Awesome Autumn - more than just the leaves changing colour
We often imagine vibrant leaves, Halloween, and Thanksgiving when we think about autumn (fall). However, it's important to note that only some places experience the same colourful foliage, and many other celebrations occur during this season. There are countless exciting things to discover during this beautiful time of the year, and we should encourage children to explore them to expand their understanding of the world. This blog aims to inspire and spark curiosity so you and your child can research and learn about autumn together based on their interests. The ideas here are not exhaustive but a starting point for enjoying this stunning season before winter arrives.
Autumn means harvest, but why is that? We can explain to our children that fruits and vegetables are harvested because they are ready to be picked and, as the weather changes, can be kept in a cooler climate without spoiling. Harvest is a rewarding time of the year for farmers, but it means a lot of hard work, and learning about agriculture helps us appreciate food more.
We love strawberry picking during the summer, so why not visit an apple orchard and make apple pies or apple juice together? But explore according to where you live. Plums, potatoes, pumpkins, apples, onions - the list goes on in autumn, and it's worth discovering.
Perfect for young children who love the process more than the result - so no farming or Masterchef super skills required!
A nature walk is a must in this season, but look out for objects that are part of the season. You'll love how your child picks one leaf and holds it tight like a treasure to explore! But what can you do with it? A few classic activities like leaf rubbing, pressing and stamping are satisfying and spark curiosity about the shape, design and colour. We recommend doing this with your child, as you'll enjoy being present in the discovery moment! Our new autumn activity book (available on Etsy and in cursive format) has a mini scavenger hunt sheet that your child can enjoy while on your nature walk together. But take it further with technology. If you find a squirrel, hedgehog or anything else of interest, why not get your child to take a picture and then use the colours as a reference when colouring/painting at home? Nature tables are perfect for sensory learning and can be as creative as you and your child like! So collect what your child finds interesting on your walk and have a mini display at home to enjoy looking at and talking about. But after enjoying your mini nature table, what do you do? Use the objects for further play, like pressing pine cones and leaves onto playdough or leaf painting.
Squirrels gather and hide nuts to eat during the winter. They're so clever! But what other animals prepare for winter? Our stunning forest animals poster (available on Etsy as an instant digital PDF download with high-quality print 3 sizes - A2, A3 and A4) has many animals that your child (or student) will love naming with you!
The list below helps you with topics to open according to the animal your child loves.
Bears: In autumn, some types of bears go into a phase called hyperphagia. During this time, they eat a lot to save up fat. This fat is then used to help them survive during their winter sleep. During hibernation, they sleep deeply to save energy.
Birds: In autumn, birds fly from cold places to warmer ones to find food and stay safe during the winter. In the UK, you can expect to say goodbye to birds like the Yellow Wagtail, Tree Pipit, House Martin and Skylark, to name a few. Check this resource from the British Trust for Ornithology for more details. The information will inspire your child to choose colours and textures for our migration bird in the autumn activity book.
Monarch Butterflies: Monarch butterflies undertake one of the most incredible migrations during autumn. They travel from North America to Mexico, covering thousands of miles! It's a fascinating phenomenon to witness these beautiful insects on their journey. What colours are the Monarch butterfly? Try imitating the design with the classic activity of folded paper with paint dots to create your butterfly. Children love the wonder of mixing colours and the blends made on folded paper.
Bees: Honeybees work tirelessly in autumn to collect nectar and pollen from flowers. They use this to make honey, which they store in their hives. The honey is their primary food source during the winter when they can't forage outside. Have you spotted any bees busy at work?
Mice and Other Small Mammals: Like squirrels, many small mammals engage in food storage during autumn. They gather seeds, nuts, and other food items and create underground burrows or nests to store their food for the winter. But which mammals might they be? Look up mice, hedgehogs, and badgers for some inspiration.
When the nights get longer in autumn, it's a perfect time to look up at the night sky and watch the stars above. Bundle up, lay down a blanket, as it won't be too cold yet, and see if you can spot some stars or even a shooting star with your child. Look out for constellations and tell stories about them.
Learning about festivals and celebrations worldwide helps children appreciate and respect the diversity of global cultures and traditions. It encourages an open-minded and inclusive perspective, teaching children to value different customs and beliefs.
The rich tapestry of human culture and history helps them see connections between societies and generations.
Festivals and celebrations often have deep ties to community and family life. Exploring these traditions can strengthen a child's connection to their family and community while fostering a sense of belonging and shared experiences.
Many festivals and celebrations involve a multisensory experience, including music, dance, art, food, and storytelling.
Learning about different festivals and celebrations can also enhance language and communication skills. Children develop vocabulary related to specific traditions, learn to ask questions and engage in discussions about the significance and customs associated with each celebration.
Festivals and celebrations often have historical and geographical significance. Learning about these aspects gives children a context for understanding the world's history and geography. It can also spark curiosity about different regions and periods.
Some of these celebrations and festivals in autumn include:
- Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
- Day of the Dead
- Moon Festival
- Loy Krathong Lantern Festival
- Nuit Blanche
- Guy Fawkes Night
- Harvest festival
So there you have it - a little snapshot of what's more in autumn for you to explore with your child.
Remember, when you talk about new topics, you're expanding your child's language skills, and even if they don't repeat the new words, they have heard them from you and have absorbed them. This will consequently enhance their literature skills, so conversation in all activities is key.
We created a beautiful and engaging autumn activity book that your child will LOVE, available here. We used finger paints, beads, bobbles, and leaves, and we recommend using various materials, mediums and textures to explore these activities to refine your child's fine motor development.
Creativity is endless; no matter how simple the activities might be for you, they are not for your young learner, and the process will spark new conversations and connections - guaranteed.
Enjoy your autumn!