Fall is a great time to get out and get going with your toddlers and preschoolers. Young children love the changing leaves and the mild air, and now is a great time to explore, learn, and grow before the earth is frozen by a blanket of snow and unrelenting cold. Today I wanted to share some fun activities for the fall. These are so simple yet can really allow the children to have so much fun.
Backyard Nature Hike This Fall Season
Encourage the children’s inquisitiveness by hosting a backyard “nature hike” or scavenger hunt
- Ask the children to pick leaves, acorns, and sticks. Go out ahead of time and hide trinkets amongst the leaves and grass.
- Encourage the children to describe the items they found. Emphasize color, shape, size, and texture. This is a great sensory lesson.
- Use this opportunity to explain why the leaves change color and fall off of the trees.
- Make a large pile of leaves for the children to frolic in.
- Use your gathered supplies to make harvest baskets, centerpieces, or put into your sensory box for tactile discovery later on.
- Ask the children to pick their favorite leaf. Have them trace it on white paper. Use different types of media (paint, chalk, crayon, marker, glitter, tinted glue, puff paints, etc.) to decorate their version of the leaves. Meanwhile, glue the model leaf on a piece of black construction paper. When your little artists are done with their leaf renditions, cut three holes in their paper and three holes in the construction paper. String the pages together with yarn so that when open, the two leaves are side by side. Hang up the artworks in your gallery or send home with mom and dad.
- Place a leaf on a flat surface. Cover the leaf with tracing paper. Unroll the paper from a crayon and allow the children to make leaf impressions by rubbing the side of the crayon over the tracing paper. Use autumn colors and encourage the children to explain why they used the colors they did.
Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Everywhere!
- Coordinate a field trip to the pumpkin patch. Invite parents along to chaperon and assist.
- If attending a pumpkin patch is not an option, go to the local market and pick up 3-5 pumpkins of various sizes.
- Have the children describe the pumpkins. Are they big, small, or medium? What color are they? What shape do they most resemble? Are they hard or soft? Where do pumpkins come from? Do they grow above ground or underground?
- Paint faces on the pumpkin or carve them using safety carving knives.
- Use the insides for sensory lessons. Allow the children to use their hands to dig out the insides. How does it feel? Ask the children to brainstorm uses of the pumpkin innards. Drizzle the pumpkins seeds with honey and roast them. This will make an awesome treat for non-allergic children over 1 year old.
- Bake pumpkin treats! Pumpkin muffins and breads can be baked ahead of time and used as components of any CACFP approved meal. Pumpkin pies and tarts are yummy and can be given as Thanksgiving treats to mom and dad!
- Allow the children to watch the pumpkin as it ages. Encourage the children to explain the changes. Explain what makes pumpkins decompose.
Give Thanks by Giving
- Organize a canned food or clothes for your neighborhood charity or food shelter.
- Ask the children to make posters and fliers for the drive by drawing fall related items and decorating fall-themed papers.
- Help the children make trinkets to give to benefactors such as leaf impressions, ribbons, or computer-genrated poems (you wrote) that the children can decorate.
- Advertise the drive in your newsletter. Encourage parents to get involved and bring cans from home and work.
- Pack up the wagon and take the children on an autumn walk, going door to door in your neighborhood passing out fliers or collecting cans.
- Explain to the children the importance of giving to others.
- A well executed charity event will also serve as great publicity for your daycare if you have open slots.
- Set up a table in the yard to collect the cans on your advertised date. Allow the children to accept the donations and thank the benefactors.
Autumn is a great time to get out and get going with your daycare children. Let’s celebrate fall! I do hope you enjoyed these fun