If you’re not sure where to start the fall fun, talk to your child’s teacher. With the change of the season, the pre-k class likely has at least one autumn-themed activity, lesson, or curricular unit they’ll tackle. Ask the early childhood educator if they will discuss the season, what types of activities they’ll do, and other classroom connections to the fall.
While you don’t have to repeat classroom activities at home, you can ask the teacher for ideas or ways to expand school-day lessons, arts and crafts, and other explorations. Mix in your own autumn activity ideas and read on for other ways to make autumn educational for your preschooler.
Your backyard, the local park, or any other outdoor space offers a free way for your child to explore, make discoveries, and learn about nature. Outdoor activities provide the perfect science-centered play space for preschoolers — especially in the fall.
Along with ideas your child’s teacher provides or expansions of school-day lessons, you can also connect the autumn season to outdoor activities as you:
Take nature walks. Venture outdoors for a late-afternoon (after the daycare day is over) walk together. Point out the fall leaves, and ask your child why they think the leaves change colors, or have your preschooler compare/contrast what they see in the fall versus the other seasons.
Collect natural objects. As you walk around the block or through your yard, collect fallen leaves, acorns, and other fall-themed natural objects. Bring along a bag to hold the items, and take them home for additional exploration.
Watch the weather. Is it cold and rainy? Or is the fall day warm and sunny? Autumn is a time of change. Explore these changes and observe the weather. Invite your child to draw pictures of what they see and add a few words to their fall sketches.
Even though Mother Nature provides plenty of opportunities to extend your child’s autumn-time education, your preschooler can also engage in indoor play during this season too.
How can you extend classroom lessons and help your child to learn about the fall season during indoor activity times? Whether the weather won’t allow you to venture outdoors or your child needs to relax after a day filled of pre-k play, these ideas are educational options that celebrate autumn inside:
Read a story. Expand early literacy lessons with an after-school story-time. Focus on fall and read books about the season. If you aren’t sure which children’s stories to start with, ask your child’s teacher or a local librarian for a list of age-appropriate books.
Create art. Now is the time to use the natural items your child picked up during their walk outdoors. Use the items, school glue, and tempera paint to create a multi-media collage; color the leaves with markers; or use the leaves as creative homemade paintbrushes.
Move creatively. Creative movement is an easy way to build your child’s motor skills. Invite your child to move like a leaf in the wind, or play fall-themed songs, and throw an indoor autumn dance party.
Ask the teacher about new fall vocabulary words your child may learn during the preschool day. Add to the indoor educational experiences, and use these words as your child reads, creates, or moves.
Is your child ready for more early learning experience? Contact Advantage Learning Center for more information.