Fall is in the air! Pinterest pins dropping everywhere! This is such an fun time of year for DIY inspiration with holiday themes. As OT’s, we LOVE crafts for their hidden therapeutic benefits. Simple and sweet, our pumpkin fidget incorporates fine motor and visual motor skill development, planning and sequencing of steps, and a fidget to feel and fiddle with to support focus and attention!
What you will need:
12″x12″ piece of orange fabric
Pieces of green string or yarn
1/2 c. of fulling (we recommend rice or pinto beans)
a Dixie cup or other small cup
beads, rubber bands, curling ribbon (optional)
Here’s what to do:
1. Before you begin, decide if you want to draw a cute pumpkin face on your pumpkin. If you do, now’s the time! About 1/3 down from the TOP of the fabric, create your pumpkin face using fabric markers or a Sharpie. *Make sure you are drawing closer to the TOP edge rather than the bottom edge. Drawing near the bottom will make your pumpkin appear upside down when assembled!
2. Flip your fabric over so that the vividly colored side is facing down.
3. Centered over the cup, tuck the fabric into the cup leaving fabric equally hanging over the cup sides.
4. Pour filling contents into the cup. If you are using the Dixie cup, you can fill it to the top. This will be just about 1/2 c. of rice/beans.
5. Gather the fabric together over the filling contents and tie tightly with your green string or yarn.
6. Remove your pumpkin from the cup and trim the ‘stem’ (extra fabric) of your pumpkin to your desired length.
Adding a short string of beads, a curly ribbon or even attaching a rubber band can be helpful added fidgets to little hands that need to feel, pull or wiggle in order to increase focus and attention!
As our clients created their own little pumpkins, each one different than the next, we realized we weren’t ready to stop there! We ended up creating an entire Pumpkin Fidget Activity Pack filled with interactive and yoga pose inspired rhymes, games and a little book for kiddos and their pumpkins to do together!
To download a FREE page from this pack, click here!
Oh, and one more thing! Don’t forget to take your pumpkin fidget to the park! Here’s 5 ideas to get you started with some holiday pumpkin park play!
- (start with the pumpkin at the top of the slide) Have your child climb up the slide to pick a pumpkin and slide back down to make a pumpkin pie in the sandbox below!
- Use it as a marker for a game of hop scotch.
- Find a twig to draw a spider in the sand. While swinging on his belly or balancing on a tree stump, have your child toss his pumpkin to try to squash the spider!
- Balance the pumpkin on one of the holds of a climbing wall or ladder rung. Can your child climb up and round the pumpkin without knocking it down?
- Place the pumpkin fidget on a balance beam or curb. Have your child walk the length of the beam, pick up the pumpkin (while balancing) and proceed to the end.