Fall Week 6: October 9-13
Phew… well last week was a doozy! I’m feeling pretty good to be getting this week’s plan out on time! We’ve had an early dose of illness in our house… I hope it’s not a sign of things to come! We are a family that is very rarely sick, so when we are sick I’m always a bit of a novice, and definitely feel the struggle! We’ve had everything from an ear infection, to tummy troubles, and plenty of middle of the night calm down sessions for little ones with stuffy noses and sore throats. But we made it! And here is this week’s plan…
I love pumpkin time and my kids do to. They look forward to all of these signs of fall almost as much as I do. It’s finally starting to feel like fall where we live, so these activities will be extra fun this week.
If you haven’t done it yet, come over and find us on Facebook. Sometimes when weeks are like last week it’s easier to post a quick facebook post rather than an entire blog post… look for @realmeaningfulfamily… see you there!
Make a Pumpkin
I couldn’t decide what exactly I wanted this one to be, so I have a couple variations to choose from. Either offers great opportunities for play for your child!
Variation 1: Cut out a plain white construction paper pumpkin. Then, cut up orange tissue paper into 1-inch squares. Your child can glue on the orange tissue paper pieces and fill in the pumpkin. If they crumple up the pieces it would give their pumpkin a cute puffy quality too.
Variation 2: Child’s choice. Let your child choose how they want to fill in their pumpkin. Paint, crayons, markers, or maybe they just want to draw their own pumpkin creation.
Variation 3: you pick… make a pumpkin in a way that makes sense to you and your child!
Stuff to Have
White construction paper
Orange tissue paper, optional
Art supplies: Paint, markers, crayons, etc., optional
Shapes, colors, gluing, fine motor
Yep… remember I said this one would get repeated. My kids have never cared, in fact they are usually really excited to see these repeated activities show up again! Change it up this time. if you used big spoons last time, use small spoons… if you used bowls last time, use a muffin tin this time. My kids could play for hours on this one, it’s a great combo of sensory and fine motor. Repetition let’s our kids experiment with what they did last time, as well as add on, or take their play to a new level, especially when we play alongside them. Repetition also makes it easy on us, we have the materials already, WIN
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
Darken a room that is familiar to your child and has familiar objects in it. Sit down somewhere comfortable and let your child use the flashlight to find various objects. Older children will love having you name some of their favorite toys or special objects and using the flashlight to find them. While younger children might not grasp the concept of finding things with the flashlight you can demonstrate and begin that problem solving concept. If they are only interested in playing with the flashlight that is fine too- they are still always learning and building new concepts. Just take care to help them avoid looking directly at the light.
Stuff to Have
-Darkened, familiar room
Problem Solving, follow through
Early Science & Math
Since this season is one of constant changes I like to include 2 or 3 nature walks just to take in all the changes. It is such a simple way to talk about change, observe colors, feel different temperatures, and compare what is different from the last nature walk. So, head outside and enjoy the changing weather, trees, flowers, grass, etc. Talk a lot about colors and the changes you see- even with the youngest children. Walks are simple but great opportunities to enhance vocabulary and learning about the environment around us.
Science (observation), colors, temperatures, large motor
Cooking & Baking
Pumpkin Pie Poptarts
Combine pumpkin, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Allow to chill while you prepare the crust. Roll out one half of the pie crust. Trim edges to make a rectangle. Cut out smaller rectangles that are about 3 in. by 4 in. Repeat with second half of dough. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of filling into each of the bottom halves of your pop-tarts. Brush edges with water and place the pop-tart “tops” on. Press the edges all the way around with a fork to seal shut. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes or until golden.
Stuff to Have
1/2 c pumpkin
2 T brown sugar
½ t pumpkin pie spice
1 package refrigerated pie crust
Cooking and baking, fine motor, science, math
Each day we try to also include large muscle movement, lot’s of book reading, and music and rhymes. These three things are some of the more important things, in my opinion, to include. Large muscle movement builds your child’s coordination, balance, and movement ability (ie. practice makes perfect), but it also is busy building brain connections, and without a doubt I believe my kids are better behaved when they get their whole body moving! Try things like, running, jumping, climbing, throwing & kicking a ball, tossing leaves that have fallen, going for a walk, riding a trike, or creative fun like a bear crawl or a crab walk.
Reading books is essential for language development. Mix up the books you have by picking up some seasonal books from the library. And if you’re sick of reading the same book over and over, change it up every now and then. You don’t have to stick to the written words. With toddlers especially, it isn’t necessarily about 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!
Finally, music and rhymes is also an important and fun element to add to your day to build language development. It’s as easy as looking up some different fall themed songs and rhymes to add to your day. Or if you want to keep it simple, try songs to transition from toy to toy, use a clean up song, or a song during bath time.