Fall is here in full force. Whether your child is transitioning into school for the first time or has headed back to grade school, chances are you are looking for ways to enrich their learning…not to mention have some fun together! Here are 5 activities that are perfect for the Fall.
1. “Collected Leaves” Collage: Babies can explore leaves on the grass or in a tub. Toddlers will love collecting leaves and placing them in a bucket with a handle. Children at this age can also stick the leaves to the sticky side of clear contact paper. Fold the contact paper in half and have it around for continues exploration or a placemat. Preschoolers can point out characteristics that are the same and different between the leaves they’ve collected, and can use glue to put them on to paper. Grade school children can use the library or internet to identify their leaves and learn about difference species.
2. Draw A Classroom Map: Drawing maps of your child’s classroom is a great conversation starter and works on memory and processing skills. Preschoolers can draw the map with an adult. Ask them questions about what they do in their room. You might even take photos of different areas of the room to help you with the drawing. You can help them make a plan about what they might like to do the next time they are there. Older kids can create and label the map on their own. Let them explain to you what they do in ach area of the room and what rules there are in each area. Where do they prefer to spend their time?
3. Go On A Letter or Color Hunt: I like to start this game with toddlers to support word recognition. Can you find the baby doll? Where is the bumpy ball? You can also work on directionality and following directions. Can you put the car on top of the chair? As children get a little older ask them to find you something blue or point out an L. Make it trickier by adding steps: Find something red and put it under the table. Then, bring me something green. Older preschoolers and grade-schoolers can use this game for phonemic awareness. What can you see that starts with a /p/? Make the sound of the letter, rather than identifying the name of the letter. For each game, let your child take a turn being the leader.
As you engage with the children in your life, ask questions and encourage them to do the same. Show that you value investigation and model how to find answers. Give younger children the opportunity to explore the world around them. Watch closely for their reactions and you’ll gain some insight into the kiddies in your life. Most importantly, whichever activity you choose, whether one of these or one of your own, have fun!