Fall, fall, oh so wonder-fall. Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. I love everything about fall… pumpkins, cozy sweaters, hay rides, crisp air, booties, apple cider, the colors, the holidays and all the joy the season brings. And with a little one, fall brings even more fun… pumpkin patches, fun books, and endless crafts and activities that keeps us laughing, learning and loving nature.
So my looooove for fall is serious… as is my love for books. And even though we have Outside The Box and include some AMAZING books, we can’t include all the amazing books that are available. So I wanted to share my fall round-up of some of our favorite fall books and a couple of fun crafts and activities.It was a hard choice, because seriously there are so many great children’s books. These four books have been on our reading list for awhile and we thought they were perfect to share for some festive fall reading.WonderFall by Michael Hall… This book couldn’t be more appropriately titled, because it is wonderful. The story unfolds around one tree and all that the tree sees as autumn begins. From peace-fall, to plenti-fall, to play-fall, to resource-fall and more, this book goes through and beautifully depicts so much of what fall is about. And at the end of the book is educational information about animals hibernating and migrating, and about the life cycle of trees. This is great to open up conversations with your little ones about nature and even get creative with activities focused on what happens to plants, trees, and animals during autumn.
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak… This is another beautifully illustrated book that depicts fall as summer fades. This story follows a little girl as she talks to nature and nature responds. A great book to help little ones notice the signs of fall and how nature is a part of our daily experience.
A Celebration of the Seasons by Margaret Wise Brown… This is charming book of seasonal poems about nature. I find reading short poetry is so soothing, especially at bed time and often my little one memorizes the poems and I’ll find him reciting them to his toys (even to his monster trucks). An added bonus to this book is it includes a 12 song CD of the poems. This is a book that’s great for fall, but will also be delightful the whole year long.
The Forest Folk by Madeline Rogers… Something about forest animals just always makes me think of fall and this book is filled with forest animals. The illustrations are alluring and the story is simple, but engaging. And one of my favorite parts, it includes 5 paper animals and scenery to make. It’s like a book with paper dolls ( I would’ve died for something like this as a kid… I loved my paper dolls).The first craft is pretty obvious… make the paper animals and scenery from The Forest Folk book and let your imagination run wild. Have fun creating your own fun forest animal stories.The second craft is about all those fall colors, leaves and trees… all you need is white construction paper, brown construction paper, glue, scissors, red, orange, green and yellow paint. The white construction paper will be your base. Cut a tree trunk and tree branches from the brown construction paper and glue them on to the white construction paper. Make a small palette of the various paint colors. Your little one can dip their thumbs in the different paint colors and pat them on the tree branches. The multicolored thumb prints will serve as the multicolored leaves of the season. This activity is not only engaging, tactile, appropriate for so many ages, but allows for conversations about trees, nature, autumn, and colors.
Other craft and activity ideas…
Have a fall dance party. Play fall music and dance in leaves, hear the sounds they make as you twirl through them and toss them in the air or use autumn colored scarves as you dance inside.
Have a fall scavenger hunt, make a list with photos and get a basket, take a walk and collect the items from your list like pinecones and acorns and leaves and take photos or draw pictures of the other items on your list like squirrels, birds flying/migrating, and the wind blowing. And for a fun scavenger hunt activity specifically themed around Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn go to Book Nerd Mommy’s website because she has an awesome review of this book and activity!
Have fun fall baking, like this yummy 5 Minute Apple Crisp from Pinch of Yum or these delicious Pumpkin Muffins from Smitten Kitchen. Getting the kids in the kitchen is always entertaining and delightful, especially when you get a delectable fall treat at the end. You can even visit a local farmer’s market to get the ingredients for your fall treats.
Have fun, experience nature, walk through the leaves, the grass, the mud, pick apples, carve pumpkins. Read about nature, connect, and get out to enjoy it, because “The earth has music for those who listen.” -William Shakespeare