• Awesome Autumn Activities

    The crisp autumn air is just around the corner. Help your little one learn and grow through exploration and play.

    Tricia Weber, the supervisor at Sorteberg Early Childhood Center, and other ECFE and preschool staff have shared a variety of awesome autumn activities to try this season.

    Introduce your child to new sensory experiences.


    • Dance, jump and crunch in the leaves.

    • You can visit an apple orchard or pick up your favorite apples at the grocery store. “Talk about the differences and similarities between the apples – whether they are red, green or yellow; if they taste sweet or sour; or if they feel hard or soft,” Weber recommends. If you are really brave, let your child finger paint with applesauce!


    Talk about numbers.


    • If baking tasty fall treats is a favorite family pastime, measure the ingredients together. Babies can play with measuring cups and spoons, and you can practice counting with your toddler or preschooler as you measure and prepare your treat: 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 3 pinches of cinnamon! Show your child how many fingers each number looks like.


    • It’s likely too early to let your baby, toddler or preschooler carve a pumpkin – but let them squish and squeeze “pumpkin guts” instead. Afterward, line up the seeds and count how many you found.


    Move your body in new and different ways.


    • Paint pumpkins – with a brush or fingers! “This is great for babies to develop shoulder mobility,” Weber says. Cut off the top of the pumpkin and hand your child a spoon or small shovel to scoop the insides out.


    • Weber suggests letting your toddler or preschooler “hammer” golf tees into a pumpkin. “This helps your child practice hand-eye coordination and fine motor development,” she explains. Either leave the tees in the pumpkin for decoration or pull them out to let the light from a lit pumpkin shine through.


    • Spread peanut butter, sun butter or honey onto a pinecone, and then use your hands to roll it in birdseed. Hang it from a tree or shrub that you can see from indoors and watch the birds stop by for a snack.


    Tell stories.


    • “Grab a bag and go on a scavenger hunt!” suggests Weber. One of her favorite things to do with her twin daughters when they were young was to collect items on a nature walk – leaves, sticks, acorns – and then make a collage at home. It’s easy to place those items under a piece of paper, and then rub a crayon over the top to see the texture of each item. “Relive the adventures of the day by talking about what happened first, next, and then last,” Weber says. “Understanding the sequence of events is important for young children as they learn how to read.”


    • Visit your local library to find new books related to harvest, apples, pumpkins or leaves. Children enjoy seeing pictures and hearing new stories.


    Most importantly, Weber reminds families, “There is value in just doing things together as a family – any time of year.”

     Young Boy Playing in Leaves
     Young girl picking apples
     Boy with golf tees in pumpkin from icanteachmychild.com