Fall is a beautiful time of year in the Pacific Northwest, with leaves turning an array of striking colors and brisk winds carrying new smells and sounds. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite crafts and activities to inspire artistic and sensory exploration for you and your family.
Join Teacher Cheryl for a reading of Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen followed by an easy tutorial for monster feet made from tissue boxes and found objects in the home.
Pumpkin Seed Predictions
You Will Need:
Pumpkin, knife, scooper, bowl, newspaper, paper towels, paper, glue
Step by Step:
Begin by asking your child: “How many seeds are inside the pumpkin?” This is called a prediction.
Cover a table with newspaper, cut the pumpkin open and encourage your child to help clean out the insides and wash the seeds.
Count the number of pumpkin seeds and see how close your prediction was to the actual amount. For a simpler approach, pick up a handful of seeds, predict the number of seeds in your hand, and then count them.
For extra fun, glue pumpkin seeds to paper to make a collage. “How many seeds did you use in your collage?”
What Is My Child Learning:
Opening up a pumpkin and scooping out the seeds is an incredible sensory experience for children to learn through what they see, touch, and smell. Providing your child with opportunities for sensory play at home encourages curiosity and promotes fine motor skills.
Making predictions invites your child to use known information to make a best guess; an important skill as a scientist. Estimate is another mathematical term for prediction. Learning to estimate is an important arithmetic skill. Comparing predictions to the actual results improves future predicting and estimating abilities.
Counting a number of objects together develops math skills, like sequencing numbers (1, 2, 3, 4), one-to-one correspondence (only counting an object once) and cardinality (knowing the number of objects in a set or group).
Fall Sensory Bottle
Bring the colors, textures and shapes of fall to your children in a safe way with this sensory bottle activity from Kids Craft Room!
You Will Need:
Empty plastic bottles with lids, super glue, natural found items, sequins
Try to find a plastic bottle with a fairly large opening to broaden the range of shapes and sizes that will fit in the bottle. You can supply your child with found items such as nuts, leaves, and seeds, or you can take a neighborhood walk together to choose what goes inside.
Night Time Scenes
Learn how to create your very own night scene using black and white sheets of paper, a large plastic baggie, and permanent markers. By drawing on the baggie and switching the paper inside from white to black, your white paper flashlight will appear to illuminate the transparent drawing on top of it.
You Will Need:
A collection of leaves, glue, paper, crayons, tape
Step by Step:
Go outside to collect colorful and interesting leaves.
Take time to carefully observe the leaves you have collected. What shapes and edges do you see? What colors?
Tape one leaf to a table and place a sheet of paper on top of the taped leaf.
Peel the paper wrapping off of a crayon and rub the long side on top of the paper. What do you see happening? You can go over the same leaf more than once with different colors.
Try painting over the top of some of your leaf rubbings to see what a wax-relief effect looks like.
Create a leaf collage by gluing leaves to a piece of paper. Make sure to use enough glue to make your leaves stick.
Notice lines of symmetry – how the leaf has a center line and the similarities and differences on either side.
What Is My Child Learning?
Collecting leaves provides time for outdoor play and physical activity. Nature walks develop knowledge and respect for our environment and community.
Gluing and creating collages develop fine motor skills, focus and concentration.
Sharing activities together encourages communication and promotes cooperation.
Learn how to make delicious baked apples in the microwave using only three ingredients! Teacher Cheryl also shares one of her favorite chopping tools that’s safe for preschool-age friends.
By simply cutting and hollowing pumpkins or gourds, you can create buoyant vehicles for imaginative water play, whether it’s in a bathtub or a sensory tub as pictured here. This sensory activity is a great way to engage your children in a thematic, seasonal activity while maintaining an open-ended play environment.
Check out Frugal Fun’s post for more information.