Spending time in nature allows children to enhance physical, cognitive, and social development. During the fall season, planned activities can inspire your childrens’ natural curiosity. Most children will want to continue to explore their outdoor findings through books and other forms of educational play.
Go for a Walk
One of the simplest activities to engage with your children is going for a walk. The length of the walk is not important. Simply give each child the chance to explore, observe and absorb the natural surroundings. Each walk may have specific fall themed activities to enhance the experience.
- Magnifying Glasses: By picking up small objects to explore with a magnifying glass, children will enhance fine motor skills. Encourage children to notice the texture and colors of objects. For example, studying a leaf under a magnifying glass allows children to see the veins, colors, and the different textures.
- Color Match: Fall provides nature with numerous colors to explore. As you continue your walk, pick colors to match. For example, brown leaves will match brown acorns. Or set up boxes with different colors to collect. Yellow leaves will go in the yellow box.
- Bird Watching: Most children love animals. Pointing out birds or squirrels is a great way to introduce wildlife.
- Scavenger Hunt: Children love to search for objects. Twigs, different colored leaves, rocks, pine cones, and acorns may be part of a scavenger hunt game to fill the box with different nature items.
Along with the walk, collecting nature items can be part of a continuing learning process.
- Autumn Collage: Creating a collage with leaves, twigs, and acorns by gluing the objects on paper can inspire creativity and imagination.
- Matching Leaves: Each leaf has a unique shape. Matching the leaves to print shapes can inspire learning about each tree.
- Counting with Acorns: The small little acorn may provide a big impact on cognitive development. Encourage children to count acorns into marked, numbered cups.
- Rock Collecting: Finding rocks or small pebbles may not be just a fall activity. When you are out collecting other objects, including rocks will provide additional learning choices. Use the rocks for painting, water play, counting, or studying.
Fall nature inspired activities may provide hours of fun and learning. The smallest natural find may inspire your child’s imagination for continuous growth. Encourage children to explore the natural world. Being outdoors inspires children to learn about the natural environment around them. Children will use the nature experience as a means to expand their own knowledge base.
As parents or guardians, you want the best learning experience for your children to build a foundation for future educational endeavors. If you would like more information on how the fall activities can inspire your child to learn, please contact the Montessori Children’s House in the Bay Area for a tour. The instructors and caring staff are willing to answer any questions concerning the Montessori approach to learning. A tour of the school will provide additional insight into the learning process.