As summer slowly fades away, you'll start to notice the days getting shorter and shorter, those early mornings becoming a lot colder (making it harder to get out of bed!), and the tell-tale leaves becoming brown and red.
Although the weather isn't as brilliant as it was during summer, you and your little one can still have plenty of fun together during autumn. We've put together a list of some of our top activities to keep you and your baby or toddler entertained (that promote learning too) all season long!
What autumn activities can I do with my baby?
Head out for a stroll in nature
As the temperatures cool down from summer, going out for a daytime walk becomes much more pleasant and comfortable. No more dealing with the sweltering heat! So why not make the most of it and go for a walk deep in nature with your little one? Not only will they have fun stomping and crunching the crisp, crackly autumn leaves on the ground, but you can also enjoy collecting them together! Try and hunt for leaves of different sizes, shapes and colours as you go, and take them home. Once you're back, ask your child to sequence and sort them in different ways to encourage their problem-solving skills and cognitive development.
Play with the wind
As well as taking away the sun, autumn comes with a lot more wind. Evoke your child's sensory development by hanging wind chimes, ribbons, wind sculptures and setting up pinwheels in your garden so they can notice how the wind blows. If your little one is a bit older, you can keep them entertained by flying a kite together!
Create an autumn-themed sensory box
Sensory play is an excellent way for your child to develop their motor skills and touch senses. This helps their brains create strong connections as they learn more about the world around them. Making a sensory box to promote this couldn't be any easier – just place your chosen items into a container and let your bub explore to their heart's content. It's a simple yet enriching playtime experience for your little one, particularly in their early developmental stages!
Creating a different themed sensory box for each season is a great way to make sure your child doesn't get bored too quickly. For example, in the summertime, you can fill your box with sand, smooth shells, water, bath toys… and in autumn, you can use dried leaves, pine cones, acorns, corn kernels and more! You might even add some containers and utensils for your baby to scoop things up with, allowing them to explore and enjoy it even further.
Introduce autumn fashion
A new season means a new wardrobe! As the days become chillier, it's time to bundle you and your little one up in warm woolly knits to keep both of you snug and cosy. Introduce your child to this change by putting together a box or bin of soft knitted accessories of all different sizes – such as beanies, hats, thick socks, gloves and mittens – and watch them have fun putting them on and taking them off! This is a super easy idea that can help encourage hand-eye coordination and sets up the foundation for when your child eventually wants to start dressing themselves in toddlerhood.
Whenever you and your child go out on an excursion or for an activity – such as going to a carnival, museum, aquarium, zoo, heading out on a boat, fruit-picking – take plenty of photographs and look for a souvenir you can take home to remind your child of what they did before. This is to build up a collection of pictures and mementoes from different activities for your little one to look back on. In doing so, you can remind them of the fun they had and assist in the development of their emotional memory!
Rainy day painting
To keep your little one entertained during those drizzly rainy days when you're stuck indoors, try making your own kid-friendly paint for them to unleash their creativity! Simply mix flour and water according to a 1:1 volume ratio and add food colouring – it's that easy. Give your child a piece of paper and watch them paint, splat and drip to create their very own masterpiece! Painting can be messy, so wash up with warm water afterwards. The great thing about the flour mixture is that it requires almost no effort to clean up from clothes, floors, mats, etc. too!