Autumn is here! On the one hand, it’s lovely: crunching through leaves in the park on a bright day. On the other hand, there are the dark afternoons, not to mention the rainy days. As we’re all going to be spending a lot more time indoors, we thought we’d put together a few inexpensive and completely free activities to help entertain the kids at home and stop everyone going around the loop with cabin fever. Most of them will use things you have around the house too. Feel free to share them with your friends on Facebook or Twitter!
Without further ado, I give you…
Making a Leaf Album
We did this activity in several stages; walk one day, gluing the next, writing and binding the day after.
You will need:
A pen or pencil
Some string or ribbon
A hole punch
Go out for a lovely walk in the park and collect autumn leaves of different shapes and colours, you can chat about the different trees, look for acorns, berries or conkers or other interesting things. Take a little bag with you and fill it up with your Autumn stuff. If you aren’t able to get out but you have a garden, you can send your little one outdoors to scavenge for leaves there instead.
Get the glue and paper out and let your child have a rare old time sticking leaves and bits and bobs on the paper. Leave it to dry.
Show your child which leaves come from which trees and help them to learn to identify them from their different shapes. Help your child to write the names of the trees next to the leaves. Get them to write their name and decorate their front cover. Punch holes in the paper and thread the string or ribbon through to hold the pages together. Voila! A lovely leaf album which helps develop your child’s motor skills, their understanding of nature and their writing skills.
I’m not kidding you, when I gave my little boy his completed leaf album he said “Oh mummy, I’m the happiest boy ever”. Personally, I think that was over-egging it a bit, but he really enjoyed making it and showing it to his friends at nursery.
About Alison McGarragh-Murphy
Alison writes and edits stuff for The Motherload®, and is also a radio producer and broadcast journalist, a mum of two and a wife of one. Since becoming a mother she has (mostly) gladly swapped a busy social life of gigs, pubs, art galleries and museums for dancing in the kitchen, drinking on the sofa, finger painting and hanging out at the park. She talks incessantly about not having slept for three-and-half years.
Photo credit: Alison McGarragh-Murphy