Autumn is one of my favourite times of year! The cold, crisp and clear skies, the colours of the falling leaves, the cosy feeling of being snuggled up in wooly jumpers and scarves…
There are many lovely activities on an autumn theme – some of which I explored in a previous blog post (see Bonkers for conkers) and I feel like blogging a few more – particularly focusing on getting outdoors:
Nature walks (H&W, Social, Lit&Lang, Num, Creative, Science)
Oh yes, this one again! Never underestimate the learning that can take place on a walk! You can:
- Look for changes that are happening around your area
- Collect interesting leaves to be sorted and compared
- Jump in the leaves or over the puddles
- Listen to the crunching of the dry leaves
- Look out for any animal homes
- Explore the light at different times of day – what happens to your shadow? (Try standing in the same place and having someone draw around it with chalk!)
Leaf sorting (Science, Num)
When you return from your walk – or anywhere where you can collect lots of leaves; have the children sort them into categories of colour, size, shape or whatever else they are interested in (or skill that you’re working on). Then look at different ways that you can display the information, for example – make a pictograph by gluing the leaves onto the paper – making it easy to identify which category has the most/ least. What a wonderful, practical way to introduce some comparative, mathematical language!
Natural art (Creative, H&W, Science)
- Leaf or bark rubbings
- Painting leaves/ twigs
- Using glitter and glue to make some wonderfully sparkly autumn decorations
- Explore autumn colours – mixing and experimenting
- Use a hole punch on some sturdy leaves and then thread them to make leafy jewellery or even some fab autumn bunting
Cooking on the campfire
If you take part in forest school activities, or have a setting where this is possible – outdoor cooking is a favourite activity all year around. Just be sure to complete the correct risk assessments and ensure that you and your children are 100% confident with safety procedures
Pumpkins (H&W, Lit&Lang, Num, Tech)
No list of autumn activities would be complete without a mention of that halloween tradition: pumpkin carving! My preferred method is to cut off the lid, then allow the children to get stuck in – scooping, scraping and picking out all of the insides. Don’t let it go to waste! The insides are great fun in your sensory tray as a squelchy, slimy experience, and the seeds can be roasted to make a tasty treat (see method here and perhaps add some literacy and numeracy by following a recipe).
Once the innards are well and truly gone, I allow the children to draw a face onto the pumpkin. This is often the job for just one child, so you might like to get the others involved by researching different designs and offering their own ideas.
Depending on the age of your children, you might allow them to do some of the cutting out of the face/design, but please be very careful (we don’t want any missing fingers!)
Finally, add a battery powered candle to complete the spooky effect!
More Halloween themed activities to follow in my next post. For now, wrap up warm, get outside and enjoy!