5 fun Autumn activities

As the seasons turn I always like to have a think about the activities we have been doing over the last few months, and think of some new ways to entertain my girls in the coming season.

We are starting to clear the garden now, and while the bikes and scooters, and possibly even the sand tray will stay around throughout the winter, the water toys have gone into hibernation along with the sun loungers and picnic blankets.

Autumn is probably the most exciting season in terms of the senses. The colours, noises, sounds and even smells are just incredible and it is a season in which I do not find it hard to entertain my children. For this reason the these five activities are simple activities that require no planning, no shopping and no preparation, just wrap up warm and away you go! (I will be adding more activities in time so follow us on facebook to stay tuned.)

rainbow

  1. Make a leaf rainbow.

Okay so it wont be an accurate rainbow so to speak but the idea here is to collect as many different coloured leaves as you can. What you do with the leaves is up to you. Your children might take pleasure out of simply throwing them in the air and running about, or stamping on them to listen to the noises they make. Or you can use them to decorate your house with a beautiful leaf garland. [see here]

 

teddy kide and seek

  1. Teddy hide and seek.

Ask your children to collect lots of leaves into a big pile. This is an activity in itself and can keep them entertained for ages! Give little ones a bucket and send them round the garden, young children generally love collecting things so this will be a welcome task. Then simply hide some toys in the pile, depending on how old the children are you can vary the size of the toys you hide, making it more difficult the smaller the toy. Just remember to count how many toys you hide or there may be tears when they realise they have lost one!

 

concker

  1. Autumn seeds

Who didn’t collect conkers when they were younger? While conker fights seem to have gone out of fashion these days (partly for health and safety reasons) children still adore collecting nice shiny conkers. Sycamore seeds are also really popular. See here to find out what you can do with them…

 

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Encourage children to stop and listen to the world around them.

4. Sensory walk

Pop down to your local park and find things that will stimulate the senses. For example, stamp in some dry crispy leaves and listen to them crunching, look and see all the different colours on the trees, listen out for animals foraging in the under growth and see if you can smell any bonfires. Encourage children to sit quietly and take in their surroundings whilst doing this activity, it can be great after a really busy or stressful day. Alternatively, let the children dive into a pile of leaves and experience the senses in an active and engaging way.

 

tree

  1. Tree and leaf rubbings

Grab some paper and pencils and head outside, or collect some leaves and bring them inside, either way this is a fun and educational activity for children of all ages. Simply press the paper up against the tree bark, or leaves, and rub over it with crayons. This can be really fun if, as seen in the picture above, you can find funny shapes in the trees.

There are so many fun activities to do in autumn, and I will update this list as we progress through the season. If you have any activities you enjoy doing please comment below!

Pumpkin Soup

This huge and abundant vegetable has a sweet, rich and creamy taste and is so simple to cook with.

I made this soup with some homegrown onions and garlic, threw in a pinch of cinnamon and grated nutmeg, along with a spoon of bouillon and boiled it all up together.

It really is that simple. I cooled it quickly (for my very impatient 2 year old!) by adding some milk which thinned it down a bit too.

I will also add that I made this with pumpkin that had been in the freezer since last year (it can take me a while to get things done!) So dont worry if you have limited time – veggies keep in the freezer for ages so just bung them in there and get them out to make into soup when your cupboards are bare – perfect!

 

 

Nature hanging

This is another brilliantly simple activity that encourages children to explore and engage with their natural surroundings. You can easily tailor it to suit their personality as well, so for example some children might like to search for spiky, scary looking plants, rocks or sticks where as others might want to have a hanging made from only the colour purple! It really is up to them.

 

You will need…

4 sticks

string and/or thread

scissors

Method…

My daughters brief was ‘to find anything you find interesting or beautiful’ and put it on a tray. Our collection consisted of a range of petals and leaves of different shapes, colours and textures.

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Tie the four sticks together to make a rectangular frame, and tie a large loop from one end to the other on one side, to hang your creation up with

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When you have assembled your selection of items, pick your favourites and attach them to the top stick with some string, or the thread for a more subtle look.

Hang your nature hanging in the garden, or indoors if you would rather, to make a lovely, natural piece of decorative art.

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Tip: Petals, flowers etc might not last long on the hanging, though some will last longer than others. They can be easily swapped for something else, providing a great opportunity to discuss the natural life cycle and changing of the seasons etc.

Autumn Leaf Garland

The weather can get a bit chilly in Autumn but if you get a chance, nip out to your local park, grab a bag and go rummaging for some brightly coloured leaves. It is a great opportunity for the kids to have a run about at the same time.

Autumn leaves

Make sure you have a good selection of colours and that the leaves are quite big for a “wow” impact.

There are a few different ways to make the garlands; you can push some string through the leaves, as seen below, for a simple and rustic look. This can be quite fiddly for little ones though.

leaves

Another idea, that is much easier for children to do, is to cut out some card in thick strips and then stick the leaves to it.  You can cut the card in any shape, or the children can choose for a chance to get really creative.

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Finally, if the weather is a bit warmer you can tie some string up in the garden and the children can peg leaves onto that, or even onto the washing line if they can reach it.

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You can make this activity a bit more educational by asking them to sort the leaves into size order, arrange them from dark to light or even see if they can find the colours of the rainbow!

Autumn Seeds

Now that we enter a new season and the leaves have started to turn, it’s a great time for little hands to explore their natural world. There are an array of colours, textures and sounds for them to discover, as well as fruits, nuts and seeds.

sycamore

Sycamore seeds are a really fun find. Children absolutely love throwing them off a step or bench and watching them helecopter to the ground, especially if they are caught in a gust of wind as they can really fly far. (There’s a lesson in aerodynamics to teach for the more scientific of you out there!)

conkers

Conkers are another great thing to search for. Children will happily collect them for hours, polishing them and adding to an ever growing collection (I remember having bags full of them when I was a child.)

conker face

If the weather starts to turn then you can bring them inside, enjoy a warming hot chocolate and draw cute little faces on them. Apparently conkers repel spiders so you might want to lave a few dotted about the place just in case!

My personal favourite is the hazelnut, or cobnut as it is sometimes known. These little nuts are really fun to forage for, they take a bit of work to shell but are edible so there is a reward at the end of it!

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This is the perfect opportunity to talk to children about eating wild food, and ensuring they check with an adult first in case it is poisonous.

Fun with leaves

The sound of crunching underfoot, alongside little squeals of delight from jumping in a big pile of leaves can mean only one thing…its autumn! Granted we are nearing the end of autumn now and many would argue that it is already winter, but there are still a lot of leaves and I for one intend to make the most of it.

 

more “Fun with leaves”