Looking for Fall: After School Express

Grab your camera and off we go!

A new season is starting to sneak up on us... you can almost see signs of Fall.  Even down here in the South too! 

Teaching our children to become observers is important and fun. We're going on a walk around our neighborhood to see if we can spot signs of Fall. Do you see it yet in your neighborhood? or your way to school?  


Trees are changing colors
Acorns are falling
Trees are forming seeds
Mums are growing in the garden
It's cooler in the morning
Pumpkins are in the stores
It's getting darker sooner
Squirrels are searching for acorns

Create an Fall Observation Sheet

Take your child on a nature walk and see what they can discover.  If at all possibly let your child document these changes with a camera or even better on their Fall Observation Sheet.  As you observe things over a period of a few weeks, have them record the changes they see in their Fall Journal.  Print your Observation Sheet here

Here's a few things we discovered on our walks after school this week.

Create a Fall Journal

Later in the week we would come home and write in a Fall Journal what we observed. Observation is a a great skill to use. When creating your own Journal, have them illustrate it first , it will be fresh on their mind and in the camera for reference. Then they can write about what they saw. Encourage them to include details. Go out a few days later and observe with them if things have changed. Print your journal here

More Journal Ideas:

Make a fall collage out of pictures from magazines or real objects
Glue the discoveries you find onto a page and then attach the words.
Younger children doing this activity can cut out and add fall words to their pictures.
Practice finding the beginning sounds of spring objects they draw.

For more Ideas Visit our 40 Activities for Fall Roundup!

What's on our Book Shelf After School?
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Off to the FARM - Tot school 35 months

The farm has been a focus on many tot school weeks.  Although I as a parent, may tire of doing the same thing over and over again, my toddler has specifically requested to spend the week learning about the farm.  Repetition at this age is SO beneficial and SO again, we are off to the farm!

Monday - Music Focus
Ok, so we all know the classic "Down on Grandpa's Farm" and "Old MacDonald" songs to sing with our littles, but if you haven't experienced Laurie Berkner's "I know a chicken" song, then you are missing out!  Kids shake their "shaky eggs" (store bought or home-made) with the song and ECHO sing (or read) the words to the song. This catchy tune is SO silly, fun to sing, and great for teaching shaking to the beat!

You can write the words to the chorus out and point to them as you sing them.  This will develop early reading skills! 

"I know a chicken and she laid an egg. Oh, I know a chicken and she laid an egg.  Oh my goodness.  It was a shaky egg!  Shake your eggs."

Tuesday - Science Experiments
I am sure there are a lot of great experiments out there.  Honestly, it is fall planting season here and we went outside and planted lettuce, carrots, kale, peas, pok choy, and beets.  We talked about what all living things need and my son helped to water the seeds after we planted them. 

Wednesday - Math
We are focusing on More Than and Less Than.  This is a hard concept and we have been using the pictures from our kids books and talking about how many of one animal is on the page and if there is MORE cows than chickens or LESS, all depending on the picture.  Of course we don't do this with EVERY book we read, but have tried to focus on this concept all week with our books.  (We have a million farm books - but here are a few Amazon links to some if you are still building your home library!  Both my kids just ADORE "Have you got my purr?")

Thursday - Art Exploration
These are called CRAFTS and not art or some would describe it as "product" art - meaning all kids products look very similar.  Lacking in creativity, but focusing on following directions.  Guess this week was more "crafty" than arty.  The funny thing is that my son chose to learn about the farm and when we went to story-time at the local teacher store - she read Farm books, did a dot cow painting and made paper bag cow puppets.  Then, when I crashed a friends playdate (she did invite me to join her AMAZING group of mom friends and kids) they were talking about ducks.  Don't you love when weeks just come together!!!!  In my opinion, it is important to do some of both kinds of art.  Next week, I will focus on more open ended creative projects!

Friday - Field Trip
If you don't live on a farm, then now is a great time to stop at a farm!  Many farms open their doors to visitors during the fall season.  Check your newspaper or local online listings to see if there are any available in your area.  For some reason, tots just connect with farm books and animals, but NOTHING compares to actually seeing them, hearing them, smelling them, and feeding them in person!

Last, but not least, many of us have this WONDERFUL toy!  This is the week to bring it out of it's hiding spot in the back of the cupboards (if you are not playing with it already) and set it out on the coffee table.  Kids need opportunities to PLAY and pretend.  This toy encourages this.  It is ok to model and play with your kids, but also give them time on their own to play.  Sometimes just changing where you have the toy makes all the difference in your child's interest. 
Hope you have a delightful learning week!  Enjoy your tots!!!!

40 Activities for Fall

40+ Fall Activities from The Educators' Spin On It

Fall is here!  We've collected some of our favorite Apple, Acorn, Leaf, Pumpkin, Owl and Turkey Activities on The Educators' Spin On It just for you to do this fall with your family. Check out our 40 Fall Activities for crafts, recipes, learning and family fun!


FOLLOW our Fall Pinterest Board... we're finding new things everyday to share with YOU!
Check out 100 Ideas for your Fall Bucket List on Creative Family Fun or the Autumn Blog Hop on Blogging with Kids.  

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