Tips & Activities

Chatty Child™ will provide seasonal suggestions for you to incorporate into your daily life to improve speech and language development in your child.



Fall Activities

Here are some speech and language activities for the fall season….

Monster Mask

1. Collect a brown paper bag to create a scary Halloween monster with your little ones.

2. Place the paper bag on the table with the opening to the bag facing down.  Then, collect buttons, coins, ribbons and paper scraps from around the house.  

3. Help your child to create eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hands, and feet for their monster using the items collected around the home.

4. Encourage your child to glue on each item (buttons, ribbons, paper) onto the monster, thus creating body parts for the monster.

5.  Encourage your child to POINT  to each body part as you name them on their puppet. Then, have your child LABEL each body part themselves. For example, "He has a nose."

6.  Give your monster puppet a name and describe its features. For example, "Mo the monster has a large green nose."

7. Use your monster to put on a puppet show for the whole family!   


Thanksgiving Dinner!
Have your child pick a colored paper plate that they like. Then, have them go through a magazine and pick out food items that they will be eating during a thanksgiving dinner. Have your child pick out the food items that are served during a thanksgiving feast. Have your child cut and glue the pictures onto their paper plate. Then, complete a follow up activity that includes labeling each food and the category it belongs to (i.e., its a fruit, a meat, a dairy product, or a  dessert.) Have them label the foods they like the best and describe them (i.e., apple pie tastes sweet.) When thanksgiving arrives, they will be very familiar with all the wonderful and tasty foods on the table -- thanks to this engaging language-based activity! 

I am Thankful List!
Have your child write a list of the things they are thankful for. For example, discuss with your child what they have to be THANKFUL for in their lives each and every day. Have them make a list of 5 things are they thankful for.

  • My family
  • My pets
  • My room
  • My house
  • My teachers

My Thankful Turkey!
Have your child trace his or her hands on a piece of paper with markers, crayons, or colored pencils. Each traced finger will represent a turkey feather and something that he or she is thankful for. When the tracing is complete, label each feather with a thankful item, draw on a turkey head, and finish off the turkey with glitter or sparkles for added beauty!

For some other great fall / Halloween songs and fingerplay activities, check out the Playing With Words365 Blog.


Blanket Roll Up
In an open safe space, lay down a medium/small blanket on the floor and have your child lie down to one edge. Begin to roll your child and the blanket up tightly like a burrito. You can pat or tickle you child when fully rolled up. Then unroll asking the child to help by using his/her body.

Crumbly Leaf Art
Using dry leaves found at the park, let your child crumble them up with their hands into a dish. Then squeeze liquid glue all over a piece of paper in whatever pattern they desire. Slowly sprinkle the leaves all over the paper. Then shake the excess leaves into a garbage can. Set aside to dry.

Leaf River Jump
Collect 2 long sticks and a few leaves (other house hold objects can be substituted). Lay the 2 sticks on the ground parallel to each other a few inches apart. Scatter the leaves in between the sticks and pretend it's a river. Have the child try to jump, step or bear crawl (knees off the floor) over the river. See what else your child can come up with to get across the river of leaves!

Clay Pumpkin
Make an easy salt dough (recipe below). Add orange food coloring (mixing yellow and red together). Let your child mix the colors in and work the dough with his/her hands. Shape the dough into little pumpkin shaped balls. Use a small twig for the stem. Set aside to dry overnight. For extra fun you can paint them the next day!

Salt Dough Supplies: 1 cup flour, 1 cup water, ½ cup salt, 2 tea spoons cream of tartar, 2 table spoons oil (vegetable or olive), sauce pan


  • Mix all ingredients in the pan
  • Cook until thickened over low heat (older children can help stir)
  • Cool
  • Knead and add color


Apple Prints
Supplies: White paper, Apples, Kid Friendly paints in Fall colors, Paper towels


  • Start by slicing an apple in half through the middle, revealing the star of the core. Show your child the star and count the points. Cut another apple and look to see  if the apple cores looks different or the same.
  • Use traditional Fall color paints- red, yellow, and orange, along with of green or purple.
  • Create a stamp pad for the apples by fold a paper towel in half and then squeeze a dollop of each color of paint onto the paper towel.
  • Have your child press an apple, sliced-side down, onto the paint and then stamp onto the white paper. Continue pressing and stamping until the paper is full of apple prints!

For an added bonus you can laminate your child’s creation to make it into a place mat.

Paper Bag Pumpkins
Supplies: Small Brown Paper bags (lunch bag size), Orange & green paint, paint brushes, Scrap paper, old magazines or newspaper to fill the bag


  • Begin with ripping paper into small and medium sized pieces (have your child practice using pincer grasp as he tears the paper apart)
  • Crumple the paper up with both hands –great for strengthening fingers and hands
  • Stuff the brown bag with enough crumbled paper to fill it half way
  • With your child twist the top of the bag closed to create the Stem of the pumpkin
  • Encourage your child to paint the bottom of the bag orange using an up/ down stroke or side to side stroke holding the paint brush like a pencil.
  • Paint the stem green
  • Let it dry and enjoy!


Magic Bubbles
Supplies: baking soda, small cup filled with vinegar, eye dropper or pipette, disposable muffin tin or several cleaned out yogurt cups, food coloring (non-gel preferred)


  • Fill up each cup 1/4 of the way with baking soda. Your child can help you scoop.
  • Have your child squeeze a few drops of food coloring into each baking soda filled cup. Use a different color into each cup. Mix 2 colors to make a new color. (Remember to encourage pinching with thumb and pointer finger!) 
  • Fill a small cup up with vinegar and provide your child with an eye dropper. Then let them experiment with dropping different amounts of vinegar into each cup. (Try to encourage your child to use the eye dropper slowly- drop by drop.) They will discover through these baking soda experiments that a few drops produces a small amount of bubbles while more vinegar results in a big eruption.

Note: Each new addition of vinegar produces fresh bubbles/ foam. Discuss the science behind this experiment: change of state of matter (Solid Liquid, Gas), the Fizzy sound of the bubbles, change of colors, amounts of vinegar vs. baking soda.



  • The Very First Thanksgiving Day, By Rhonda Gowler Greene


  • Go Away Big Green Monster

Additional Seasonal Activity Recommendations

SmartPhone & Tablet App Suggestions

For Speech and Language Development, we like:

Also, check out this great segment that aired on CBS 60 Minutes for other recommendations:

  • Apps for Autism
    Autistic people whose condition prevents them from speaking are making breakthroughs with the help of tablet computers and special applications that allow them to communicate, some for the first time. Lesley Stahl reports.

We welcome play and learning suggestions from parents and caregivers – please send them along by email.

Happy learning!

Books for Parents

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum: 101 Inspirational Stories for Parents of Children with Autism and Asperger's  by Rebecca Dr. Landa , Mary Beth Marsden , Nancy Burrows , Amy Newmark

Thinking In Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin (for sale on

The Way I See It, Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's by Temple Grandin (for sale on

For more on Temple Grandin, see an interview segment that aired on CBS 60 Minutes with Leslie Stahl:

  • Temple Grandin: Understanding Autism
    "I always wanted to meet Temple Grandin," Lesley Stahl says. "She's one of those rare people with autism who can explain autism. She's a sort of interpreter of autism for the rest of us."