Autumn is a great time for being outdoors. It isn’t too hot (or too cold yet for that matter) and the combination of falling leaves, pretty colours and changing environment make it an exciting place to play.
I wanted to help the children get the most out of the season and learn a bit more about autumn and so I prepared an autumn scavenger hunt for them. This is a great activity for the visual senses which is incredibly important to your child’s development.
Occupational therapist Kelly Westerman explains that through sight we are able to learn through visually exploring objects and the world in which we live, and thereby gain an understanding of the relationships between people and objects. It is for this reason that parents should invest as much time as possible helping their children develop their visual sense.
They had a great time searching for all of the items on their list and the clipart images made it easy for them to reference exactly what they needed to find. Even my youngest did very well.
What you need
• Brown paper bags
• Clipart images of what you want them to find (I get my royalty free images from My Cute Graphics)
Prepare the bags by sticking the clipart images on the side of the bag. You can get the children involved by getting them to name the items on the list and if you are feeling brave you can even let them glue them on.
Let them loose in the garden to find their items.
The dogs wanted to get involved too.
Once they have finished their search, lay all of the items out and talk about them more. For example, get them to tell you what colours the leaves are, their texture. Discuss why the leaves fall off the trees in autumn and use it as an introduction to tell them more about the season.
Of course my little ones didn’t want to end there and asked for more things to find so while I didn’t have any more scavenger hunt lists, here are some more things we got up to in the garden.
We are fortunate enough to have a huge old oak tree in our garden and when the leaves start to fall, so do the acorns. We went on a hunt for the acorns and the acorn ‘hats’ as my little ones call them and once we had enough we sat and tried to give all of the little acorn heads their hats. This is a great activity for the visual sense as the children really have to search in between the fallen leaves and the grass to find the little acorns and trying to place the hats on the acorns is great for their fine motor skills.
Rolling in the Leaves
The kid’s really don’t need any encouragement when it comes to playing in the fallen leaves. They love collecting them all together, lying in them, throwing them in the air, you name it.
Once the children were done (for now) with playing around in the leaves, I ask them to collect some in their bags for us to use at a later stage for some craft activities. It is always nice to continue with the outside inside and by giving them a little shopping list of different kinds of leaves it again exercises their visual system by forcing them to hunt for specific items.