During the season of autumn, there is an influx of bright yellows and red which fill children with wonder and awe. As the weather cools, it's an ideal time to venture outside to learn and play with nature. A variety of materials available in nature can stimulate exciting activities which challenge a child's growing intellect.
A common sight in autumn décor, pumpkins also have use in children's activities. Use weight measurements as a game to capture interest and use numbers while preparing a pumpkin for carving. Assist the child place their beloved squash onto a sturdy scale. Next, utilise tools and their hands to empty the pumpkin, gathering the waste into a large bowl and then measure the bowl. With this information the child can attempt an estimation of the weight of the empty pumpkin.
Once cleaned out, carving the pumpkin with interesting designs and whimsical faces is a popular pastime. The way this carved squash changes as it decomposes is an interesting process for children to witness. There are a few methods available to record the decomposition of their pumpkin including drawings, photographs, and written word. A safer alternative to carving a pumpkin is to use paintbrushes or fingers to paint the pumpkin's surface.
There is an array of colors available in the autumn which are excellent for creating vibrant craft projects. Spending time in the outdoors provides the opportunity to gather the full spectrum of colored leaves which can transform into a variety of projects, including a color wheel. Arrange the leaves by a color gradient into a circular shape. Using a glue stick, attach the leaves and cut the paper into a circle. Voila! The child now has a seasonal color wheel. Creating shapes and creatures with their collection of colorful leaves utilisestheir imagination, however, pictures of leaf projects created by other children may provide additional inspiration.
In addition to providing a surface that is simple to apply adhesive to, leaves are sturdy enough to hole punch and cut with scissors. Families can use them in multiple ways, including to fashion an autumn banner to celebrate the season. After punching a hole in the leaves, a long piece of yarn is weavable through each one. Once spread out, the child can carefully help hang their decoration in a commonly seen location.
For smaller children, leaf rubbings are a classic way of exploring colors and shapes of nature. Rubbing an unwrapped crayon over a piece of paper with a leaf beneath it will allow them to draw a this favorite autumn standard. Additionally, stamps are a playful way to experiment with objects such as apples, pumpkin stems, leaves, flowers, pine cones, and more.
Encourage the exercise of their imagination by finding natural materials that inspire them. In conclusion, parents can remember that with enough creativity, inspiration, and glue, their child is capable of creating anything.
“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.” -David Sobel