The fall season provides parents and children with a ton of educational opportunities. I grew up immersed in the outdoors and learning as much as I could about why things are the way they are. My mom and dad both considered the fall season to be an active time of year. They readily embraced all of the wonderful things that were happening in nature and made certain that we were aware of these educational opportunities. Fall provides the perfect backdrop for answering such questions about nature and the world we live in and I have aped my parent’s passions with my own children.
Here are four great ways to teach your children and celebrate the fall season at the same time:.
Go leaf hunting for a photosynthesis lesson
Every child on the planet asks why leaves are different colors and why they change when fall arrives. My girls asked this question early on and it was not the easiest thing to explain to four year olds. Eventually, I broke the explanation down into the simplest version possible and they were fascinated.
If you have a similar problem, try this explanation:
Leaves make their own food sources and it is made up of the water that comes from the ground and the carbon dioxide that is taken from the air. These two things combine to make oxygen (that we breathe by the way) as well as their foods. When fall comes, many trees and plants stop making oxygen because of shorter days and less moisture. Chlorophyll is found in the leaves throughout the summer and that is what makes them green. When fall arrives, the chlorophyll goes away leaving the natural colors of the leaves behind.
Visit your local farm to see how things grow
Fall is a harvest season that kids simply find fascinating. Take them to a local farm or pumpkin patch and watch the questions just flow…
Although there are not a ton of items being planted, you see many foods being harvested. Pumpkins, apples, grapes and various fruits are all being picked and prepared and some farmers are preparing the soil for the coming crops. Seeing all of this in action is a great learning experience for your kids in the fall.
Go to your local museum for a history lesson
One of my kids favorite fall activities is visiting the local museum where they show you history up close and personal.We are fortunate to have a place where they live like they did during the Civil War on the weekends. You can see the weapons, food, clothing and tools of the time and let your kids ask questions. Fall is the perfect season for this because it is so mild and comfortable for outdoor fun.
Go to the zoo for wildlife lessons
Again, weather is a great reason to get outside and teach your kids something new. Zoos are fantastic in the fall and in some places they even drop the prices. If you want to truly teach the youngsters about nature, the zoo is loaded with resources. During the fall, they often have special programs that teach specifics about certain animals. Call ahead to make sure you get the best weekend to visit.
Fall is an awesome time to spend with your kids and teach. These four learning opportunities can truly set the stage for their coming science and biology classes and can be adjusted as they age in difficulty. Make a plan and get the most out of this wonderful educational opportunity.
Based in Greensboro, Rodney Southern has been writing and editing sports and nature articles for going on 10 years. His articles have appeared in “Nicean” magazine, “The Sporting News” website and countless other online venues. Southern was the 2008 Ultimate Call for Content National Award Winner. He attended Guilford Tech and was trained as an EMT in the Army. He now spends his life chasing his two twin daughters and loving his incredible wife while chasing the book in his head. You can read his humorous posts on family life and parenting at RodneySouthern.com.