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Enjoy fall as a family with these simple nature enrichment activities!

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By Ashley Hopkins


Fall is officially here and while we north Florida folk don’t necessarily get to enjoy the sights of quickly color changing foliage, the season change brings with cooler temperatures that are sure to delight young and old alike! But with the busy hum of everyday life, it can be hard to make time to get outdoors with your kiddos and let them enjoy the changing season. These outdoor immersion activities are fun and easy ways to make some quick time for Mother Nature while still slowing down to enjoy the changing seasons.

 

Fall Leaf Rubbings
Materials: plain white printer paper, a clipboard or a large hardcover book to use instead, crayons with the paper peeled off.

Leaves for this activity can be collected just about anywhere, be it on a walk around your neighborhood to see how your street is changing through with the coming of fall, or on a local trail.

Phipps Park is our favorite go-to location and where we headed to for this activity. While hiking, encourage your little walking buddy to collect leaves they find interesting or different. Remember: try to only pick up leaves of the ground and not take them off of trees whenever possible. Once they have collected around 10 leaves, find a quiet spot on the trail to sit down and make your rubbings. To create the leaf rubbings, place the leaf under a single piece of white paper. Vein side up will help those details show better. Press down on the stem of the leaf through the paper and rub the paper-less crayon, laying flat, across the leaf. I love how much the details pop and this activity is interesting for both adults and kiddos. Encourage your child to describe the leaves and find similarities and differences between their leaf rubbings. After we created our rubbings, we IDed them at home, cut them out and  laminated them at home to make our very own leaf ID guide.  

 

Draw Me a Picture Postcards

Materials: Thick watercolor paper cut into 6”x4” rectangles, colored pencils, postcard or regular letter stamp.
Let your kiddo capture a moment in time by painting what they see out in nature! This activity can either be done in your own backyard, or on a hike when they see something they’d really like to paint. Asking them to paint the landscape is always a fun option since every child will interpret it differently. Before the activity, also remind your child that they are not a camera so their drawing or painting won’t look like a picture. Only they have their own style and can draw in their own way which makes their postcard unique! After they have drawn their postcard, you can address it on the back and have them affix the stamp and write a little message. Let them pick a special friend or relative to send their nature postcard to!

 

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Materials: brown paper lunch bag or other collecting bag, scavenger hunt list.

Depending on your children's abilities, write up a short little list of things you expect to see on your walk or hike. An acorn, a flower, something green, etc. Either write this on the brown paper bag or on a list for your child to carry. While walking or hiking, remind them to keep their eyes out and collect any of the items to put in the bag! Try and encourage your child to not pick things off of trees or plants but the instead collect items that have already fallen to the ground. After your walk or after they have collected all the items, take a moment to sit down with and let them share their findings with yourself or any other children who joined you on the walk. Be sure to leave all the items in nature once you are done so that the nutrients from them can return to the soil.

 

 

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