Autumn is here!
Summer has ended and its slightly cooler temperatures have been preparing us for the next season’s arrival. In the United Kingdom, the Autumn season begins on 22nd September and ends on 21st December. With the leaves changing colours and the weather getting cooler, there are so many reasons why Autumn is so wonderful!
Did you know?
The word "autumn" comes from the Etruscan word "autu," which originally meant "passing of the year." Autumn was a term that was frequently used to describe the harvest season prior to the 16th century.
Ways to incorporate Autumn into your little one’s learning:
Fruits and vegetables are a great food source for your child to maintain appropriate amounts of vitamins and other nutrients necessary for growth.
Numerous fruits and vegetables, such as blackberries, apples, celery, butternut squash, cauliflower, and cabbage are at their best at this time of year. Give your child things they've never had before, as this will help them develop their sense of taste and their sensory skills.
And yes, Halloween is the ideal occasion to polish your pumpkin-carving abilities once more. Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, your child will enjoy investigating the size, texture, and colours of pumpkins. You may find smaller pumpkins called ‘Jack-Be-Little’ in the supermarket for them to play with, or use to decorate the house together.
Personal, Social, and Emotional Development
According to the mental health charity Mind, spending time in nature can improve your mental health and overall wellbeing. It also greatly benefits your child's well-being because it can reduce stress and fatigue. Additionally, they are able to move those bodies, go exploring, and expel all of that energy!
Take your little one on a walk, observe animals in their natural habitat and watch squirrels burrow their food for the winter. Go on a nature hunt and find objects such as acorns, acorn shells, moss, pine cones, conkers, and crunchy rustling leaves and experience how they feel. Exploration of these types of objects are great to get your little one's cognitive thinking skills engaged!
Montessori was very much the advocate for ‘bringing the outdoors in’ so that children could learn alongside nature in the classroom. So what more of a perfect season could Autumn be to do just that?
Take a tray and do some messy play with your little one. Explore the shapes and textures of some objects, and do some shape printing and stamping with them in autumn-coloured paint e.g. orange, yellow, brown, or red.
Painting and stamping require small hands to move, which engages your child's fine motor skills, which are an important component of their physical development!
Communication and Language
To support your child’s communication and language, we have chosen a poem and a couple of books, inspired by this beautiful season:
Autumn winds begin to blow,
Coloured leaves fall fast and slow.
Whirling twirling all around,
Till at last, they touch the ground.
"A Walk in the Forest" by Maria Dek is the first book we've selected. A small child's journey into the forest is the subject of this exquisitely designed book, which offers opportunities for both play and reflection. Children might gather pinecones, feathers, or stones, follow a deer's footprints, or simply listen to the chirping of birds and the whisper of trees. Play hide and seek after building a shelter. Make the forest seem like a jungle, or shout out loud to stir up the birds!
Another book we have chosen is called ‘It Started with a Seed’ by Laura Knowles. After many years, a seed grows into a sapling, then a young tree, and eventually into a large tree with roots and branches covering the page. As the tree expands, beloved woodland species like owls, butterflies, and squirrels move in to make it their home. Page after page, a rhymed poem grows, mirroring the growth rings of a tree. Why not read this book to your child outside, find a seed and sit near a tree?
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