Monday, October 13, 2008

Autumn Nature

Educational and creative things to do with Autumn Nature.

Going outdoors in the autumn or fall can be a fun time with children.

Get prepared for any kind of weather and definitely not your best clothes.
Take something with you, to carry the treasures you will be collecting.

Obviously a wood is the best place, but a park or even the pavement on the way to nursery or school will be littered with leaves, acorns, or chestnuts.

Collect as much as you can, take them home, spread it all on newspaper, and have fun with the children sorting out into piles. I find it educational to have a book on hand for the children to identify which leaves come from which trees, if no book is handy the good old Internet will have all the information you need.

Make a collage picture, on strong paper or card, although I prefer to re-cycle old cereal or tissue boxes. Use glue or tape to stick.

For leaf printing, put brown, green, yellow, red, orange paint onto a paper plate or suitable flat container, press on the selected leaf, and print onto paper or card. Mix the colours accordingly.

Make a bigger picture on the autumn theme with either more prints or actual leaves, involving the other aspects of nature i.e. owls, squirrels, hedgehogs, [I like to draw a big hedgehog and the children make his body out of leaf prints.]

Do a big autumn scene picture.

Count the acorns, show how they attach to the tree, with their little caps, and identify the leaves.

Try to grow an acorn, in a bulb growing pot.

If you collected horse chestnuts take off their spiky outer skin, and reveal the shiny ‘conker’. Carefully pierce a hole in the centre and attach a piece of string. Then take part in the traditional game of hitting an opponent’s ‘conker’ to see which one is the better and survives in one piece.

Sweet chestnuts are very similar to horse chestnuts, they also have a spiky outer covering, carefully take out the nut which can be roasted, boiled, peeled, and eaten.

Have lots of fun.

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