Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nature's Calling - Adventures and Activities

Signs of Autumn are everywhere.  It is a great opportunity to get outside with our little ones and use our senses to enjoy the beauty of the season.  
Time to go exploring:  Whether you head out to your backyard, local park or trail, bring a bucket or bag to collect any small treasures your child finds on the ground, such as acorns, pine cones, leaves, rocks, twigs, etc.   Take time to stop and listen to the sounds of the rustling leaves, singing birds, or squabbling squirrels.  Look for living creatures of all sizes and examine a spider’s web.  Count the birds in the sky.  Find leaves of different colors, shapes and sizes.  Figure out which tree dropped their new found treasures.  Don’t forget to discuss being respectful toward nature.
Autumn Treasure Activities:  There are so many ways your child can have fun and learn from what they found on their nature walk.  Keep their treasures safe in a container outside so that throughout the season they can use their items or add to their collection.  
Here are some basic math concepts that you can work together on with your child.  Begin by “sorting” the items into groups.  Depending on the age of your child, have your child “sort” the leaves by color or size.  Have them line up some items from smallest to biggest to develop “sequencing” skills.  They can create math “patterns”, such as acorn, leaf, acorn, leaf.  They can “count” how many pine cones they found.  They can “add” pine cones plus rocks to find the total.  If you have a lot of acorns you can do a counting game with the numbers 0-5 using an empty egg carton.  Write # 0-5 at the inside bottom of each egg cup in the carton.  Place one acorn in the egg carton.   The first person shakes the closed egg carton then opens to see what number is under the acorn.  They collect that number of acorns from a pile.  Take turns until all the acorns are gone.  Each placer counts their pile of acorns.  The player with the most wins.
Acorn Counting

When all the counting is done, time to get creative.  Set out some art supplies and let them create a collage from their walk.  If they found a lot of crunchy leaves, have them crunch up the leaves and glue on a leaf cutout for a mosaic.  Paint the rocks and pine cones.  Don’t forget to draw faces on the acorns.  The ideas are endless.  Let your child come up with some of their own creations.  
Crushed Leaf Mosaic
What are some of your fun Fall activities?  I have to admit, having just moved here from Orange County, we looking forward to jumping in the leaves.  My son and I used to pretend racking and jumping into a huge pile of leaves, but this year we get to do it.  Happy Fall!

No comments:

Post a Comment