The season is the reason for teaching toddlers about nature, seasons and colors.
The gorgeous golds and fiery reds of the leaves, the cool crisp air, the scent of pumpkins, the wind whistling through the trees, juice from an apple you picked yourself running down your chin... It is almost fall in the northern hemisphere, my favorite of the seasons and, in my opinion, the most dramatic!
Experiencing the change of the seasons is a great educational opportunity for your little one. All five senses are engaged and science, ecology, culture, art, reading and more blend into one giant laboratory of learning. Now is a great time to enjoy the great outdoors and discover the richness of nature.
Toddlers are just starting to become aware of the changing world around them. Even in our own backyard, we find evidence of the new season as the spring birds come around less often, the squirrels gather their nuts, the leaves start to change colors and fall, and the nights come earlier.
With my preschooler, we made a Seasons of the Apple Tree picture to introduce the concept of seasonal changes.
Tag Junior has some great books featuring the seasons: Ni Hao, Kai Lan shares the always-in-season message of sharing in Share, Share, Share, and as part of the Disney Fairies series, learn about the seasons in Tinker Bell's True Talent.
We love to head to festivals at local farms—corn mazes, pumpkin decorating and apple picking. At harvest time children can see where food really comes from. Reinforce this idea with Cook & Play Potsy. Toddlers just learning their colors will enjoy learning that different colors of vegetables have different vitamins and that they should try to "eat a rainbow" to get all of their nutrients.
Older kids will enjoy a virtual field trip around the world, using the Tag World Map, to learn about different cultural seasonal traditions.
Above all, the changing of the seasons is a reminder to enjoy our time together and share our family traditions with our children.
What are some of your family's seasonal traditions? Enjoy the season with your family!