Help Children Reconnect The Natural Way With 6 Autumn-Themed Activities
With children returning to school, the opportunity to be back amongst their friends will be met with excitement and happiness but for some, they may be juggling mixed emotions surrounding the ‘new normal’ and safety measures being implemented throughout their school.
As adults, adaptability comes more naturally and one that develops over years of experiences however, the sudden change to our normal routines 6 months ago and the recent restrictions put in place once more, has challenged us to put those skills into practise once again.
For children, they are still establishing these fundamental life skills and so when COVID-19 closed or reduced their daily routine of school a sudden adaptation was expected.
There is no doubt that children are simply amazing! Most have a natural ability to be highly adaptable when it comes to change and so embraced the closures and changes with ease.
However, it’s likely that the combination of months of home schooling, rollercoaster restrictions, returning to school and now limited contact with extended family is undoubtedly going to cause some level of uncertainty.
It’s been a positive sight to see so many families adapting to these changes together and finding new adventures within their local areas. Over Lockdown we loved seeing all the creative activities and exploring that has been shared on our Facebook group Pentagon Parent – Home Learning with your children.
Below are a few autumn themed activities that will get your year groups reconnecting and being creative outdoors!
1. Scavenger Hunt
What’s not to love about a scavenger hunt! A great activity to get children moving and communicating.
Provide a written or visual list of autumnal items that you’ve hidden around your outside area. Increase the challenge by setting a timer, adding some fun sums or including spellings/phonics into the mix.
Older children could have a go at creating their own scavenger hunt with rhyming clues or creative stories.
2. String Walk
A wonderful way to awaken their senses and where better than outdoors!
You’ll need a long, strong rope and a blindfold. Tie the rope around trees, playground equipment, whatever you come across to create a zig-zag adventure they’ll love! Follow the string from start to finish. What can they hear? How did they feel?
3. Nature Rangers
Don’t be put off by the colder months creeping in, the newness of a term can also bring inspiring ideas for your outdoor area.
Give children the responsibility of being ‘Nature Rangers’ by having dedicated roles that care for the schools outside area and its wildlife. This could be organising the recycling, gardening, collecting leaves to use for art projects or looking after the birds.
4. Sensory Walk
Start by providing the children with a list of all the items that need to be collected from your outside area. The excitement of running around outdoors combined with ticking items off their list will get them ready and engaged for the activity ahead. Place items into pre made sensory path made of stick squares or trays.
We recommend using;
- Smooth stones
- Pumpkin filling
This is great fun to do bare footed, however if children prefer an alternative, hands are just as exciting!
If the children are using their hands, cover their eyes and encourage touching and smelling to guess what is in the trays. Adding pinecones, acorns and cocoa powder to the list above will enhance the sensory experience further.
5. Outdoor obstacle course
A great team activity to build confidence and help children to reconnect with their friends. Ask the children to collect long sticks, alternatively ropes work well.
Create a winding pathway around the outside area adding in objects for the children to jump over, balance on or climb over. A hopscotch made from sticks or balancing log blocks are also a great addition to an outdoor obstacle course.
Encouraging children to design their own obstacle courses supports them in effective communication, listening skills and problem solving as well as the added benefits of physically exercise and lots of fabulous fresh air!
6. Bird feeders
It’s important to teach children about the benefits of looking after our environment and wildlife. This simple and calming activity is excellent for fine motor skills and provides the birds with a tasty treat!
All you will need are;
- Pipe cleaners
- Strong string
- Cereal hoops
If using string, ensure a knot has been tied at one end. Children can then thread the hoops onto the string or pipe cleaners until full, leave a gap at the end and tie another knot or twist together to secure the feeder. Pipe cleaners can be interlinked together to create delicious bird bunting. Finally, create a loop and find a special spot in your outside area for the birds to enjoy their tasty treats!
We’ve been designing outstanding playgrounds for schools and nurseries since 1998, turning playground dreams into reality for over 20 years! We have developed new ways to conduct playground consultations safely, and we’d love to help you get the most out of your school grounds. Contact Us here for more information or to book a visit, and we will work around you.