Although fall officially starts in September, it never really feels like fall around here until after Halloween. So we only started talking about fall and doing fall-related activities in November.
I decided to start off our fall unit with a nature walk in order to explore the sights, sounds, and textures of fall in our area. We were lucky to have Grandmum, a former science teacher, join us on our nature walk.
When we first arrived to our nature walk location, we spotted a persimmon tree! Grandmum used a stick to shake a few persimmons down, and the kids have enjoyed eating them for snack time.
I also tried to encourage the kids to look closely at all the nature around them. For example, we observed how the morning dew clung to the fuzzy leaves of this plant.
And we felt the sharp spines on this plant.
Grandmum and QBoy checked out the wet dirt of this small ravine.
QBoy explored the texture of tree bark.
The kids were excited to find acorns on the ground. The acorns were among the many items we put into a bag to take home with us for use in future activities.
Both QBoy and XGirl were fascinated when we found a banana slug crossing our path! They observed the trail of slime the slug left behind him as he slid along, the way his antennae moved, and the bright yellow color of his body.
Our nature walk was a lot of fun, and that was just the kick-off to all our fall learning!
I love, love, love creating sensory experiences for my kids, so of course I had to put together a fall-themed sensory bin. (Well, okay, I actually outsourced the work of creating this bin to my dear husband. He did a pretty good job, if I say so myself!)
Both kids enjoy sensory bins but XGirl, in particular, can spend hours just scooping and pouring and dumping out the materials. I try to give my kids different containers and tools to play with to keep it interesting. For example, in the photo below you can see the round paint trays, silver candy scoops, and large tongs I set out on this particular day.
I have been working with XGirl on her colors. In keeping with the fall theme, I found some fall printables from 2 Teaching Mommies to help teach colors.
QBoy practiced his scissor skills using some printables from 1+1+1=1.
Inspired by a post on Teach Preschool, I picked up two gourds at the grocery store. While the kids were napping one afternoon, I prepared a learning tray for them to explore the gourds.
I set the materials up outside and then left it up to the kids to explore the gourds as they wished. They immediately went to work scooping the seeds out of their gourds, announcing that the gourd seeds were just like the pumpkin seeds we had scooped out of our Halloween pumpkins.
QBoy used his magnifying glass to take a closer look at his seeds.
At first the kids wanted to save the seeds to roast them, but later they decided it would be more fun to put the seeds into our yard waste pile.
After the kids finished exploring their gourds, I pulled out a bin with all the items we had collected on our nature walk. I showed the kids how to do leaf rubbings using the side of a crayon. This only kept their attention for about 60 seconds, however.
For another activity, I gave the kids some gluten-free play dough and encouraged them to use it with the materials we had collected on our nature walk.
They poked sticks and other objects into it.
They worked to hide acorns in it.
And they just had fun exploring the materials in an open ended way.
We have had so much fun exploring fall!
More fall activities for kids
More fall posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Fall on the farm sensory bin
- Fall sensory play ideas
- Scarecrow crafts and activities
- Fall-themed What is Missing? game
- Fall Printables Pack
- Fall do-a-dot printables