9 Brilliant Ways to Use Fall to Teach Your Preschooler
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There’s just something about fall that screams “Love Me.” The beautiful reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. The crisp breeze in the air. The smell of bonfires and marshmallows. It’s just magical.
Fall has a ton of learning opportunities for your preschooler and that’s what I’m here to talk about today. (Find more fall homeschool inspiration at our 30 days of fall blog party) I’m a big advocate of using real world situations, books, and conversations to teach our children instead of workbooks and textbooks.
Children are naturally inquisitive and curious. Why not capitalize on that and make their learning more interesting to them instead of dull and boring and only teaching them what textbook publishers think they ought to be learning?
Fall can be a great time for learning and fun. Let’s keep it that way with…
9 Brilliant Ways to Use Fall to Teach Your Preschooler Science
- Observe the trees and grass as they turn colors-
This is a great way to teach science to your preschooler. Simplify it in terms that’s easy for them to understand. Something like the trees don’t get enough sunlight through the winter so they have to go to sleep until spring would suffice. It doesn’t have to be too technical for a preschooler.
Get some simple science in with a bonfire and marshmallow. Let them observe how a fire burns wood to ash. Let them see how it blackens a marshmallow when it’s held closely and just browns it when it’s held away from the flame.
- Pumpkin picking-
Picking out the perfect pumpkin is so much fun for a little one. Give them a chance to examine the vine and see where the pumpkin started. (In the ground.) Take it home, cut it open, and further examine it.
Talk about the seeds and what happens to them when they’re planted. What does a seed need to grow?
Looking for a local pumpkin patch? Check out your local city’s mom blog seasonal activities guides. Our Ft Worth area blog is here!
Carving pumpkins is messy. Let them make a mess. Let them get their hands messy with it.
- Apple picking-
Check out these fun apple activities from our fall blog party.
Just like the pumpkins, let them dissect them and later cook them in an apple pie or apple brown betty.
- Tent camping-
I think this is by far my favorite. I love camping in the fall. Get out in nature and observe it. There’s so much to learn. Especially for a little guy. Lay down and star gaze at night. Observe how the nights are much cooler than the days. Camp by a creek and explain the moss on the rocks and fish in the shallows.
- Leaf rubbings-
Leaf rubbings show in very fine detail the veins of a leaf. Explain what these are and that we have veins in our body that transports blood through our body just like a leaf’s veins transports water and nutrients.
- Leaf crafts-
This is just fun. Kids love to go out and collect leaves. Work on their colors with this and try to find as many different colors as you can.
Identify the trees as you pick them out. Point out the seed of the tree and what it does.
Check out this post in our blog party for leaf craft ideas.
- Rake leaves and use a magnifying glass to set them afire-
This is a great little science experiment for preschoolers. Note: Make sure they know that fire is only safe when parents are around and they are not to play with fire.
Create a leaf challenge course for some outdoor preschool and elementary movement here.
Read here the science behind starting a fire with a magnifying glass.
- Go to your local fall festival-
Our local fall festival at Beavers Bend State Park is amazing. It’s packed full of hands on activities and crafts for the kids, as well as history of our little park and surrounding towns.
Find one near you and go. Sure, it may be packed full of people and for some of us that’s kind of stressful, especially with several little ones. But, it will be an amazing memory and a great opportunity for your kids to learn something that you may not think to teach them.
Simplify Science for Preschoolers
Remember as you’re using fall to teach your preschooler science to simplify it. Don’t overthink it. This doesn’t mean you have to dumb it down for them. Continue to use natural conversation, but use it in a way a 2-4 year old will understand.
Also, things will get messy. Try to let go and let them have fun with it though. Throw an old sheet or newspapers down while your dissecting pumpkins and apples if the mess makes you cringe.
Many of these suggestions seem simple and self explanatory to us, but to a preschooler these things are magical.
Enjoy your fall season,
About Rebecca –
Rebecca is a busy, homeschooling mom of 4 just trying to keep it all together. Join her for a little encouragement and laughter as you learn more about her crazy life! She blogs over at Homeschool on the Ranch about life as a homeschool mom on a working cattle ranch. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter.