Pumpkins, sweater weather and football are here!
Along with the change in temperature, Fall ushers in major holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. We’re here to help you make the most of your Fall with suggestions for experiences and tips so your family can enjoy all that Fall has to offer.
As September inches nearer to October, pumpkin patches begin opening and getting visitors more frequently. Although patches can become crowded, certain times of the day make it the perfect place for your child to engage in sensory play. Exploring a pumpkin patch can be a great way to learn not only Fall themes, but also about new sights, sounds and textures.
Things that could help you plan the trip:
- Choose a time of day when less people are out
- Decide who’s driving and how long will you be there ahead of time
- Bring toys and snacks for comfort
- Bring a change of clothes & layers
- Invite a family friend to have ready access to support in case things go “haywire”.
Practice openness and compassion to the experience as it evolves.
Be aware of sensory overload which can arise from large crowds and loud sounds. Make sure the outfit worn by your child is one they are comfortable and familiar with. If it’s a costume, invite them to wear it in the house beforehand to make sure there are no issues with comfort. Cut out any tags and choose outfits that are breathable and fit properly. Be vigilant for potential triggers such as scary characters. Come with an exit plan and a backup experience.
Once you arrive, let your child explore! Pumpkin patches often include other areas for play - such as haystacks, face painting, corn fields, or playgrounds.
Pumpkin patches offer an array of colors and textures for sensory play – bumpy, smooth, grooved, scratchy, etc. See if your kids are interested in touching the different types of pumpkins and gourds.
Once you’ve returned home, continue the sensory exploration by letting your child feel the “guts” and seeds within the pumpkin. Next, you can explore the taste of its seeds after roasting salt & spices. Drink apple cider as you core the pumpkin, include your child’s favorite music or movie, wear a cozy blanket, or practice whichever activity suits your family’s needs.
It’s possible that challenges will arise - so it’s important to remain flexible, bring ample support, remain attentive, and practice compassion for yourself. Remember – things don’t often go according to plan (but it usually helps to have one).
Sometimes, plan B can be just as joyful and meaningful as your original plan (and sometimes, it’s even better).
Let us know of your stories and suggestions in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you. Happy patching!