Autumn Memory Game

Match The Nut !

Autumn Match Game

Before I inundate you with holiday crafts for all the wonderful holidays in December I didn’t want to ignore Thanksgiving or skip right over the end of Autumn.  So today we made an easy fall themed memory game that is easy to make , easy to play and best of all, easy to adapt to different ages. When kids make their own games it creates such pride , my son was so excited to tell his dad he played match and made the game too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some card stock ( I used 2 plain note cards) , some crayons or markers ( they will want to play right away so paint slows you down), scissors, a pen or fine tip marker and cookie cutters or stencils.Autumn Match
  2. Start by tracing your squirrel and acorn.Squirrel Craft
  3. Have your child color each pair one color. I told my son to cover all the white, he did pretty well. With really little guys give them a tick crayon or marker, or unwrap the crayon so they can use it’s side for easier coverage.Squirrel Craft
  4. Keep going… and going!Squirrel Craft
  5. Cut the shapes out. Can you tell how stormy it was today my usually light filled kitchen was a dungeon all day! Squirrel Craft
  6. PlaySquirrel Craft- we played match. We put all the pieces down so that you couldn’t see their color and flipped them over one at a time, taking turns to make a match.  It didn’t take long but we played a few rounds. Autumn Matching GameWith a younger child I would have all the squirrels laid out and put the nuts in a bag and have the child draw the nut out and find the color match. With older children I would make more sets, and include a letter or number that would also have to be matched to challenge them. Told you it’s easy to adapt.  In a classroom I would have each child color one pair to make this a group project!

Books

Great Acorn Mystery

Dot & Jabber and the Great Acorn Mystery by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a perfect fit for this activity!  The little mouse detectives Dot and Jabber are trying to figure out how a tiny oak tree has sprouted so far from the big one across the meadow. I love how this book excites my son about learning, he wants to figure out this mystery right along side the two little detectives. Isn’t that what science really is? A mystery to be solved? The mice do solve the mystery and a squirrel is involved but you will have to read the book for all the clues and details. I highly recommend this book , it’s engaging, visually beautiful and teaches about the life cycle of an oak tree effortlessly.

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt is so funny. I love books like this that have absurd humor thrown in. Before you even read the story on the inside flap you will notice a blurb that ends with “This story is not suitable for pirates” it just makes me giggle! The story follows the most anxious squirrel you’ll ever encounter as he tries to make his own beach, only to end up at a busy one! What I love about this book are the details, the small asides will have you laughing and the main story will keep even young ones totally entertained. My son loved it especially the part about the pool being the ocean and the flashlight being the sun, even at two he was trying to tell the squirrel how wrong that was. Super fun and a great message about overcoming fears as well.

scaredy squirrel makes a friend

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Melanie Watt is hilarious! I laughed out loud from start to finish, my son who is 18 months old didn’t get the humor at all but laughed at me laughing! Older preschoolers will get most of the humor though and like my son, will love the pictures ! Here is my favorite line : in very small print on the inside cover it reads ” * Caution: this story not suitable for walruses. ” Oh how I laughed ! The dry humor aside, the book follows an anxious squirrel looking for a friend , but one that is safe and won’t bite! Of course the message is about taking risks and kids will get it! I love this book!

Acorn Craft

Cereal Acorn!

Acorn Craft

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.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper ( we used a brown grocery bag) , glue, oats, chocolate cereal, brown marker, and scissors.Acorn Craft
  2. Start by drawing an acorn on the paper bag.Acorn Craft
  3. 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.Acorn Craft
  4. 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.Acorn craft
  5. Add the oats. We just poured, my floor survived amazingly.Acorn Craft
  6. Add the chocolate cereal.Acorn Craft
  7. Eat a few….Acorn Craft
  8. 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! Acorn Craft
  9. Let dry… for a long long time…. about 12 hours.
  10. Cut out when dry.Acorn Craft

Books

A Friend For All Seasons

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

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

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 !

Acorn Craft For Toddlers

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Have your child color half of the brown paper bag with the dark brown, then the other half with the lighter brown.
  3. While your child is coloring draw the outline of an acorn on a piece of construction paper.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the glue to the bottom half of the acorn. As you can see my little guy doesn’t always follow my directions!
  6. Glue on the ripped pieces.
  7. Repeat with the top half. You want a lot of glue so that no matter where your child places the paper it will stick.
  8. Let dry
  9. Cut the acorn out and glue to the 2nd piece of construction paper.

Books!

” Leaf Jumpers “ by Carole Gerber is a beautifully illustrated , informative book that all all about leaves in autumn. It’s not the most exciting book but is a good teaching resource and tool when you are teaching your child about the changing seasons. I can’t say this is a must read, but it’s useful and worth a look at your local library.
” 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.