Fall Activites

Autumn Traditions for Kids – What Are Yours? Fall Activities #8

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.

autumn traditions for kids

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?

Button Bead Fall Twig Tree – Autumn Activities for Kids #7

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.

play with buttons

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.

fall twig button bead tree

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.

button bead fall twig tree

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?

Autumn Activities #6: Apple Science Fall Fun Experiment

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.

apple science fall fun experiment

Science experiments start with wanting to know. In this case, we want to find out if an apple will float or if it will sink when we put it in water. Ask your child what s/he thinks will happen. Sometimes, the reply is “I don’t know,” but we don’t need to know first. That’s why we’re doing an experiment. This is thinking what might happen. The apple will float on the top or sink to the bottom. It won’t grow legs. It won’t sing a song. Float or sink. If you remember from your science days, this is called the hypothesis. Once kids say one or the other, go to the next step.

apple science fall fun experiment

Make sure there is enough water in either the sink or the bowl so the apple doesn’t just sit on the bottom. The more water, the better for splashing, of course. Now, kids can gently lower the apple into the water and watch. Did the apple float? Did it sink? Were you surprised?

Even after doing this a dozen times, it’s still exciting. To add to the fun, kids can turn the apple upside down. What might happen this time? Will it still float? After guessing, put an apple in the water upside down, that is with the stem on the bottom. We’ve found some apples stay floating that way but others turn over immediately and the stem points upwards again.

play with food

It’s fun to try other fruits and veggies, like carrots, potatoes, grapes, strawberries, bananas, oranges, and peppers. Here’s a question for the adults: are peppers a fruit or a vegetable? The part of a plant that has seeds is the fruit. If peppers are fruit, what’s a tomato? It has seeds so it’s a fruit too.
fall science activities for kids

One benefit of this apple science fall fun experiment is the fruits and veggies get washed. And maybe the kitchen floor from wiping up the water. Does this fun and learning float your boat, that is to say, your apple?

Autumn Activities and Movement Fun #5: Fall Yoga for Kids

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

Fall Patterning Math Activities and Play for Young Children

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

Fall In The Air: Let’s Go Outside for October Nature Time

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 Nature Treasure Hunt – Golden Moments of 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

October Alphabet: U is for U-pick Pumpkin Patch

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