Autumn Play – Child
Autumn is the perfect time to get outside in the cooler weather and notice the way the environment changes with the seasons. Spending time outside with your child allows you to share your knowledge and show how to care for the environment e.g. how to respect the plants and animals you see as you explore.
Did you know?
Enjoying nature together helps your child to develop a respect for living things. They learn how to take care of them. Ants often become more active just before the first autumn rains. Watching the ants and their behaviour makes a fascinating, fun science play activity.
Engaging with other living things during autumn is a perfect time for a conversation. You can talk about animal habitats, lifecycles and what they need to survive. You can talk about what different animals do when the seasons change. Sometimes you discover bird nests which can be seen when the leaves have fallen off the trees. You could have a conversation about why the leaves fall off some trees. These conversations help develop more complex language skills and builds general knowledge they need for school.
Natural settings have a positive impact on self-regulation (the ability to manage feelings, behaviour and energy levels). Autumn’s mild weather is perfect for getting outside. Being outdoors in the backyard, park or in the bush provides time to “just be”. Nature can be a perfect relaxed place to unwind and develop these self-regulation skills. This is important for positive emotional development.
As children explore, experiment and discover they build reasoning, maths and science skills needed later for school. You could collect and sort fallen leaves –examine their different shapes, colours, textures and smells. Count the leaves and compare. What leaves do you have more of and what leaves do you have less of? You could hide in the leaves – how big does the pile need to be to hide in?
Why not get wet, get dirty, get barefoot or dig? Children will discover the scientist within, while engaging with the autumn world. They will build resilience and self-esteem as they get to play without being hurried or interrupted.
Bushland, beach, parks or gardens, even your own backyard, can all be perfect locations for engaging with nature during autumn.
Making and flying a kite together can be a fun play activity that will encourage children to get outside on a blustery autumn day. They learn about kite design, wind conditions and “kite eating trees”!
Look out for Autumn Festivals which are common in many local areas. These provide great opportunities to engage with the local community at outdoor venues.
Always supervise children around water.
Activities listed under “child” are suitable for children 3 years and older. Children of this age enjoy more complex activities where they can develop their skills and use their imagination while playing with friends.