Autumn... you're Awesome!
I’m all for celebrating seasons. Why not… they shape our days, define our weather, and prescribe our outfits. For kids they are an easy visual reference to help them pace out their year. And each of them: Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, invite us to take time out to observe our changing environment, as they provide lots of inspiration to collect and create. What’s not to like?
So, my very favourite season is Autumn.
I live in a coastal town with evergreen gums and twisted tea trees. Even so Autumn announces herself with golden afternoons, scatters of seedpods and flocks of ibis.
I do love an Autumn trip to a town like Melbourne or Geelong where the European trees generously leave gifts of jewel-coloured leaves scattered on the ground. Just yesterday I walked through Northcote, where the nature-strip trees were happy to share some gorgeous leaves with me as I passed.
Here are some of my favourite ways to celebrate Autumn with children:
Rug up and head out for a walk... keep a look out for Autumn trees on nature strips and parks.
Kick through some fallen leaves, or pick some up and toss them in the air.
Stash a plastic bag in your pocket, or a lunchbox under the pram, to collect any colourful leaves and interesting cones and seedpods that you find on your travels.
Bring home your collection and keep them somewhere dry. If you store leaves flat in a folded newspaper they’ll last for ages.
Let children play with their Autumn stash: crunch then, colour them, count them, sort them into colours, sizes or shapes, whatever takes their fancy.
Make a leaf rubbing by placing leaf under paper and rubbing on top with crayon.
Provide a gluestick and paper to make an Autumn collage.
Add paint. Paint on the leaves and change their colours. Roll paint over a leaf placed on paper to make a leaf stencil. Then press the painty leaf onto the paper to make a leaf print.
Make a gorgeous forest crown by sticking or stapling leaves onto a looped strip of cardboard, wrapped in kitchen foil.
Cut the centre from a paper plate, glue leaves all around the edges, and hang it up to make an Autumn wreath.
Run a few leaves and cellophane scraps through the laminator to make an Autumn sun-catcher.
Make an Autumn tea light by glueing small Autumn leaves to a glass (with Modpodge if you have it, or watered-down PVA if you don’t. Allow to dry, then pop a tealight inside.