Autumn is such a beautiful and colourful time of year. One of my favourite things to do is link creative experiences to nature and also to quality picture books for young children. The fall season provides such great inspiration for these kinds of aesthetic activities. A simple thing to do is take children for a walk in the park or the woods, to admire the variety of colours – green, scarlet, gold, orange and brown. Collect a variety of leaves such as maple, oak, basswood, ash. When you have enough you can make leaf crowns which might inspire some creative play.
Make sure the leaves are freshly fallen because dry leaves will be too crumbly. Remove the stems from the leaves. Working with two leaves to begin, overlap the edges and use a stem to pin them together. Continue to add more leaves, overlapping and pinning until the chain of leaves is long enough to wrap around the top of your child’s head. Complete the crown by pinning the first and last leaves together. Children can pretend to be magical forest dwellers or leaf monsters, all the while learning different colours and relating their creative play experience to the seasonal changes they are observing.
If you want to connect your creative activity to a wonderful reading experience, go to the library and sign out Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. Her beautiful illustrations use leaves of different shapes to create familiar creatures like chickens, pumpkins, fish and butterflies. You and your child will really love identifying these shapes and following Leaf Man on his adventures. Bring along a paper bag to collect different leaves on your walk. Use these to imitate the patterns in Ehlert’s book or to invent your own!