At this point many of us are feeling the fatigue of having children at home all day, every day. Here are a couple of ideas on celebrating Autumn to do with pre-school children and elementary school children.
Start by taking a nature walk with your child. This can happen in your neighborhood, on a hike, or at a nearby park. On this walk, have the children collect things from nature. Autumn is the perfect time to take a closer look at nature. Look for pretty leaves, seed pods, interesting stones, feathers, even dirt. Encourage your child to use their imagination and all of their senses when searching for these treasures.
When you get home there are endless possibilities of how to use these treasures. The child may want to make a nature collage where they glue the bits of nature onto a piece of paper or cardboard. This can be displayed on the refrigerator or on a wall so that the child can see it.
One of my favorite activities is creating a nature table. A nature table is usually a place inside the home that changes seasonally. When my child was small, we had a small table in the living room. We used colorful play silks, blocks, and small animals and dolls to create a scene and then decorate it with natural materials we discovered on walks. While we no longer have a nature table in our living room, both she and I have continued that ritual. She still collects tidbits of nature and puts them on her windowsill. In my office, I have a shelf where I put my found objects. I find it to be grounding and enjoy looking at it throughout my week.
Nature areas can also be created outside. If you collect sticks on a nature walk, you can build a fairy house to encourage fairies and elves to visit your yard. It can be fun to leave treasures for the fairies and elves, such as seeds, dried berries, or a pretty stone. Who knows? Maybe they will even write your child a thank you note!
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of playing outdoors with your children, check out this article on the correlation between outdoor play and boosting immunity: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/oct/14/greener-play-areas-boost-childrens-immune-systems-research-finds?CMP=share_btn_link