October is one of my favorite times of the year! There are so many options for activities that I have to discipline myself and try not to do too many. My assistant, Mrs. Lisa, always yells at me for buying more Halloween materials so I have to sneak them in the office. Some days, I feel like we are an old married couple… Of course, I say that out of much love because I would be lost without her!
One of the best things about October is that it is a great time to teach emotions in social communication groups. Many of our kiddos are scared or frightened of costumes and scary things this time of year. We springboard off of that emotion and teach others. The BLUE BUTTERFLIES GROUP will focus on the “Basic 4” emotions- Happy, Sad, Mad, and Scared. The RED BUTTERFLIES GROUP will branch off from those “Basic 4” emotions and come up with other emotions associated with the “Basic 4” such as excited, upset, frightened, terrified, disappointed, etc. Here are some great ways to work on emotions in October:
Pumpkin Emotions- In our Social Butterflies Club® Social Skills Program October Lesson Plans, we have pumpkin emotion activities that teach the “Basic 4” for our BLUE BUTTERFLIES GROUP. We sing songs about emotions and Jack-O-Lanterns. One of my favorites for the younger groups is by Super Simple Learning called “Can you Make a Happy Face”. We sing that song and then carry it through our movement and imaginative play. Finally, we pull it all together in the craft activity.
Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano is another great way to teach emotions to kids in October! There are loads of activities online for this story. It also addresses bullying and being different. We usually use Spookley with the RED BUTTERFLIES GROUP as their attention to the task is longer and the language is more abstract and requires inferencing. Older kids make the pumpkin emotions craft talking about the emotions. We ask each child which emotion they would like to make. Be sure to have the pictures displayed so the kids can refer to them when making their faces. We have also incorporated shapes into this activity over the years using triangles to make the eyes and nose. The RED BUTTERFLIES GROUP will tell WHY their pumpkin feels the emotion they picked.
Life Lesson Story- we have a life lesson story called “Sometimes I Feel Scared” that goes along well with this month. I made it years ago for one of my social butterflies but still use it every year for at least a handful of kiddos who may feel scared by the Halloween decorations. It has carryover questions as well if you would like to send it home. It is a “free material” so be sure to download your copy today!
There are so many more fun social skill activities for Halloween! These are just a couple that we have done over the years that the kiddos love and the parents/teachers have given us positive feedback. I hope you find them useful in your social skills groups!
Don’t forget~ Kids Learn Through Play!