The weather is getting cooler and the leaves are beginning to change.  What I enjoy most about fall are how many natural opportunities it provides to introduce speech and language!  If it’s too cold or wet to go outside and explore, you can bring the nature inside as well.  Here are my top fall-themed activities for kids.

  1.  Pinecone hunt! Grab a bucket or a bag and head out to your backyard or to a local nature preserve and search for pinecones.  Here are some ideas of how to play with pinecones, and how to incorporate speech and language.
  • Create a collage or display with the pinecones or create a “pinecone museum”. Talk about the different sizes, colors, of textures.  Ask questions about the pinecone, like where do you think this pinecone came from? Or what’s your favorite pinecone?
  • Painting with pinecones.  Who needs paintbrushes when you have pinecones?  They create such a cool texture when you roll them onto paper.  Adding vocabulary/words into this activity could include the words: bumpy, more, paint, mix, dot dot dot, up/down, circle, tree, etc…
  1. Raking leaves!  A great way to incorporate gross motor and language in a fun way.  The reward of jumping into the big pile of leaves is always such a small yet memorable experience that children will always remember.  Here are some fun ways to play and incorporate speech and language:
  • Bury each other or a stuffed animal, toy, etc… once object is hidden ask, Where did ______ go? or We need to dig dig dig! 
  • Add language and new vocabulary as you’re making a pile of leaves with your child including: scoop, rake, put in, big, more, dig, etc…
  1. Nature collage.  This is another simple and fun way to talk about nature and introduce speech and language.  I like to use contact paper to stick all your findings on, and hang in the window.
  • Talk about where you found what you collected.  For example: We found this seed in the big tree…, the pinecone fell out of the tree…, the leaf was way up high… 
  • Take turns picking out your favorite item and stick it on.
  • Put items in a bag and try to guess what it is by feeling the texture.

Most of all make it fun and enjoy the time spent together!!