Pumpkins, apples, crisp air and vivid foliage — autumn has truly arrived! To embrace the feeling of fall, preschool teachers across the country are adding autumn-themed activities to their curriculum.
With so much inspiration all around us, it can be time-consuming to choose the right activities for your students. That's why the pros at Lifetouch Preschool Portraits have dug deep to research some of the most unique and fun fall projects for youngsters.
Pumpkin-scented moon sand
Preschoolers love sensory play. That's why whipping up a few batches of pumpkin-scented moon sand is a guaranteed classroom-pleaser. We like this recipe from ParentingChaos.com that's taste safe, just in case little ones can't resist giving this amazing-smelling sand a try. Simply mix 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree. If it's too sticky, mix extra flour until it's a more pliable texture.
Rotten pumpkin project
Carve a jack-o-lantern at home and bring it in to introduce him to the class. You might even have kids cast a vote on a name! Then have students start a journal drawing what the pumpkin looks like. Set the pumpkin outside and each week visit and repeat this activity, noting the differences as the pumpkin biodegrades. You can talk about science and biology while kids record their observations. Once the pumpkin has rotted, your project is complete. Yippee for yuck!
Sink or float with fall finds
Take kids on an outdoor fall scavenger hunt. Give each child a cup for autumn treasures such as flowers, leaves, acorns, pine cones, etc. Return to the classroom and set out a large, clear tub of water. Go around the room asking students for different items. Have kids first guess if each one will sink or float, and then take turns dropping them in the water to see the result. Kids will giggle with enthusiasm! Have extra fall finds? Set up kids with glue and craft paper to make collages to take home.
Harvest seed discovery table
Autumn is harvest season, and seeds aplenty are being pulled from the fields. TeachPreschool.org offers a wonderful idea to encourage kids to explore fall seeds and feel like mini agri-biologists. Teachers can collect different local seeds, such as dried sunflower heads, dried corn on the cob, pine cones, acorns and small containers of other seeds like carrot or kale. Then set out large tweezers and magnifying glasses and have kids explore the seeds. They'll be amazed at their observations!
Sensory pumpkin art
Teachers could cut construction paper into large pumpkin shapes, one for each student. During art time, squirt finger paint in shades of orange and yellow onto the paper and then cover with plastic wrap. Then have kids enjoy a sensory celebration as they press their little fingers on the plastic wrap to spread the paint out in a variety of unique shapes and shades. As the paint moves around, each child will be creating a unique piece of art. Remove plastic and let paint dry before sending home for parents to display proudly.
This list is perfect for preschool teachers looking for unique fall craft ideas and autumn activities. Celebrate fall and enhance your curriculum!