Seasons provide endless learning experiences for children, as they learn about the passing of time, change, weather, nature and light and dark. For many of our children, this will be the first year when they are noticing things like the colour of the leaves and that leaves fall off trees. Whilst for us this may not seem very exciting as we have experienced so many seasons in our lives, for young children, this is all very fresh, exciting and enthralling experience in so many ways.
We provide our children with a wide variety of experiences in order to engage their curiosity, deepen their knowledge and keep their excitement about learning. We have been out on many walks to look at the trees and leaves and the children are loving stamping on the piles of leaves on the embankments. We have also collected leaves and brought them back to the nursery for creative activities.
Pressing leaves is a great activity to learn about patience, the passing of time and change. The children checked the leaves they were pressing to see what happened to them and to talk about the change. We brought leaves back to the nursery and used pestle and mortar to grind them down. This gives the children opportunities to observe changes in matter and develops hand-eye and motor control.
Our Art Teacher Anna shared images with the children of an installation that was created by Peter Liversidge and our children made their own Spaghetti Tree. The activity involved collecting twigs, stripping them of leaves, placing them in clay so they stood up and then decorating them with cooked coloured spaghetti and dried conical pasta, which they had painted in autumn hues. The children were very engaged in the activity, concentrating for long periods of time and were fascinated by the effects they created. This activity involved the use of imagination, as well as thinking and planning to develop their creative skills.