The trees are losing their leaves, the mornings are dark, damp and foggy so [tag]Autumn[/tag] (or [tag]Fall[/tag]!) is well and truly here.
Following on from the articles on sensory play, here are some ideas for touchy-feely, smelly, noisy, visual and tasty autumnal [tag]activities[/tag].
Explore the fallen leaves, go for a walk in the woods or a park with trees and look at leaves, watch them changing colours from green, to yellow, orange, red and brown. Stand and watch as they fall from the trees, spiraling in the breeze down to the ground.
Listen to the sounds of the leaves crunching under your feet, talk about the sounds this makes and what things make similar sounds; for example, rustling like a paper bag.
Pick the [tag]leaves[/tag] up â€“ what do they feel like, find wet mushy leaves and dry crisp ones. Feel the bumps of the leafâ€™s veins â€“ you could collect some and take them home and do wax crayon rubbings or leaf printing with paint. To do leaf rubbings, put the leaf under a thin sheet of paper and rub gently using the side of a crayon, small children might find it easier if the leaf and the paper were attached to the work surface so that they donâ€™t move whilst they are trying to colour. To make leaf prints simply dip your leaves into a plate of paint and then press onto the paper.
When out for your walk, encourage your children to sniff the air, can they smell the dampness of the autumn mist? Pick the leaves and smell those â€“ do different types of leaves smell the same? What about the damp ones and the dry ones?
Collect together the seeds from the trees, [tag]conkers[/tag] from horse chestnut trees, acorns from oak trees, â€˜aeroplanesâ€™ from [tag]sycamore trees[/tag], [tag]fir cones[/tag] and any other seeds and seed pods you can find and examine them using your senses (donâ€™t try tasting them unless you are certain that they are edible).
Feel the spiky conker outer cases and the smoothness of the inside and the conker itself, polish your conkers and watch them shine and reflect the light and smell the mustiness of them when they are a few days old.
Collect the [tag]helicopters[/tag] from sycamore trees and watch them spinning as they fall to the ground, you can also use these with the leaves in your crayon rubbings. Examine a collection of fir cones, look at the different sizes, see the open and closed cones, feel the spikiness of them, you can roll the fir cones in paint to make prints too.
As for autumnal sensory play with taste, have fun tasting the fruits and vegetables of the season. Make pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, butternut squash soup, taste apples â€“ make apple crumble and even try different types of apple juice.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas of how to make this season a [tag]sensory[/tag] learning experience. Remember, that seasonal [tag]sensory play[/tag] is only limited by your imagination!
Great guest post with so many easy to try Autumn play-activities. Do you want to share your [tag]play[/tag]-activities here in the blog or in the email? Contact me here.
Elaine trained as an Occupational Therapist before working with children with autism on home based early intervention programmes. Through her work in the home she helped parents to support their childâ€™s learning, implemented behaviour plans and assisted with teaching self help skills for example toilet training, self-feeding and dressing. She has also had experience of supporting children with special educational needs in mainstream schools, adapting the curriculum to make it accessible to them. After the birth of her first child, Elaine started Littlesheep Learning â€“ www.littlesheep-learning.co.uk â€“ an online store with an ever-growing range of teaching and learning materials for everyone who wants to help their children reach their potential.