The changing seasons from summer to fall allow several excellent opportunities for daycare operators to involve toddlers in fun daily activities. The bright fall colors, the arrival of Halloween, the lead-up to Christmas, and the cooler weather all add to fun indoor and outdoor activities. In this article, we will take a closer look at what types of opportunities are present with fall and outline a few of the most exciting and fun seasonal ideas for toddlers.
Why Fall Is A Great Time For Daycares
The cooler temperatures of fall are an excellent time for learning outside. With everything changing in appearance and the bright, striking colors that fall brings, outdoor learning with little ones is exciting. Conversations and questions will revolve around the new season. Fall harvest time presents many opportunities for outdoor experiences unavailable at any other time of the year. Fall is an excellent time to introduce various arts and crafts using elements from changing seasons. Teaching why fall is so important will help toddlers understand their surroundings better.
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Here Are Ten Fun Ideas You Can Incorporate During Your Fall Sessions:
1 – Fall Scavenger Hunt
If a visit to a pumpkin patch is in your future, why not incorporate that visit with a fall scavenger hunt? Toddlers will love the excitement of searching for various fall elements to place strategically around the pumpkin patch. Also, don’t forget to pick out a pumpkin or two for use later, as you will be able to add more seasonal daycare activities with an extra pumpkin or two.
2 – Pumpkin Slime
This activity is easy and requires scooping out a pumpkin’s insides. The slimy texture of the goop that contains pumpkin seeds will serve as a fun and interesting sensory exercise for your toddlers. Let them squish it between their fingers and hold it in their hands. Don’t toss away the seeds, as they can be dried and baked to make a nutritious snack afterward.
3 – Pumpkin Play-Dough
Here is another sensory item that will not cause harm if anyone eats it. Pumpkin Play-Dough is fun for everyone. All you need is a medium bowl where you mix the pumpkin with some cinnamon. Then, slowly add cornstarch to reach a doughy texture. Refrigerate until needed. It will be pliable enough for your toddlers to play with and fun enough to taste and eat (but not all of it!).
4 – Pipe Cleaner Spider
You only need three things to create little spiders: some construction paper, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners. You should be able to find all of these items at your local dollar store. With a glue gun, carefully glue the cut-out paper body to the pipe cleaner legs, then glue the eyes in place. It won’t take long before cute and creepy pipe cleaner spiders overrun your daycare.
5 – Fall Wreath
A fun hands-on do-it-yourself project to have toddlers painting leaves you have collected along with pine cones and acorns. Then, hot glue them to a cut-out paper plate, a piece of construction paper, or cardboard. These creations will allow toddlers to explore and express their creativity while making something seasonal they can take home and share.
6 – Fluffy Ghost Craft
‘Tis the season for Halloween ghosts. This craft is simple and fun and helps toddlers improve their motor skills. Cut out a ghost shape on cardboard or construction paper. Then glue cotton balls all over the ghost shape. The motor skills come into play when the toddler picks up cotton balls with tongs. Add cut-out eyes and mouth from black paper. Add a string, and hang it to spook anyone near it.
7 – Leaf Rubbing
While outside on a walk in the neighborhood, have your toddlers collect different leaves they find on the ground. Next, take them back to the daycare and use the leaves as an educational exercise by explaining why they change colors and fall off trees. Then with paper and crayons, show your toddlers how to rub a leaf to see the patterns they contain.
8 – Fall Sensory Bin
It would help if you had a bin in your daycare that you fill each season with different items that have various textures. For example, for a fall sensory bin, you could use such items as pine cones, leaves, corn, and gourds. Imagine the fun when a toddler has to close their eyes and reach into the bin to pull something out. Have them guess what the object is before opening their eyes to see it.
9 – Fall Rock Painting
During another short field trip in the neighborhood, have your littles collect a variety of different-sized rocks. Take them back to the daycare and make an afternoon out of painting them. Let the toddlers paint them however they wish, allowing them to explore their creativity. Don’t forget to put them on display along a path or somewhere so the artists can enjoy them.
10 – Handprint Turkey Art
All you need is paper and some fingerpaints. Show your toddlers how they can create an image of a turkey just by using their hands dipped in paint. Various colors are available to develop feathers to enhance the fingers in the print. This activity is so easy. Your toddlers will gobble it up and want to keep making more handprint turkey portraits.
The changing seasons open many doors of opportunity. The transition from summer to fall for daycare services is often subtle, but it does not mean all restricting activities indoors. On the contrary, fall is an excellent excuse to pull on a jacket and explore outside. The spectacular fall colors are inviting for a reason. Be sure to use them to full advantage with your daycare toddlers and make some fantastic memories.
Sandra Chiu works as Director at LadyBug & Friends Daycare and Preschool.
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