Fall is such a wonderful time of year in the Pacific Northwest! The crisp air, colorful leaves, bright orange pumpkins growing in fields, apples adorning trees, pumpkin spice lattes and the sweet smells in the kitchen all add to the joy of the season.
Fall time can also be a very special time for infants and toddlers as they discover just what makes the season so different from summer. They look outside and explore with a sense of wonder and curiosity and are eager to learn. The following are some ideas that can help you teach your infants/toddlers about this beautiful time of year.
Read books with Fall-time themes
Reading aloud to infants/ toddlers is a great way to capture their attention and teach them new things. There are many fall time board books to choose from.
Here are a few good ones:
• Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
• The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Safari’s
• Welcome Fall by Jill Ackerman
• Colors by Michael Blake
• My Pumpkin by Lily Karr
Infants and toddlers love to be outside where they can explore and learn about nature and the seasons. So…play, rake leaves, pick apples, and have fun!
• Talk to your toddler about the seasonal changes and why they need to dress differently when they go outside.
• Visit a pumpkin patch and let your child help choose a pumpkin.
• Let your baby watch while you rake leaves or pick apples.
• Place your baby in a pile of leaves and let the exploration begin while you supervise closely.
• Let your toddler help rake leaves using a child-sized rake.
• Let your toddler help place leaves in a bag.
• Kick, jump and roll in a pile of leaves with your toddler.
• Pick up apples that have fallen from trees and place them in a basket.
• Place pumpkins and gourds in a basket for your children to explore.
• Talk about the color, size, shape and texture of pumpkins, gourds and apples.
• Paint pumpkins using non-toxic paint. If your babies are too young, let them watch you paint and then place the pumpkin where they can see it.
• Carve a pumpkin and let your toddlers help scoop pumpkin seeds out of it.
• Use ½ an apple and dip it in paint, and then stamp it on to a piece of paper or surface. Call it “apple art.”
• Allow your toddlers to wash apples, pumpkins or gourds.
• Let your child participate in the kitchen while you cook with pumpkins and apples. They will love helping, smelling and tasting!!
Enjoy the season with your busy little ones!!