Posted November 15, 2010on:
There are so many ways to have fun in the fall — whether it is your backyard or a visit to one of the gorgeous parks in our communities — the colors, smells and “feel” of fall is ready to be enjoyed by all.
Collect leaves! Fill a lunch bag or another container with beautiful, crispy fall leaves. Young children love to collect & carry leaves in their own bag. Older children enjoy collecting leaves and sorting by color, shape or size. Help them identify an oak, an elm or a maple leaf.
Speaking of leaves – nothing beats a pile of crackly, crispy, crumbly leaves! With rakes and mittens, get all of those yard leaves into a great big pile. But before you bag them up, run & jump in them! Throw them around and make it “snow” leaves – gear up for winter.
Squirrel food! Acorn, chestnuts, hickory nuts and seeds make wonderful food for squirrels. Collect nature’s nourishments and sort into piles. Roasting hickory nuts and chestnuts, tasting acorn butter, and sorting dried fall seeds is great fun!
Fall melt-aways. Adult partners needed. Find all of those small bits of crayons that you have been meaning to throw out and create beautiful leaves! Use an old cheese shredder or paring knife to whittle crayons. Place crayon sprinkles on a sheet of wax paper, wax side up. Place another sheet of wax paper, wax side down on top. Cover with a thin towel and “iron”. The crayons will melt in the wax. Cut out some leaf shapes and string to hang in front of the window.
Fall forest. Children can tear / cut and paste brown paper “tree trunks” on large plain paper. Using glue sticks or liquid school glue add colorful leaves children have collected outside to their tree trunks. Be sure to add a bright sun, cotton clouds and a crumpled leaf ‘ground’ to your fall forest.
Big Twigs. Collecting sticks is fun for older children. In a wagon or wheel barrow let children walk through the yard or neighborhood collecting fallen sticks. Sequence their sticks with them from the smallest to the tallest – the thinnest to the heaviest – the one with the most bumps on the bark to the smoothest…. Make up more comparisons. Be sure to have a pretzel stick for each winner! Recycle the collected sticks as appropriate to your neighborhood.
There’s nothing better than stirring cinnamon sticks in hot chocolate, baking a warm apple pie and enjoying pumpkin pancakes (add a scoop of pumpkin pie filling to pancake batter) with our families in the fall!
October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came –
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director