Every parent of pre-school children struggles to find ways to keep them entertained and taking them out and about to soft play centres and theme parks can soon make a large dent in the wallet – but with the changing seasons there are plenty of natural ways to keep children entertained.
Take your children out for an autumn walk to engage their senses
Now is the perfect time to take children out and about for Autumn walks – it’s a great way to teach them about nature and the changing of the seasons and they will enjoy discovering, exploring and learning about the world around them while having fun on a walk with you.
Walking through quiet woodland can offer great opportunities to engage with your children and chat to them away from the television and other distractions, creating a perfect environment to share any worries and get them to open up in conversation.
Sensory exploration and learning experience
Why not go on an autumn treasure hunt to create an autumn sensory box for your child to explore at home – there are so many wonderful colours and textures which can be included, from leaves to fir cones, and from feathers to nuts.
These walks can be used for sensory exploration but also for other learning experiences, such as looking at the different sizes and shapes of the various leaves and seeds they collect so they can compare and contrast.
It’s a great way for young children to practice their colours as well with all of the changing colours of the leaves and trees – the stunning scenery provides a beautiful backdrop for learning from the world around them.
As well as the leaves, the woods are also a great place to find conkers, acorns and sycamore seeds which can lead to conversations about how things grow and what happens when you plant them in the ground. You could even take some home to plant in a pot for the children to look after.
Learning about the wildlife in the area
You can also engage the children in listening to different bird songs and other sounds they can hear while out in nature as the experience will be a world away from their usual noisy nursery school environment.
They can also have fun in spotting different types of birds and other wildlife in the woods – perhaps looking out for evidence of wildlife habitats or the type of food that the animals and birds might enjoy and how they survive living in the woods in the winter.
Using the sensory box when you get home
Once the walk is over the sensory box can also be used for further exploration using a magnifying glass to examine things more closely, like looking at all the components within a particular leaf and talking about how it works and its purpose on the tree.
You can also use all the items gathered to make amazing autumn pictures, painting with them to create patterns, or decorating them. Why not try leaf printing, or even decorating fir cones to make your own Christmas decorations?
Autumn walks are a great way to engage with and entertain your children for free at this time of the year, providing a great opportunity to spend family time together while learning and exploring the natural world using all of the senses to delight and inspire their creativity and imagination.