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Fall: 6 Ways to Celebrate the Changing Seasons

Disclaimer: The U.S. Department of Education does not mandate or prescribe particular curricula or lesson plans. This information is provided for the visitor's convenience and is included here as an example of the many resources that parents and educators may find helpful and use at their option. See the full FREE disclaimer.

With autumn come red- and gold-covered trees and crunchy leaves, along with a new school year. These exciting changes present an opportunity to develop children’s scientific and creative knowledge regarding nature, its seasons, and the colors that surround us.

Science

  1. Find out why leaves change color: Ask your children if they see a difference between plants and trees in the summer and those in autumn. The changing surroundings can promote learning about color pigments, such as chlorophyll (green), carotenoids (yellow, orange, and brown), and anthocyanins (red). Go on a family leaf-collection outing, and create games or find activities online that can enrich their knowledge of native plants, including trees.
  2. Explore the reason the Earth has different seasons: Even if you don’t live in a state that experiences a marked difference for all four seasons, transitioning weather can spark interest in the science behind the changing seasons. With changes due to the tilt of the earth on its axis as it rotates around the sun, try some online games that demonstrate this concept.

Get Moving

  1. Take a walk: Take advantage of the relatively mild weather by enjoying the great outdoors at a local park or forest preserve. Exploring National Forests and National Parks can enrich children’s understanding of nature, while reinforcing a healthy and active lifestyle. Walk around a park, or your neighborhood, with your kids to foster an awareness of the changing colors. Ask your kids if they’d like to choose a memento to take home, such as a colorful leaf, to commemorate this activity.

 A Tree with Leaves Change Color

 

Reading

  1. Read about the seasons: Choosing books that highlight different aspects of the fall is a way to learn and celebrate the season, while also reinforcing the importance of reading. Fall-themed books can be found at your local library.

 

Arts

  1. Get creative with materials from the environment: Nature can be a great source of art materials. Find a large stick in your backyard or a local park and turn it into a walking stick for your next hike. Decorate it with any arts and crafts supplies you may have or try using colorful leaves and other elements of nature.

 

Technology

  1. Play games online that have seasonal topics: Interactive online games can prompt awareness of the changing seasons while also providing the opportunity to practice math and literacy skills. See if your kids like online activities, including games that use animated characters to highlight the qualities of fall.

Childrens Playing in Leaves
Autumn Health and Safety Tips for Families
(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

 

These are just a few suggestions to promote your kids’ interest in seasonal changes.

This feature is based on a blog post that originally appeared on free.ed.gov, a site that is now retired. Please visit ed.gov/FREE for more information.

 


Last Modified: 12/01/2015