Inside: Fall Read-Aloud Books + Learning Ideas
There’s something about fall weather and crunchy leaves that fills us with possibility. Summer heat is fading, and we’re ready to be out-of-doors again. It’s a perfect time to ease into Nature Study with one of the simplest nature activities:
Watching the leaves change.
We assure you there’s a wealth of nature science learning that can happen within this one topic. Let’s explore some benefits, learning topics, activity ideas, and books to inspire Fall Nature Study.
Fall Read-Aloud Books + Learning Ideas
Benefits of Nature Study
Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, observing nature change throughout the year is one of the best ways to jump into nature study. When you do, here’s what happens:
- Builds the habit of paying attention to surroundings
- Causes the mind to focus on details
- Cultivates nature appreciation (and, ultimately, nature conservation)
- Inspires curiousity
- Life slows down a bit
We all want these things for our family. Nature study gives space for them. (More benefits and ways to begin nature study here!)
Fall Learning Topics
Beginning nature study with fall leaves leads to other outlets of learning. Here are some questions to explore:
- Why do leaves change color in the fall?
- Why do some leaves not change?
- Which trees lose their leaves?
- How long does it take for leaves to fall?
- How can we describe fall changes to the landscape?
Exploring these questions will take you on many fun learning adventures such as:
- Types of trees
- Seasonal cycles of trees
- Weather patterns
- Fall animal activity
- Colors in nature
- Math in nature
- Language arts skills
Your family’s fall leaves nature study might lead to other nature studies than these. Follow the inspiration. That’s where the learning happens!
Fall Learning Activity Ideas
There are many fall learning activities that the above topics inspire. Here’s a list of 10 ideas:
- Explore different leaf shapes and their scientific names. (Leaf Nomenclature)
- Examine the veins in fallen leaves and explore their purpose.
- Identify native trees in your area.
- Track the progress of leaves changing over the season. (Use a Nature Journal!)
- Compare the sizes and colors of leaves. (Gather and sort)
- Create a graph of the results. (Nature math!)
- Find fallen seed pods and dissect.
- Observe and nature journal animal activity in the fall.
- Create tree bark rubbings of the trees whose leaves you collect.
- Go on a leaf scavenger hunt to find specific leaf shapes.
Other Fun Fall Activities
You’ve explored and learned. You’ve cultivated nature appreciation. Now, celebrate fall with some other fun autumn activities!
- Visit an apple orchard
- Make fall tree art with foil and paint
- Sip hot apple cider and watch leaves move in the breeze
- Make popcorn on the stove or over a campfire
- Create a leaf lantern
- Make leaf creatures (inspired by Leaf Man and Look What I Did With a Leaf)
- Learn how to preserve leaves 3 ways
- Use clay to make leaf-shaped bowls
- Laminate leaves and create a decorative fall banner
- Create a beautiful “wind chime” with leaves
Fall Books to Read Aloud
Here are some of our favorite fall books that inspire nature exploring and appreciation.
Learn about autumn leaves through a lyrical tale with illustrations and activities With beautiful illustrations and a lyrical narrative, Virginia Snow takes children on a fun and educational adventure. At the end of the day, learn how to press the gathered leaves and how to make a leaf rubbing.More info →
Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Is he drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese? Or is he heading west, above the orchards, prairie meadows, and spotted cows? No one's quite sure, but this much is certain: A Leaf Man's got to go where the wind blows.More info →
Lois Ehlert uses watercolor collage and pieces of actual seeds, fabric, wire, and roots in this innovative and rich introduction to the life of a tree. A special glossary explains how roots absorb nutrients, what photosynthesis is, how sap circulates, and other facts about trees.More info →
It’s your turn now. Share a few of your favorite fall activities?