Autumn (Montessori-inspired) activities with a toddler

 
 

One of the things I love about where we live now in Germany is that we are so close to the nature and we can follow the changes due to the seasons.

We are having a gorgeous autumn here with many colors and interesting celebrations. I tried to captured it in our every day activities. Here is what we do:

1. Plenty of outdoor activities

  • Walks in the nature: watching the leaves falling, gathering treasures: pine cones, acorns, chestnuts, leafs, pieces of wood, pebbles...
  • We are preparing our garden for winter

2. Cooking and baking

Cooking is a wonderful way of feeling the autumnal ambiance with our senses

 
 

3. Read books about autumn and changes in the nature during this season

 
 

4. Fine-motor Montessori activities

  • Prepare lanterns for Martinmas, an important celebration here in Germany (on 11th of november). We made the lanterns using some Ginkgo leaves gathered from a tree close to our house, rice paper (brought from South Korea but tissue paper works very well too), edible glue and jars:
  • Make a leaves collage with some of the leaves gathered during our walks in the nature and edible glue (found here). The recipe is very simple and fun to prepare: 1 glass of water + 1 table-spoon of sugar + 1 glass of flour. Mix all the ingredients and cook until it gets thick. This activity is a lot of fun:
  • Create a tree with leaves stickers. I had these post-it in form of leaves (similar post-its can be found here) for a while and used them already during a flight to "decorate" our seats but this time we made an autumn tree. First, I draw the trunk of the tree trying to make it look as much as possible as in this book my daughter loves. And then she added the leaves post-its. I have had prepared them on a little bowl (easier to grasp). To make them stick better, we added some home-made edible glue

 

  • Threading branch slices. This hand-made activity has arrived in our mailbox this week from Latvia. It is beautifully made from natural elements only. 
 

 

 
 

5. Create a seasonal table for autumn (inspired by the Waldorf/ Steiner pedagogy)

 
 

6. Do car activities related to the celebrations around us (All Saints' Day - another kind of Halloween)

 
 

7. We are grateful for having lived in different countries and having discovered different ways of celebrating autumn around the world. We have adopted some of the celebrations that we enjoyed around the world in our family traditions.

These celebrations create important rituals. Children need rituals and celebration to build points of reference in time and a feeling of belonging to their family, their "tribe" and the world.

8. Use pictures of seasonal fruits and vegetable to name the foods we are eating in autumn. I change the pictures above my daughter's snack & drinks station each season:

 
 

9. Play with natural loose parts: chestnuts, pebbles, acorns, leaves, pine cones

Enjoy this beautiful season with your little one!