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Colours are changing: Enjoy the Experience

By Maureen Penko

The days have shortened, the coolness of the air hails that fall is here and we are on the cusp of winter. However, winter won't happen until we have enjoyed the fall colours, the pumpkins and preparation for Halloween. For some families, it will be one of firsts with their children. I want to share with you that there is so much to teach your child about fall, colours, nature, how animals prepare and how to enjoy Halloween.

Using art allows you to teach the primary and secondary colours. That you can mix colours to create new shades. Use the medium of water colour paints and mixing them to show how colours can change. You can talk about loud colours and soft colours. Adding a bit of sparkle can make the colour shiny. With edible dough, you can add food colouring to create the rainbow colour effect and introduce words.

Making a leaf press scrapbook is a lot of fun. The variety of leaves and adding pines cones can frame a fall photo and allow you to talk about the shareable memory. You can paint the pines cones and show your child that pressing them on to a sheet of paper creates a design. In this type of activity, you can also work on counting shapes and grouping of the colours. Going on a hunt for fall colours is a sharing time of fun and allows you to emphasize sounds.

Group activity and turn taking skills can be promoted by enjoying the piling of leaves. Modelling sentences in a repetitive sequence builds language for example "I have the rake"; "my turn to rake", "your turn to rake", "we raked a big pile of brown, red and orange leaves" Don't forget to take the photograph for the leaf press book.
Added to this experience can be the pumpkin search and the corn maze. Don't forget to talk about those busy squirrels and geese as they prepare for winter! These tasks build your child's learning, language, articulation, fine and big motor abilities as they participate and try the various project with you.

On a recent visit to Granville Island I had a chance to ask the various store owners how they get ready to invite children for Halloween. They explained that in recent years families have taken to having home parties , or perhaps not participating at all. I did not grow up knowing about Halloween and did not understand the purpose of it. However, I certainly enjoyed it through my own children's eyes. Let me share the Island's efforts and the highlights that one can thoroughly enjoy if you chose to participate. In the Kids Market, each shop puts on an event from the bouncy ball station, costume store, candy shop or the toy shops. One store where children explore, has handmade weighted cats that are so soft and calming by Wild Design. Stores are making a great effort to prepare for all children and those with special needs.

The Humpty Dumpty Book Store has a variety of books that allow you to share the idea of becoming another character. Here are some titles of the books that I enjoyed reading through: Zen Ghosts by Jen Muth, Autumn Story by Jill Barklem, Five Little pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino
The island uses technology to promote what they are doing so find out what we have going on that suits you via google. Check out the public library, our book and toy stores (Toad Hall, McNally Robinson) and the community centre in your neighbourhood. There is something for everyone this fall. Rehearsing for, repeating the actions and retelling the events are excellent language and memory strategies for your child.

I will leave you with this line from Autumn Story "Sweetly dream the night away. 'Til sunshine brings another day.

Happy Fall.


Feature Articles:

October Top Six for Families

2018 Halloween Happenings

Increasing Confidence with Lunch Time at School

Colours are changing: Enjoy the Experience


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