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Let's have Fun in the Fall and Feel the Season Change

By Maureen Penko

As I prepared for this article, I wanted to point out how in Winnipeg we definitely have four seasons in the year; Winter, Spring , Summer and Fall.

Another word for fall is Autumn and it has the most beautiful colours of any season. It signals the end of summer and the return to school. The colours associated with fall are yellow, red, orange, brown, magenta, and shades of green.

This is a time when we can teach science, vocabulary and concepts to our preschool and early years child. It is the time of the year when a lot of outdoor play and nature observation can still take place.
Take notice of the leaves on the trees and teach your child the colours as they change from green to red, yellow orange, and shades of brown. When naming the colours stretch the words out so that they can hear the pronunciation of the words clearly. Talk about why the leaves change colour and what needs to be done with the leaves once they fall.
Have fun raking big and small leaves and teach how to be environmentally friendly by using the compost or paper bags to collect the leaves.

Practice Counting with how many bags of leaves you prepared for the yard waste pick up. Remember the most fun happens when everyone piles on top of the leaves and someone emerges with a lot of leaves in their hair. Here vocabulary can be easily transferred from an interactive moment to a sit-down learning experience when you create a leaf collage.

I remember fall as the time of the year when I took my children to the CORN Maze and we enjoyed the pumpkin display. Once we ran through the maze with all its twist turns and special spots we had a barbeque and enjoyed our smores, Yummy. We used this opportunity to talk about how corn grows and what happens to the corn husk and the plants.We also spotted the giant circular hay bales in the fields. If at all possible capture a photo of your children standing next to the hay bale and talk about how big that bale is.

Choose a pumpkin and take it home as you can use them for decoration at Thanksgiving and also carve them for Halloween. Another experience is picking apples in the fall and make a family cooking experience. Use words such as peel, core, slice, chop Make an apple pie or apple cake or just eat the slices with cinnamon and crumble topping or juice the apples. Talk about sweet, sour, crunchy and chewy, and tangy. You can also cut an apple in half and use it for a craft by painting the surface and then pressing it on paper. Better yet let the apple core dry out and see how old and wrinkly an apple can get.

When talking about this season you can introduce the concept of hibernating. What do the animals do to get ready for fall? Point out how busy the squirrels have been running back and forth with those acorns and pine cones. Talk about how they dig and hide the acorns for their winter food. Discuss how we get ready for the fall and winter. The concept of weather and the climate changing can be a science project. Charting the weather each day allows children to see the different weather patterns such as windy, cloudy, sunny, rainy, and drizzly.
There are so many concepts to teach your child in the fall such as Size, Colour, Shapes, Letters, Numbers/Quantity, Texture, Time and Location. You can also develop the fact-finding side of your child's knowledge by using a "Did you know search?"

I am including a link to an article that talks about Fall Facts and you can adapt it to be appropriate for your child.

A few parents have shared these ideas with me that I will pass on to you. One of our favourites is going for walks and talking about the different smells of the woods. We talk about the crunching sound of our feet walking on the trails as we collet pine cones.
Jumping in leaves!!! Adults and kids alike.

A trip to the pumpkin patch, with hay rides and picking that perfect pumpkin (of course everyone has their own choice for the perfect pumpkin)

Crafts are always a fun event in our household. Making turkeys out of handprints and jars, or out of a milk jug. Usually every year we paint a plastic pumpkin and so each year we add to our own pumpkin patch. It is fun to go back and see the pumpkins they made when they were younger.

We read stories that have a fall theme.
Reading stories is an excellent way to prompt comprehension, speech sound and language structure by sharing a read together story.
Here are some favourites I have read to my children:

  • Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
  • Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
  • Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber.
  • We're Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
  • Awesome Autumn by Bruce Goldstone

In closing I am reminded of fall as I listen to Plop! Plop! Plop! on the metal roof. It is a "shower" of acorns" what a crazy idea... Enjoy Fall

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Let's have Fun in the Fall and Feel the Season Change

The Frugal Family

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Last Minute Halloween Costumes

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