Nature in Autumn is a wonderful sensory playground bursting of opportunities to have lots of fun learning and playing outdoors and indoors!
Autumn Treasure Hunt
From leaves and twigs to bark and conkers, children can create a magical autumn collection to remember. For younger children, you can use some of the collected items to create an autumn sensory tray. Preschoolers can use the sensory tray to explore the colours, smells and textures of autumn. Older children can design and build their own autumn treasure chest and use it to keep their seasonal treasure safe!
The sky is the limit when it comes to autumn inspired crafts. Leaf prints can be used to make captivating works of art. Softer leaves with clear veins in different shapes and sizes work very well. Encourage children to simply paint them on the side with veins, and press on them on heavy paper.
For children who love making things, why not use collected dry twigs to make pencils? You will need some thick pencil lead for this activity. Children can simply crack the bottom end of the twig by hitting it against a hard surface. They might have to experiment with a few twigs before getting the right crack size. Following this, they can insert the pencil lead in and sharpen to have their very own stick pencil!
Helping around the garden can be so much fun for young children, promoting their self-esteem and imaginative play while they develop their motor skills. Ergonomically designed gardening tools suitable for children can make a big difference here, from rakes and spades to shovels and brushes. Children can plant bulbs and help replenish food in bird feeders. Of course, they can sweep away the leaves and hopefully the garden will look tidier afterwards!
Autumn Reading Time
On those freezing nights, why not select autumn-inspired books and dip into some enchanting picture books over hot chocolate? Let children’s imagination fly with the magical worlds of wonderful illustrations. Books about nature and spooky books are always a favourite in autumn!
Nature Trails and Walks
Autumn is a wonderful time to maximise outdoor walks and physical activity, especially before the days get shorter. Its transforming nature with myriad of colours will leave both children and adults entertained and refreshed. Children are happy and relaxed when they are outdoors and autumn walks can be precious family time.
Find local scenic locations with child friendly paths and just roll with the hills and plains! Children can help plan for the walk, from preparing a picnic to marking the path on a map. Don’t forget to plan for the mess from rolling on grass to splashing in mud!
Children can play nature detectives along the way and spot creatures and plants. How many squirrels, rabbits and insects can they spot? How many different trees did they notice? Can they spot signs of wildlife?
On longer walks, why not stop for a few seconds and listen to the sounds of nature? Play games like “never-ending story” where each person imaginatively adds a new sentence every turn to make a story. Giving children a camera is a fantastic way to help them develop observational skills, self-confidence and creativity while savouring the beautiful scenes around them.
Whatever you decide to do this autumn, exploit the season to help children maximise the fun playing and learning!