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Ten Great Autumn Themes for Preschoolers

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Autumn Themes

 

It’s my favorite time of the yearleaves are turning, apples and pears are filling baskets in the orchards, pumpkins are ripe, and squash is ready for soup! I’m breaking out my sweaters and looking forward to hiking through crunchy-leaf-covered paths.

As I’m trying to be more intentional about working with Molly this year, and keeping things engaging, I thought I’d try to break up her day with some themey-fun we could do each week with Logan {as her attention allows}. She’s bright, cruising through first grade math and Kindergarten/first grade reading, and keeping up with her big brother {5 years older!} in history, science, geography, and Bible study, but she’s still only five.

Just five, really, and wouldn’t have entered public kindergarten until next year if we’d been sending her. So, while I want her to learn at her own pace, keep moving forward as her ability and curiosity propel her, I do not want Molly to disengage from learning. I’m making the commitment to step away from the kitchen table with her and bake, play, sort, and sing.

I’ll fill you in as we go.

First, though, here are ten fun autumn themes I’m researching right now to share with Molly and Logan – and Trevor wherever he wants to jump in. We’re starting with the first, this week, but they are not listed in any particular order.

 

Apples

Fall around here in Ohio means apple-picking. We’ll head to the orchard this week, and have a pattern of apples on our September calendar. I pulled out some books, found a felt apple bag at the Target Dollar Spot to hold supplies, made a “play” pie with a mini pie pan, green and red pom poms, and a felt crust, and have printed off some fun printables to share with the girls. We’ll round out the fun with some cooking – applesauce, apple cake, and apple pies. Yum!

Here are some fun resources:

 

Leaves

Why do the leaves change color {or why don’t they, depending on your part of the country}? What causes them to fall? We’ll explore the colors of leaves, collect some, do a few of the crafts below, and throw a bit of science fun in there for good measure.

Check these cool things out:

 

Pumpkins

I adore fall baking! While I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie {it’s the texture, not the taste}, I love the spices and rich color of all other pumpkin desserts. We’ll be comparing types of pumpkins, taking them apart, roasting seeds, counting seeds, and doing lots of fun crafts. We’ll also head to the pumpkin patch to choose some specimens of our own to get us ready for our Halloween theme.

Here are some great things we may try:

 

Bats

I’m a bit strange… I think bats are really cool. Not that I want them flying too close or anything, and I’ll admit that I was a bit creeped out by the scurrying & scratching bat-colony sounds in the walls of the rental house I stayed in for a week at the Highlights Foundation Children’s Writer’s Workshop at Chautauqua last summer. But, they’re really unique animals. Mammals that fly, sleep upside down, and can rid the area of gagillions of insects in a single night. {Only a slight exaggeration…} The girls and I will look up some bat videos on Discovery Education Streaming, read Stellaluna, and make bat puppets. We’ll also do some fun crafts.

Enjoy these fun {and creepy} batty activities:

 

Halloween

The kids will be so excited about the fall festivals, costumes, candy, and fun associated with this holiday, that we’ll talk about its origins, its history, and check out some fun books. We’ll also play dress-up, sort candy, and make lots of fun crafts – and carve some jack ‘o lanterns, too! We might have to make our ghost cake again!

If you’re interested in this theme, try these sites:

 

Farm Harvest

We’ve been a part of a CSA {Community Supported Agriculture} for the past two years now, and the kids have really enjoyed learning where their food comes from, seeing the hogs, cows, and chickens {that have ended up on our dinner plate} grow in healthy ways, and taking the drive into the country each week for two summers. The season will be coming to an end soon, and we’ll celebrate by finding out what happens to the farm as they close out the season and prepare for winter. We’ll also talk about and try some unusual squash, and other “storage” crops.

Check out these harvest activities:

 

Corn

I love playing with corn this time of year. Last year, we filled our water table with cracked corn, shovels, and construction toys. Everyone who came over {big and little} loved it. We’ll be doing that again – and keeping the Dust Buster handy! We’ll glue some corn, compare types of corn, eat corn {the vegetable and the candy}, and have a little corny fun.

Want some ideas for corny play too? Here you go:

 

Turkeys

Our last trip to the farm this year will be to pick up our final share from the CSA and our Thanksgiving turkey. Last year was the first time we had a turkey for Thanksgiving that was freshly butchered and farm-raised. I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ll ever have another kind. It was amazing. The girls and I will read some turkey stories, watch some videos, and do some crafts in preparation for the final pick-up.

Here are some fun turkey ideas for your kids:

 

Thanksgiving

Last year, in an effort to help Trevor understanding the history behind Thanksgiving, we worked on a purchased lapbook from Currclick. It’s still too tough for the girls, but we’ll read through Trevor’s and do some of the preschool packs and printables I laminated last year for them. We’ll also begin a gratitude journal, pray for all we are thankful for, and have some crafting fun. Finally, we’ll celebrate by eating that turkey we picked up at the farm!

These Thanksgiving resources might be fun for your little ones:

 

Squirrels {Winter Preparation}

Our neighborhood is teeming with squirrels. {Partially because our neighbor across the street leaves nuts and treats out for them.} And, when they’re not overturning our bird feeders or stealing the strawberries off our plants, they’re fun to watch. It’s fascinating to little ones that these and other animals stockpile food for the winter. I’ve never really talked to Molly about animal adaptation, and so I think we’ll go for some family hikes to look for evidence of squirrels preparing for winter, and any other animals that might be getting ready too. We’ll read some books, and do some crafts. It’ll be a fun transition into winter {when I’ll need to come up with some winter themes!}.

Try these fun ideas:

 

I hope these ideas are inspiring, and that you can use some of them to pull together a fun fall for your little ones. I’ll share our activities and and additional resources I pull together or make to go along with these themes as we do each one. Check back sometime next week to see how our apple theme turned out. Enjoy your Tuesday!

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Colleen