Form a Pumpkin
I try to include a play dough activity in each section. It is such a great opportunity for kids to work on all of those important fine motor muscles in their arms and hands, as well as develop creativity and planning in creating something from nothing. Younger children may not get the concept to make a pumpkin out of the dough, but that’s ok. Demonstrate for them and let them try it out. They’ll still get all of the benefits. As children get older, they may try to make something closer to a pumpkin.
Stuff to Have
Playdough, store bought or homemade
Pour 1 or 2 bags of dry beans into a large container. Provide spoons, bowls, cups, tongs, or anything else your child would enjoy digging through beans.
*Variation: Provide a separate bowl to scoop beans into with the utensils. Or for older children provide a muffin tin or ice tray to sort beans by shape and color.
*Variation: Add a problem solving element by putting small toys or objects in the bean container for children to find.
Stuff to Have
-1 or 2 bags of dry beans
-Large open container
-Cups, bowls, spoons, strainers, etc. (Be creative and change it up each time you do this!)
Fine motor, sensory
I find it fun to include activities that for the most part fall within the season we are in. We don’t have a fall puzzle, so I decided it should be easy enough to make one. If you don’t want to make a puzzle, no problem. Just do some of the puzzles that you have together. To make our puzzle I freehanded 4 different colored and different shaped pumpkins (you could also do leaves or apples if you want to keep it in the fall theme). I cut out the 1st 4 pumpkins and traced each of them on the same color paper. So, my result was 2 of each color of mathcing pumpkin. Then, I glued one of each color onto a sheet of paper, and the other 4 pumpkins are left to match up for the puzzle. Whether you are doing your own puzzle or this fall puzzle be interactive and encouraging. If your child becomes frustrated give them some hints- this isn’t a test!
Stuff to Have
8 pumpkins (4 different shapes/sizes, 4 different colors)
1 Piece construction paper
Problem solving, follow through
Early Science & Math
You can either collect fall leaves while on a nature walk or you can purchase craft fall leaves. Allow your child to sort through the leaves making piles by size, shape, and color. The younger the child is the less we are interested in them doing it “right.” For all ages let them explore the textures and the colors.
Stuff to Have
Fall leaves collected from nature or fall craft leaves
Colors, size, shape, problem solving
Cooking & Baking
Pumpkin Pie Muffins
2 1/4 c. flour
1 pkg. (3.4 oz) pumpkin spice pudding
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375. Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Cream together butter and brown sugar and then add pumpkin puree and vanilla. Once well combined add eggs to wet mixture and mix well.
Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Combine well, but don’t over mix. Finally, fold in chocolate chips.
Drop batter into muffin tins and bake for 10 minutes for mini muffins and 12-15 minutes for larger muffins.
Large Motor: One of the most important things we can do for our kids is getting them to use their large muscles! Running, jumping, climbing, throwing & kicking a ball, tossing leaves that have fallen, going for a walk, riding a trike… Large muscle movement is beneficial for muscle and brain development!
Music and Rhymes: I like to find different Fall themed music and rhymes online. There are a lot of fun resources with great familiar rhymes and tunes to incorporate in your day. But keep in mind it isn’t necessary to have a sit down and sing time (this isn’t preschool or kindergarten!) Just incorporate singing, music, and dancing throughout your day!
Books: I find it is easiest to head to the library and pick out some fall themed books. Find your child’s favorite character as they experience fall, find books about fall in your area, but mostly just read! With toddlers especially it isn’t about necessarily reading all of the words, it’s more about letting them experience the book, point out what you see in pictures, connect it to their life, ask questions, and let them take the lead!
Come visit on Facebook! For more tips about play, these activities, large motor, music and rhymes, and book ideas check out the Real. Meaningful. Family. Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/realmeaningfulfamily/
Mostly enjoy your child and happy playing!