Saturday, 21 August 2010

Autumn Planning!

OK now I can here some of you saying wooooaaahh..... summmer isn't over yet!! But I LOVE Autumn and after planning on a monthly basis last year and finding that I had too many different things scheduled in and the children would rather stick with seasonal delights, that is what I am doing!  For me Autumn begins in September and will run through to the end of November probably!!  These activities and ideas represent some tried and tested favourites, some things I found too late to do last year, and some ideas from a friend who shared her planning with me (thanks Hayley!!)

Songs and Poems - I have copied some of these Autumnal poems and songs onto big shapes of leaves, apples and pumpkins and laminated them before cutting them out, hole-punching and threading them with ribbon. They will hang on the book shelf.

Trips out always have an important place in our weekly plans, as I find that the children thrive on being outdoors and experiencing things first hand.  I love to take along an activity to do 'in situ'.  On the list for this Autumn are:

Attingham Park - fabulous woodland perfect for collecting Autumn leaves.... they have HUGE ones all the colours that Autumn leaves should be, as well as copious amounts of beech nut cases, acorns and conkers!! An activity that I will do again there this Autumn is fabric printing with found items - take squares of felt and two colours of paint and some brushes, then use collected objects to print with on the felt - they looked lovely and we collected a few more children too!  I will also try Autumn weaving there too this year, as well as another tried and tested favourite - woolly pinecones - for these I buy fluffly autumn coloured wool and the children wrap lengths around collected pinecones of different sizes - they looked great in a dish as a table centrepiece!!.  Looks like lots of visits to Attingham then!!

Essington Fruit Farm - to explore their gigantic pumpkin patch!!  I will buy them from somewhere cheaper though and we will make pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup.  Last year we had a fabulous collection or ornamental gourds from Lidl i think, and they became involved in lots of small world play!! I will mix some colours of paint to match the colours in the gourds and put them out together for the children to paint representation of them.  I don't usually direct the children's artwork but I tried this in Spring with hyacinth bulbs and mixed paints and the results were beautiful as well as providing a different approach to normal for them.  Scooping the pumpkin seeds out is always a popular and absorbing activity too, before drying them and gluing them down again!!

Apple Picking - I've picked out Clives Fruit Farm because they do apple pressing on site and I'm hoping that I can arrange for the children to watch it and chuck apples in! As well as picking the apples we will make crumble and pie and chutney and make apple prints with them!

Autumn Leaves - painting them with modge podge after pressing to preserve the colours and feel of the leaves, printing with them, drawing on them, making woodland crowns out of them, matching them to leaf shapes in the leaf cabinet, ordering them by size, identifying them.

Artistic Options - Corncob printing, woodland animals made from clay, rolling acorn paintings and making autumn paints from spices.

Books to Enjoy - Nuts to You by Lois Ehlert, Why do leaves change colour? by Betsy Maestro, Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper, Autumn by Gerda Muller, Autumn: an Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur

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