fine motor skills” but we can help them with this skill and support what their OT is working on (collaborating with other professionals is always a must). For our kids that have difficulty coloring/gluing…..this activity may be hard. For these kids we sing/chant while we color and glue about what we are doing such as “color color color – color color color – color color color – color with red” or “circle circle circle – circle circle circle – circle circle circle – turn over and push” (with a glue stick). We also take turns coloring and gluing. By taking turns with your child this helps increase their attention to the activity, understanding of the skill, and much more!
- Temporal: One of my favorite things about this art activity is that it helps you work on temporal concepts because it is a 2 day activity! If you see a kid twice a week you can work on “Today is Monday, today I will……. On Wednesday, I will……” and Today is Wednesday. On Monday I…… and today I will…….” If you see a kid once a week you can work on “This week I will……., Next week I will…..” and “Last week I ……, Today I will……”. Being able to talk about past and future events can be hard for our kids…and this is a fun and simple way to work on this skill.
- Beginning Social Communication Skills: While they are coloring/spraying/gluing they can work on making choices (“red marker or blue marker”, “circle black eyes or square black eyes”); requesting “I want the blue marker”, “I want a different marker”; asking for help “help”, “help open”, “help open blue marker”; taking turns “my turn”, “it’s your turn”, “it’s Manda’s turn”, “my turn spray bottle”; directing attention “look”, “wow look at the colors”; commenting “wow”, “cool”, “I like….” and more.
- Social Pragmatic Skills: Here are a few ways to turn this simple activity into a more social activity with peers: 1) have the children work together in pairs and take turns; 2) have the children work in pairs focusing on one child doing the activity and one child in charge of the supplies….this way they have to request/listen/respond to their peers…..then they can switch; 3) have 2 or more make a few together where they make a “group plan” on how they are going to color each coffee filter and then follow through with their plan; and more.
- Compliments: If your kids are not yet ready to work in pairs then doing parallel play but working on pausing and giving compliments is a great way to work on monitoring our peers, listening to our peers and more. When we work on compliments we first work on the phrase “I like + object” such as “I like your blue heart”. Next we work on “why” such as “I like + object, because….” Such as “I like your blue heart because it’s cool!”. Next we work on giving a compliment on our peers “actions” and combining the information from above such as “I like the way you drew that blue heart, it’s so cool!”
- Following Direction Skills: You can have the kids complete this activity by following written directions, visual directions, verbal directions from the teacher and even verbal directions from their peers.
- How Tos: One of our favorite things to work on is “how tos” where the kids create the activity, then they tell their partner “how to” create the same activity (the goal for it to look the exact same) using their words only. A lot of our kids do a great job when they can use their actions…..but when they use their words only this opens up the door for us to work on helping them understand communication breakdowns and repair them.
- Story Telling/Writing: If your child is working on story telling or story writing then you can have them create a story to go along with their monster!
We hope that you enjoy making Monsters with your kids as much as we do!
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