8 Montessori-Inspired Nature Activities For Fall
Do you know why the leaves turn colors? All those beautiful reds, yellows, and oranges are always there, but they are covered up by something called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll makes it so that leaves can turn sunlight into food, and it also makes them green. When autumn arrives, trees stop producing chlorophyll, so the gorgeous fall colors underneath are exposed. But since they can no longer make sunlight into food, they quickly turn brown.
Do you know why autumn is often referred to as fall? You guessed it–it’s called that because the leaves all fall down from their branches!
What magical conversations to have with young children this season. Fall is full of opportunities to observe nature and to use natural materials in a Montessori-inspired way. Here are eight simple ideas:
Collect Leaves and Sort
Fallen leaves can be matched by color, size, or shape. Sorting by shape is a great way to guide kids to discover the types of leaves. Scientists have classified leaves into different groups based on their formation
Keeping watch of a single, special tree through the year reveals so much about nature and the seasons. Study a tree day by day, noting the changes that happen during fall. Keeping a sketch book with colored pencils is a good way to keep records. If your little one is too young to do this, consider keeping one of your own while still allowing her to attempt.
Raking leaves is a perfect practical life skill for toddlers and preschoolers to help with at home. And don’t forget to jump in the leaf piles afterward!
Dress the Baby
Now that the weather is turning, encourage your child to bundle up their baby doll. This teaches them to be aware of the weather and consider it when dressing themselves, and it provides lots of practice with zippers, snaps, and buttons.
Collect Sticks and Sort Them
Give the classic Montessori concept of ordering by size a natural twist by lining up a bunch of fallen sticks from tallest to shortest or thickest to thinnest. Alternatively, collect fallen acorns and use them as counters for the cards and counters Montessori work.
Collect Fallen Wood and Build
Sticks, pine cones, small stumps, and other fallen wood can be used as building blocks. Let kids stack them, making their own little cities. Older kids may be able to build forts to “hideout” inside of. Let this activity be child-led, but you can offer some demonstrations to little ones, suck as stacking small wood pieces into a tower.
Make Pumpkin Bread
When it gets too chilly out to go outside, bring the fun inside with a baking project. Keep your child’s independence in mind as you mindfully plan a way to maximize their participation. If you’re not a natural baker, buy a boxed pumpkin bread mix and keep it simple.
Applesauce is another fun recipe to whip up with the littles ones, and it’s even more special if you can go apple picking prior.
Don’t make that applesauce quite yet–first, cut an apple up and label each part with a word card. You can label skin, flesh, stem, leaf, and seeds. Use the three-part lesson to help your preschooler learn the vocabulary. Of course, you may eat the apple after!