Favorite Fall-Themed Counseling Resources to Spruce Up Your October

It's Fall, ya'll! And that for most of us means incorporating Fall themed activities into our school counseling program. With Halloween coming up and October also being Bullying Prevention Month, it does feel like a double whammy, right? In my experience, kids love seasonal activities, especially the ones we do towards the end of the calendar year, perhaps because they're just more festive. If you're scouting around for engaging school counseling activities to embed into your class lessons or group/individual sessions this month with interesting ways to use them, this post is for you.

1. School-Wide Initiatives

One of the things I love most about this month is that it's super easy to host school-wide activities. The kids love collaborating on seasonal-themed initiatives and it's not been too hard to get buy-in from teachers too, to assist with these endeavors. You might

Comprising Positive Pumpkins Compliment Cards, Bullying Prevention Facts Bookmarks, and a School-Wide Bullying Prevention Chain, this school-wide Fall/Halloween-themed resource could also be repurposed in centers during a guidance lesson. You could have your kiddos move from each station to color in kindness pumpkins, create bookmarks with bullying tips, and share their "why" for not bullying. If you're looking to create a sense of belonging while also dealing with serious matters such as bullying, this should be your go-to!

2. Classroom Lessons

If there's one lesson I use year after year, it's this editable Bullying Prevention Lesson and I find this especially useful because it tackles the basics such as the difference between tattling and reporting, the difference between rude, mean, and bullying, and then moves on to the more complex aspects such as how to prevent bullying, how to be an upstander, etc. This is easily one of the most empowering lessons to use with elementary students.

If your students love digital activities as much as mine do, I cannot recommend this Fall Themed Size of the Problem Boom Cards enough! Have it broadcasted on your projector and make it a competition between two teams too, if you will. I have used this activity in a class lesson with my upper elementary students to teach and equip them with problem-solving skills. These Boom Cards are designed to help students learn that problems come in different sizes, identify different reaction sizes, and practice choosing reactions to common problems - and the best part is, it's all pumpkin-themed and highly relatable visually.

Students enjoy activities that involve movement and this Salad Bowl Bullying Prevention Charades Game has always come to my rescue (I've used this in small groups too). The aim of the game is to learn about bullying prevention by correctly guessing the most game cards. There are three rounds that are timed and get increasingly challenging each time around. It's amazing to see how a fun game like this is a great learning opportunity for students, especially when it's about a serious topic such as bullying prevention.

3. Small Group Sessions

One of my favorite seasonal resources to use in my Self-Regulation Group and my Social Skills/Friendship Groups is this Size of the Problem Pumpkins Flip Book + Fall-Themed Self-Regulation Activities resource. For your tactile and visual learners in the group, this set of activities is going to be among their favorites. The reflection element in it is what I love about it most.

Another one that's been a hit is this Fall-themed Self Regulation Flip Book that I use with students who find it difficult to manage their strong emotions. I use this around the time I'm teaching them the Zones of Regulation. This resource is also one that can be used in individual sessions too. Needless to say, it has a massive visual impact on the students. If your students prefer a digital version, this deck of Boom Cards is all you need.

Board games are another great way to engage students in your small group sessions, especially if it's a friendship or a social skills group. This Halloween-themed Board Game helps students identify the different roles in bullying situations, share their own experiences with bullying, and identify solutions to prevent bullying in the future. They will also gain a better understanding of what is and what is not bullying.

Running a social skills group? This Social Skills Halloween Themed Board Game is highly effective in helping students practice new social skills and teaching them how to respond appropriately in a variety of social situations. The included 24 social skills game cards cover, friendship, empathy, listening, growth mindset, patience, cooperation, handling disappointments, 'think it vs. say it', and hygiene.

4. Individual Sessions

One of the most versatile resources I use during this season is this Fall-themed Coping Strategies Boom Cards Activity. While I mostly use it in my Tier 3 interventions, they're great to use in whole class and group sessions too. Teaching coping strategies is something that takes place year-round for me, so having a seasonal-themed one does spruce up the interest of my students.

Interestingly, I’ve repurposed a number of the other resources mentioned in my one-on-one sessions too, based on the needs of my students. With a small tweak here and a small tweak there, these activities are just as successful when using them with one student too.

What are your favorite Fall/Halloween-themed activities to use with your kiddos? Which ones have your students found most engaging?

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