As parents begin the yearly ritual of sending their kids back to school, it ushers in a new season and a change in climate of their routine. In our home, three kids returned to the trenches of learning and left behind two younger siblings. The days are a little quieter, and quite a bit longer. With the temperatures outside dropping and the chances of rain increasing, caregivers across the board are looking for activities to do with the little tykes inside.
One of my favorite activities is to bake an apple pie. There is a lot of learning to be done with this! Peel the apples ahead of time, and let your toddler season them with the sugar and spice. Double your pie crust recipe and when the pie is put together, get out the cookie cutters. Every toddler I know loves to pound, shape, roll and eat the remnants of dough. It allows them to be creative and enhance their fine motor skills. Sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon on their creation and bake for a few minutes for an edible treat that will delight them.
Who says you have to go outside to enjoy Mother Nature? Create your own tree with leaves in the shape of your little one’s hands. Trace their hands on paper and cut them out. Different colored papers can make a beautiful display, and can be an opportunity to learn new colors. To add a little more interest, you could make a count down to a special day. It could be for a birthday, a trip to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving, or maybe even Halloween. You could tape the hand-leaves on a large window and use a washable marker to draw the trunk of the tree. Everyday you take a leaf down, and the tree inside starts to look like the trees outside.
Lastly, our favorite activity in the fall is to snuggle up with a good book. The carefree days of summer sometime find us neglecting these treasures of knowledge and enjoyment. Most local libraries have a story hour during the week that is a great way to meet other parents and presents an opportunity to borrow books on a regular basis. Your child will love the social interaction and the new world that opens to them with the written word.
Autumn is a wonderful time to learn something new, enjoy your toddler!