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Teaching children about Autumn

Blog

16 November 2022

Autumn is the third season of the year for those living in the northern hemisphere and spans across the months of September, October and November. Autumn is known for the season where the trees change colour, the days get darker, and the temperature drops. 

This season is full of magical changes and exciting seasonal events such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Thanksgiving for our American friends! There is so much to learn about and explore in autumn. Here are our go-to autumn activities for learning and playing!

Autumn activities for kids

When the weather turns wet and grey, getting out of the house can seem more of a chore than a joy. Getting out in the autumn air and exploring the change of seasons is a great way for children to learn about the seasons and all the wonder that autumn brings. 

If you’re looking for a little motivation to grab your wellies and coats, here are some of our favourite autumn activities:

Collect conkers

Many adults and parents will have fond memories of collecting conkers with their friends and family. Share that joy and excitement with your children and take them out to collect conkers! 

Teach them how to find a good conker and how to safely open up the cases. Conkers are a childhood favourite and are fun to collect. See how many you can find and polish them up for display.

Autumn scavenger hunt

One of the best things about autumn is the change of leaves and the introduction of seasonal treasures like helicopter seeds and conkers. 

We love Science Sparks free autumn scavenger hunt sheet which encourages children to hunt for nature’s seasonal treasures such as colourful leaves, sycamore seeds and pinecones! 

Doing an autumn scavenger hunt is a fun way to talk to your children about the change in seasons and encourage conversation around what’s safe to touch in nature (for example not to touch some berries), why the trees drop leaves, and which foods animals eat this time of year.

Next time a sunny autumn day comes along, print off this autumn scavenger sheet and put on your warmer clothes – it’s time to hunt for nature’s treasures!

Gather leaves to make tree pictures

One of autumn’s most striking features is the gradual change of the leaves from brilliant greens to vivid shades of yellows, oranges and reds. Create a snapshot of the season with a colourful picture using natural arts and crafts materials!

Head outside and collect leaves of all shapes, sizes and colours – and even some twigs and pieces of bark for the tree trunk if you want to get extra creative. Creating an arts and crafts picture like this is a great outlet for creativity and imagination and helps build on their fine motor skills.

You can even make an autumn leaf rainbow with leftover leaves. Arrange your collected leaves from green to yellow, to orange and red for a visual representation of the changing of seasons. 

autumn arts and crafts

Visit a pick-your-own farm

Pick-your-own farms are great fun any time of year, but there’s something extra special about going in the autumn period. Pick-your-own farms will be full of seasonal goods that are ready to pick and take home to prepare and enjoy.

Teach children where their food comes from and how their food grows. You could even see how many fruits and vegetables they can name and recognise! You can expect to see carrots, squash, brussel sprouts, onions and sweetcorn amongst the many in-season goods.

And whilst you’re there, you may choose to pick up a wheelbarrow and pick a few pumpkins for carving, decorating and eating!

Bake pumpkin cupcakes

Pumpkin picking is a tradition many families do for Halloween each year! Teach your children that pumpkins aren’t just for carving – they’re for making delicious and nutritious treats and meals. 

Use your leftover pumpkin from Halloween for these Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes by Inspired Taste can be baked using homemade pumpkin puree and are topped with a creamy frosting.

If you want to make a savoury dish, Recipetineats has a delicious and simple pumpkin soup recipe with simple ingredients. A truly comforting and warming dish that’s perfect for the cooler months.

If you’re wondering how to get your children interested in new food, we’ve got a blog about it here!

Go to a firework display

Remember, remember the 5th of November! Around the beginning of November, many local parks and outdoor venues hold bonfires and firework displays to celebrate Guye Fawks night. 

You could even bond with your little one by reciting the well-known nursery rhyme “Remember, remember the 5th of November” which commemorates when Guy Fawkes attempted and failed to blow up the Houses Of Parliament.

Make the most of the chilly season with a fun family night out watching colourful firework displays, listening to music and enjoying warm drinks. Bonfires and firework displays are great fun for any age. Besides, who doesn’t love a sparkler?

Outside play all year round

No matter the season, outdoor play is an important part of a children’s development and wellbeing. Here at Kids Planet, we encourage outdoor play throughout our settings and throughout all seasons. We believe there’s no such thing as bad weather – just weather-inappropriate clothes! So long as the children can be warm and dry, the children at our settings are free to play in our gardens.

There are numerous benefits of outdoor play for children, from developing risk awareness and supporting physical health and development, to building relationships with their peers and with nature. 

Not only do we encourage outdoor play as often as possible, but we also practise Udeskole in a few of our settings. Udeskole is a Danish concept that means “outdoor school”. It is the practice and theory of learning in a natural setting and using the local environment to teach. 

Our Outdoor Lead, Rhiannon Scott, is passionate about outdoor learning and is working hard to incorporate the practice of Udeskole across all of our nurseries. You can learn more about the importance of nature and outdoor learning in our podcast episode 17 about Outdoor Learning.

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