For some fun this month, print off the September learn and play activities calendar below. Check each day for your play-of-the-day suggestion and inspiration. Enjoy! There will be more fall actiities for October.
Autumn Holidays and Celebrations
Harvesting and gathering are two major activities at this time of year so it’s appropriate they are part of autumn traditions for kids. North America, with Columbus Day in the U.S. and Thanksgiving in Canada, isn’t the only place that has holidays at this time of year. The dates may not be the same but some of the celebrations are similar.
Columbus Day is not celebrated in all the States. In some places though, families will have an extra day to spend time with each other and enjoy the autumn season. In Canada, Thanksgiving is a major holiday and families gather together. Meals are centered around the bounty of the harvest with turkey and pumpkin pies. Thanksgiving happens in November in the U.S. where winter doesn’t arrive quite so soon.
Although the Moon Festival was earlier in September this year, it sometimes falls in October. This is also a celebration to give thanks for the harvest and for family reunions. The moon is at its brightest and roundest in the fall. This is a major holiday in China and Vietnam and areas where there is a large population of Chinese people. The video below is based on the book, Thanking The Moon, by Grace Lin.
Traditions certainly connect families. More than that, as Anisa Raoof at Kidoinfo writes, “Traditions connect our children with our personal and cultural history and form the memories they will later share with their friends and families.” These ones also connect us with Nature. In places where we’re not actively involved with harvesting our own food, it’s easy to forget Nature’s central role.
For a play-of-the-day, is there a nature activity your family can enjoy? Maybe it will be visiting a pumpkin patch or a corn maze. It could be raking leaves in the yard and jumping in the piles, followed by mugs of hot chocolate. This might be the last camping trip of the season or a hike in the woods to see the fall leaves. Whatever the activity, can your family be creating new autumn traditions and memories?
This button bead fall twig tree is as much fun for adult hands as it is for kid ones. Plus, it’s bright and colorful for a holiday centerpiece.
Our weather has turned cold, wet, windy, and grey so we didn’t spend very much time outside. Only long enough to gather a few twigs. Sticks were too thick for what we wanted—small enough for buttons and beads—but a bush had some about the right size. We snapped off a few dried ends and carried them home.
First, we sorted thru the button box to find some that were red, orange, and yellow like the autumn leaves that are blowing around. Little Sister loves to run her fingers in the buttons and squeeze handfuls. This is quite sensory because the buttons feel smooth and make lots of noise. We also scrounged some fall colors of beads. Next time, I’ll look for more variety of colors instead of so many pink. Note to self: Pony beads would have a much larger hole and could be threaded onto thin sticks from trees.
Next, we stuck the twigs into a lump of play dough. Plasticine would be stiffer and wouldn’t dry out so that’s another thing we learned. Sometimes, knowing how to change and adapt an idea is as valuable as the idea itself.
When the twigs were tucked into the play dough, both Big and Little Sisters threaded the buttons and beads onto the twigs. A few ends were too thin to support much weight so we snipped them off. Since our twigs were pretty small, the kids didn’t use all the beads. These got stuck into the play dough to be ones that had fallen on the ground.
The photo is our button bead fall twig tree all done. We were all pleased at how colorful and bright it looks. We can use it on the Thanksgiving table but the kids will probably want to play with it and do it again a few times. There are several versions of these projects on-line. Instead of sticks and twigs, twist together 3 or 4 pipe cleaners at the bottom. Bend the tops out to make branches. As mentioned before, pony beads would be easier to slide onto pipe cleaners. Sticks and twigs add a little bit of nature.
This is a super activity for fine-motor skills, nature, art, and science all combined. Count the buttons and beads for some math. There was lots of discussion about what beads and buttons to put on what branches and a few fall words too. When the time comes to use it on the table, the kids will be proud of what they’ve created. So much learning and fun in one activity. Do you think your child would like to try this button bead fall twig tree?
You may have done this apple science fall fun experiment before but kids like to ask and do the same thing over and over again. Have you noticed? Get out an apple, fun some water in the sink or a bowl, and here we go. Science experiments start with wanting to know. In this case, … Continue reading Autumn Activities #6: Apple Science Fall Fun Experiment
Today’s play-of-the-day is some fall yoga for kids. No matter the season, kids absolutely need to move, not only for bodies but for brains too. Movement activities can include vigorous whole body ones like going to the playground, racing around in the yard, jumping on a mat in the living room, or running up and … Continue reading Autumn Activities and Movement Fun #5: Fall Yoga for Kids
The seasons follow a pattern, our days follow a pattern, our bodies and brains do too, so our play of the day is fall patterning math activities for kids. Please don’t let the word math scare you away or cause any anxiety. There are no numbers to multiply or divide or problems to solve. This … Continue reading Fall Patterning Math Activities and Play for Young Children
If Nature Could Talk What Would It Say? Fall is in the air and what better way for kids to start this exciting, colorful month than some fun outdoors with October nature time? Let’s play outside. Fall isn’t the only thing in the air, so is this little one. Good thing his dad is right … Continue reading Fall In The Air: Let’s Go Outside for October Nature Time
Fall has its own special treasures and a fall nature treasure hunt comes with some we don’t see, like a connection to nature and golden feel-good moments. On a scavenger hunt, there is usually a list of things to find. These could be specific items like pine cones and seeds, or things to go with … Continue reading Fall Nature Treasure Hunt – Golden Moments of Time
The first day of each season we like to go for a walk to see signs of change. Would you like to come with us on our first day of fall nature walk? We look up and down, and all around. In the sky and on the ground. In a bush and under a rock. … Continue reading First Day of Fall Nature Walk – Connecting to Nature
One of October’s highlights is going out to the pumpkin patch. It’s no wonder it’s a favorite for kids and they love doing it year after year. Against the backdrop of gold and brown, pumpkins seem to glow. Each season has its own colors and yellow, orange, and red are unmistakably fall. Seasonal changes can … Continue reading October Alphabet: U is for U-pick Pumpkin Patch