This week’s Tuesday Toddler Activities comes from Shannon at Mama in Wonderland. Thanks, Shannon!
One of my favorite autumn activities for small children is the creation of a Seed Collection. Fall is a great time to explore and learn about nature, and seed collecting is the perfect way to combine fresh air, exercise, and a science lesson. Plus, it can be adapted to a wide range of ages; while toddlers will enjoy simply hunting for acorns and pinecones, preschoolers can hone their counting and sorting skills, and older children can undertake their own research projects by looking up and reading about different types of autumn seeds and plants.
What you need:
- A quart or gallon size Ziploc bag, to hold your seeds on your hunt
- An egg carton (to house your collection)
- Markers, crayons, paint glue, glitter, stickers (optional; for decorating the egg carton, if desired)
To start your own seed collection with your child, go on a seed-hunt walk in your neighborhood, a park, or any nearby outdoor space with trees, plants, and grass. Along the way, talk with your child about what seeds you might find—acorns, pinecones (seeds inside), seed pods from leafy trees, puffy white dandelion heads, milkweed fluff—and what grows from them.
When you do spy a seed of any kind, place it gently in your Ziploc bag to take home. Don’t worry about how many seeds you find on your first hunt; the great thing about a collection is that you can add to it over time. As the autumn goes on, you and your child can make a point to watch for other types of seeds to enlarge your collection.
When you get home with your collected seeds, transfer them to the cups of an empty egg carton, one seed per cup. (If your child is an arts-and-crafts lover, he or she may like to color and decorate the egg carton before filling it with seeds.) This is a fun project to leave out and accessible on a windowsill or kitchen counter, to encourage curiosity and learning about science and nature.
Have fun on your own seed hunt! Let me know how it goes!
This guest post is from Shannon Hyland-Tassava, a writer and stay-at-home mom of two young daughters. Shannon blogs about motherhood and family life at Mama in Wonderland. Her book on self-care for moms will be released this fall by Booktrope.
For more toddler activities click here: Tuesday Toddler Activities.