Early November is a great time to take your children for a hike. Whether you actually take them into the woods or around your playground, they will enjoy being outdoors during the seasonal transition. Now is the time to kick up some leaves and talk about the cooler temperatures. Ask them how the air feels on their skin, what colors they see, and what season follows autumn.
Some of the fun things you can do with children outdoors right now include*:
· Engaging them in discussions about animals and plants that are going through autumnal changes
· Ask them whether the lighting is different (this works especially well if you take them outside at the same time every day)
· Bring a notebook to use as a nature journal for written descriptions or pictures
· Bring a recorder to capture the sounds of the day
· Bring several baggies and a black permanent marker to give your children practice with sorting. Collect seeds, nuts, pinecones, rocks, and leaves and place them in the labeled bags.
At the end of your hike, whether it lasts 15 minutes or an hour, you can sit down at your literacy gazebo and write and draw about your experiences. Children will be excited to talk about everything they saw, smelled, felt, and heard… while tasting some nice apple cider (our favorite autumn treat).
* (Thanks to Renee Carver for these fantastic tips!)