I bought these oats to make a hearty breakfast for my son before preschool, somehow they ended up as a craft before I ever made him breakfast! I love exploring textures and using unusual materials for art. We don’t have a lot of oak trees around here but I know lawns all over are filling up with them as the colder days of fall are upon us. This craft is easy but takes a long time to dry , so find a sunny window sill to sit it on for a day before shaking off the extra.
- Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper ( we used a brown grocery bag) , glue, oats, chocolate cereal, brown marker, and scissors.
- Start by drawing an acorn on the paper bag.
- Have your child color this if they want. Even though we are covering it with glue I like doing this step so that if they only add a little of the cereal it’s still decorated.
- Add your glue- you will need a ton so now is a great time to let your little one loose with the glue. If you end up with huge puddles just spread them around.
- Add the oats. We just poured, my floor survived amazingly.
- Add the chocolate cereal.
- Eat a few….
- Gently shake off the excess. Tip if you use a flexible plastic place mat you can gently shake a little off and then fold and pour into bowl, garbage , where ever!
- Let dry… for a long long time…. about 12 hours.
- Cut out when dry.
A Friend for all Seasons by Julia Hubery is a gem! The book explains the change of seasons in a fun and easy to understand way for young children. Readers follow along with Robbie Raccoon as he notices the changes that are happening around his home, a big oak tree. My favorite part of this book was when Robbie and a few woodland friends notice that the tree’s leaves are falling and they assume he is crying, so they give him a hug. I loved that! Robbie’s mama raccoon explains the changes and before they go to sleep for a long time during winter’s dark days, they plant 5 acorns . This was a fun part of the book because I had my son predict what would happen. I liked that it gives parents an opportunity to extend this into a science lesson about seeds, and a oak tree’s life cycle. Sure enough when Spring comes there are tiny baby oaks waiting for Robbie when he awakens. I loved this book and would recomend it happily!
When Autumn Falls by Kelli Nidey is a stunning book, the illustrations which are painted paper collages, by Susan Swan are so richly colored you will want more after turning the last page. The text is clever as well. Readers will discover that fall is well named not just because of falling leaves, but also pumpkins falling from the vines, temperatures falling, seeds falling from their leaves and even football players falling! The text is the perfect length for toddlers but not too short for preschoolers too. Cute book for this time of year.
Apple Cider Making Days by Ann Purnell kinda surprised me, I don’t know what I was expecting but I loved this book. My son was sold on the tractor in it but I really liked how simply the author explained the whole process of making apple cider. From picking the apples on Grandpa’s farm to sorting out the good ones to sell and the bad ones to press, to selling it it covers the details without being too much for a young child to process. I loved that the whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins and more helped , seeing a family work side by side is heartwarming. My son loved the tractor but also the conveyor belt that took the apples to press! The illustrations by Joanne Friar set the happy autumn tone for the book and I particularly liked the small details like the pumpkins and squash for sale at the farm. No bad reviews today- all three books are worth a look !
My love of all things autumn continues with this ripped paper acorn. This is a cute craft that can be adapted easily for various ages. We used markers but paint or crayons would work well too.
- Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, a brown paper bag, a darker brown and light brown marker / crayon or paint, and glue.
- Have your child color half of the brown paper bag with the dark brown, then the other half with the lighter brown.
- While your child is coloring draw the outline of an acorn on a piece of construction paper.
- Start ripping. Rip the colored paper bag into small pieces, keep the two colors in separate piles. Little ones may need help ripping the paper if it’s thick, I had to get the rips started for my son.
- Add the glue to the bottom half of the acorn. As you can see my little guy doesn’t always follow my directions!
- Glue on the ripped pieces.
- Repeat with the top half. You want a lot of glue so that no matter where your child places the paper it will stick.
- Let dry
- Cut the acorn out and glue to the 2nd piece of construction paper.
” T is for Touchdown : A Football Alphabet” by Brad Herzog is a beautiful book that will delight even those of us who are never happy to see football season start. I admit even being an anti fan this book was fun and really full of information that even a football scrooge like myself can appreciate. Also it’s easy to read simply the letters and look at the pictures for little ones and has genuinely interesting blurbs for each page for older children.” Every Season ” by Shelly Rotner is a keeper. The text is simple, but the pictures really capture all the wonderful things that each season brings to make up a whole year. The photographs can be used as ice breakers about things children love about each season, are looking forward to or even don’t like. Either way this book is full of possibilities.