Autumn adventures

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Autumn is a beautiful season for discovery and exploration with children. There are so many colourful sights with green leaves turning to vivid reds, warm oranges and golden yellows before they fall to the ground creating a crunchy blanket. So, with so much to see and discuss, wrap up warm and head outdoors to try out one of our suggested learning ideas focusing on the natural world around us.

Take children on a scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are a great way to connect with the natural environment whilst developing your child's vocabulary. Challenge  your child to focus on the sights around them, looking out for an acorn, a pine cone, 1 green leaf, 2 brown leaves, 3 red leaves, a conker, a flat stone, or a twig, for example. Why not take your autumn collection home to create funny nature faces with your child or use your collected pine cones to make bird cakes for your outdoor space (see bird cake recipe below!).

Make a leaf kebab

Help your child to create a colourful leaf kebab! Simply find a straight twig, choose a fallen leaf, and gently thread the leaf onto the stick. Support your child to continue to layer lots of different colour leaves until you have made your very own leaf kebab. Challenge older children to explore different patterns, for example, if you thread 2 red leaves, then 1 green leaf, are they able to repeat the pattern?

Child holding colourful autumn leaves

Help feed the birds with bird seed cakes

With bugs and berries scarce in autumn, why not help feed the birds by making a bird cake. You will need:

  • a cup of bird seed*
  • half a pack of lard or suet
  • a pine cone
  • some string

*The RSPB recommends using seed mixtures that include flaked maize, sunflower seeds, and peanut granules, but do be mindful of safety if your child has allergies.

Before making the bird cake place the pine cone in a sunny spot or somewhere warm like in an airing cupboard or near a radiator for a few days to make it open out.

  1. Cut the lard or suet into small pieces and encourage your child to mix this with the bird seed in a small bowl.
  2. Take some of the mixture and press in between the pine cone layers.
  3. Tie some string around the cone then choose a good spot to hang it outdoors, remembering to hang out of reach of cats! Somewhere where you can watch from the window is ideal.

Allocate a few minutes each day to watch from afar to see how many birds visit the feeder. Older children might like to look up the names of the different types of birds that visit and keep a tally.

We hope you have lots of autumnal fun!

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