7 Ideas for Your Halloween-Themed Music Therapy Session
by Sammi Graham, MT-BC
I just love holiday-themed sessions – especially Halloween.
Halloween is a day that we are encouraged to embrace our inner child by dressing and eating exorbitant amounts of candy. Or, as ever so eloquent Michael Scott put it, “Halloween should be a day in which we honor monsters and not be mad at each other.”
Peruse this post for some fun Halloween-themed interventions to implement in your music therapy sessions during the month of October. 🙂
Keep reading for a free PDF download of the resources mentioned in this post!
Halloween Rhythm Matching Game
Skills addressed: Counting, reading, writing, and language.
In this activity, your client will place themed words/phrases like “jack-o-lantern”, “candy corn”, and “witch” in the correct cell by counting the number of syllables. I like to use rhythm sticks, clapping, and pointing to assist clients with syllable counting.
A free download of this activity sheet is available at the end of the post.
Skills addressed: Attention, socialization, and communication.
This activity can be used in a group or individual setting. I like to bring a portable speaker and use original recorded versions of songs. This playlist contains 25 well-known songs that have some recognizable and not-so-recognizable titles. Participants follow along with their corresponding bingo cards (free download available) and mark songs off as they hear them. This activity encourages participants to socialize by remarking on the songs and asking each other for assistance.
Scarecrow Hokey Pokey
Skills addressed: Gross motor, following directions, and body awareness.
This simple song by The Learning Station addresses several skills through musically-encoded movement directives. Easily adaptable for use in group or individual settings, this song could be rewritten to include a client’s favorite character in place of the word “scarecrow”.
5 Little Pumpkins
Skills addressed: Counting, fine motor, and emotion identification skills.
Most of us are aware of this adorable Halloween song, but kizclub.com (my absolute favorite resource for visual aids) has a free, high quality visual that corresponds perfectly with the lyrics. I have used laminated and added velcro pieces to their template of this song and use it every October to address fine motor skills (like pincer grasp), emotion identification (with the lyrics and pumpkin faces), and counting. This song is so short and sweet that your clients will want to sing it again and again!
Skills addressed: Fine motor, gross motor, short-term memory recall, and body awareness.
This silly yet educational song has another fantastic visual made by kizclub.com. There is a plethora of skills that can be addressed through the use of this song and visual aid: fine motor (pincer grasp of velcro pieces), gross motor (movement directives in the song), short-term memory (through recall of lyrics), and body awareness (instructions to find their shoulder, knee, head, etc.). This song is a blast because the chain just continues to build (and clients are learning without even realizing it!).
Bonus: Song Rewrites!
This web page contains a list of popular Christmas tunes that have been rewritten to fit the theme of Halloween. There are endless possibilities for utilizing these rewritten tunes and if your client loves Christmas music like a lot of mine do, they’re sure to enjoy them.
Spooky, Spooky Little Bat
Rewritten to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, this precious song has a children’s book that corresponds with the lyrics:
“Spooky, spooky little bat
How I wonder what you’re at
Up above the town so high
Making new friends as you fly
Spooky, spooky little bat
Now I know just what you’re at”
What are your favorite Halloween interventions?
I hope you’ve gotten some fun ideas to bring to your sessions during the month of October. 🙂 Comment below with any of your favorite go-to Halloween themed interventions! Thanks for reading.