With the changing weather, new Fall colors, and upcoming holiday, children are excited to explore the new season. Whether you are working with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or pre-k students, we’ve rounded up some fun ways to incorporate this season into your curriculum.
A fun Thanksgiving activity that promotes conversation and collaboration is a gratitude tree. Children can draw their own tree trunks and branches, or one large one can be used during circle time. Invite each child to choose a construction paper leaf and tell you what she is thankful for. Reinforcing the colors of the leaves and writing down the words suggested by the children both provide bonus learning benefits.
While children learn to say ‘thank you’ at a very young age, the concepts of gratitude and thankfulness can be a bit abstract for young minds. When filling in the leaves on the gratitude tree, try asking two questions together: What are you thankful for? and What makes you feel happy?
As the air clears, take the children outside to explore the crunchy leaves, fallen pinecones, and the new colors on the trees. Take photos of the children exploring for documentation and to share with parents! Bring a bag or bucket so that children can collect their favorite leaves on the way. When you return, allow the children to make a collage out of clear contact paper by sticking their favorite leaves from the collection on the paper. When the collage is complete, you can even hang this in the window as a unique and meaningful sun catcher, and print out a few of the photos that you took to document your walk!
If it’s too tricky to get your little ones outside, bring Fall inside by creating sensory bags filled with Fall colors, leaves, acorns, and other Autumn items. Use large Ziploc bags to put in all the items and include hair gel to make the bag squishy. For a full tutorial on how to make these bags, click here.