Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Autumn Activities Roundup

So Autumn is officially over and it seems no sooner has the calendar ticked over from November to December than the weather suddenly turns chilly.  But we are fully embracing the change of the seasons and joys of Christmas that come with it.  This year is just that bit more exciting with a toddler who is very excited about anything Christmas related and another who likes anything shiny!
But before I move on to our Christmas activities and challenges I wanted to share some of the Autumnal ones which missed out from having a post all to themselves. 
So here is my Autumn Roundup, starting with a little look at a small learning space I set up which includes a couple of discovery baskets, some autumn books and a few other bits and pieces. 

Cork Painting:
I painted a basic outline of a tree and Boris filled in the leaves by stamping the end of a cork into the paint then onto the paper. He learned about colour mixing and he used fine motor skills. I learnt that I need to explain activities really well for him to understand what I have in mind.  He began the activity by smearing a big red blob across the bottom of the trunk!

Autumn Discovery Baskets:
These were for Biscuit and I left them out on the shelves for him to use periodically throughout the season.  These included pom poms, some bought and some made from some yarn I had lying around in seasonal colours. 
Faux Autumn leaves (I bought a pack of 400 like some crazy fool, from ebay, I am not sad to have packed these away), pine cones, conkers and some scented string balls from a potpourri set.
Wooden pegs.  Biscuit used his fine motor skills, improved his understanding of the world, textures, shapes, weights etc and stimulated his senses.

Sponge Leaf Printing:
I bought some leaf shaped sponges for Boris to paint with.  He created a lovely falling leaf scene which I put up in the kitchen.  Again he learnt about colour mixing and he improved his fine motor skills. This activity also helped him (along with lots of walks outdoors pointing out the falling leaves and that they had changed colour) understand that leaves change colour and fall from the tree in Autumn.  At one point he was getting very excited about any tree with coloured leaves and shouting "that tree is Autumn Mummy".  So cute.

Pasta threading:
Boris threaded Autumnal coloured pasta onto Autumnal coloured pipe cleaners. Improving fine motor skills and had eye co-ordination.  And learning about colours.

Pumpkin carving:
This was for halloween, I cut leaf shapes into the pumpkin using leaf shaped cookie cutters and a mallett. I liked the effect, it was easy and quick to do, (took a bit of muscle though)  I put the inners of the pumpkin into a ziplock bag for Biscuit to explore. 

Corn sorting:
Boris picked corn kernels off the cob and put them into little pots. Improving fine motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination and counting skills.

Clay Leaf Cutting:
We rolled out some air dry clay, cut leaf shapes out with the leaf cookie cutters, poked holes in them then let them dry. We then painted them and varnished them with PVA glue and threaded them onto embroidery thread with some beads and buttons.  He had a lot of help with this activity, in some ways it was more for me than him, but he enjoyed manipulating the clay and painting them, helping develop his fine motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination and understanding of colour.

So there you have it, a very quick run down of our Autumn activities. I hope you find them useful for doing with your toddler, either now of next year. And here's to the next season and all it brings!

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