Fall starts today! Celebrate the change in seasons with these fun activities you can do with your children. (Don’t forget the usual fall favorites of pumpkin spice, leaf piles, and fashionable fall boots and scarves!)
1. Study Science by Tracking Seasonal Trees
In the spring and summer, trees have green leaves. When fall arrives, however, many leaves change color. Instead of green, you can see red, purple, orange, and yellow.
What You’ll Need:
- Clear contact paper
What to Do:
- Select an area outside that has several trees, including both deciduous (trees with leaves that fall off in the winter) and coniferous (evergreen) trees, if possible.
- Visit the trees in early autumn. Pick a tree to “adopt” and observe. Encourage your child to explore everything they can about the tree, such as feeling the bark; examining the leaves or needles; looking for seeds, pinecones, nuts, and so on.
- Take a picture of your child next to their tree.
- As the deciduous trees begin to show signs of change, take another photo of your child next to their tree. How does the tree look different? Take photos as the trees with leaves change color and then lose their leaves. Have the evergreen trees changed?
- Continue checking on your tree throughout the year. Take photos in the spring when the trees are budding and when they have all of their leaves in summer.
- Cover the photos with clear contact paper.
- Spread the photos on a table. What changes do you see over time?
Books to Enjoy:
Activity adapted from The Budding Scientist.
2. Bake “Hello, Pumpkin!” Muffins
What better way to give your child a healthy dose of beta-carotene than with a delicious and nutritious pumpkin muffin? The sweet taste will keep him or her coming back for more, and the whole-wheat flour and pureed pumpkin will pack a powerful nutritional punch!
- 1 ½ cups canned pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup flour
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- chocolate chips (optional)
Note: Makes 1-2 dozen muffins, depending on size.
What to Do:
- Grease a muffin tin, or place muffin liners inside the muffin cups.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (adult only.)
- Invite your child to mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients together in a smaller bowl.
- Show your child how to make a well in the dry ingredients. Then help him or her pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients.
- Mix gently until blended. If you want to add chocolate chips to the muffin mix, do so now.
- Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full. Give your child raisins to make faces on top of every muffin. Say, “Hello, Pumpkin!’ each time he or she creates a face, and be prepared for giggles!
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Activity adapted from The Budding Chef.
3. Create a Fall Leaves Art Suncatcher!
Finally, fall is a season full of beautiful colors that can sometimes come along with chilly weather. Celebrate the season from indoors with a colorful art project best appreciated by bright windows! The Fall Leaves Resist Art Suncatcher is a great tactile project for little hands. Find instructions for making this fun art project here: http://www.two-daloo.com/fall-leaves-resist-art-suncatcher/.
How will you be celebrating the season? Let us know by commenting below!