Fall officially starts today! We thought we would give you a few fun ways to celebrate as your students learn about the change of seasons. With the changing leaves and abundance of fruit come even more opportunities for outdoor play, color recognition, and yummy, homemade recipes! From leaf collecting to planting seeds for spring surprises, here are four fun activities you can use to get students excited about fall:
1. Fall Gardening!
Teach students to go green and learn care and patience as they plant and tend to their very own Fall Class Garden! Spring surprises are sure to follow.
- Shovels, spades, and trowels
- Snowdrop, daffodil, and tulip bulbs
What to Do:
- Find an outdoor area to use as a garden bed. Show the children how to prepare it for planting by turning over the dirt.
- Add topsoil and fertilizer, if needed.
- If desired, divide the area using rocks and branches to delineate individual spaces. Help the children paint their names on a rock to place in their individual gardens.
- Create a class garden. Show the children how to dig holes and plant bulbs.
- If desired, ask families to donate leftover plants from their own perennial gardens.
- Have the children water the bulbs.
- Look for the flowers in the spring!
- Christopher’s Harvest Time by Elsa Beskow
- The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers
2. Sorting Leaves
The changing leaves offer a plethora of approaches to learning, whether through sorting, color recognition, or early science lessons! Teach all of those concepts and more by taking a trip outside for nature play!
- Plastic bag (one per child)
- Leaves from various trees
- Wax paper
- Iron (adult only)
- Large mat
What to Do:
- Give each child a plastic bag. Take the children on a walk either around the neighborhood or around the school to gather leaves from different types of trees.
- While the leaves are still fresh, place them between two sheets of wax paper and press with a warm iron (adult only).
- Glue one leaf of each type to a large mat divided into several leaves and the trees they come from.
- Art: Make Leaf People! Help each child tape a large leaf to a piece of drawing paper. Encourage the children to use the leaf as the body of a “leaf person,” using the stem as the neck. Invite them to draw the rest of the person, or use multiple leaves to create an entire leaf family!
2. Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday
Teach children about Johnny Appleseed and the importance of service. Visit a local apple orchard to learn about the different types of apples.
What to Do:
- Johnny Appleseed’s birthday is September 26th. Talk about the man named John Chapman who spent 49 years planting apple seeds in the wilderness. He wanted to plant apple trees all over so people wouldn’t be hungry. Talk about the importance of community service.
- Go to a local apple orchard or if no orchard exists, visit a large grocery store and discuss the wide variety of apples available.
- Apples by Gail Gibbons
- The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
- How Do Apples Grow? By Betsy Maestro
- Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg
-Love these activities? Want to find more like them? Check out The Giant Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities For Children 3 to
4. Pumpkin Panorama
Children will learn how pumpkins grow, explore the concepts of heavy and light, and practice gross motor skills all while learning in the pumpkin patch!
- Brown paper or blanket
- Green yarn with paper leaves attached
- Paper sun shape
- Pumpkin seeds
- Several large pumpkins
- Small pumpkin
- Watering can
- Arrange the pumpkins on the brown paper. Connect the pumpkins with the green yarn and paper leaf vine. Display the other items in the “pumpkin patch.”
What to Do:
- Draw the children’s attention to the pumpkin patch as you read one or more books about pumpkins to the children.
- Teach the children how pumpkins grow from tiny seeds into great big heavy pumpkins.
- Suggest that each child take a turn picking up one of the pumpkins to see how heavy it is.
- Play the Pumpkin Pass Game: The children pass the miniature pumpkin around the circle as the class chants, “Pumpkin, pumpkin who’s got the pumpkin?” Whoever is holding the pumpkin when the verse ends says, “I’ve got the pumpkin now,” and then passes it to the next person. Encourage the children to clap as they keep the beat of the chant and wait for their turn to pass the pumpkin. Continue until the pumpkin goes around the circle several times.
- What did the children learn about how pumpkins grow?
- What did the children learn about the concepts of heavy and light?
- The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Stephen Kroll
- Pumpkins by Ken Robbins
- Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
- Pumpkins: A Story for a Field by Mary Lyn Ray
Source: Another Encyclopedia of Theme Activities For Young Children
-We hope you enjoyed these fall activities for the classroom. Do you have fun suggestions for celebrating the first day of fall? Post your pictures to our Facebook wall to show us your students’ fall creations! #FirstDayofFall