The autumn equinox is just a few days away, and I’m starting to prepare for the shift to a new season. I have a list of fall crafts to do with our toddlers, several new recipes to try and a plan to visit a local farm for its fall festival. With the coming of each new season, my goal is to honor the transformation and energetic shifts happening in nature and acknowledge what each season brings. I love apple picking and pumpkin spice as much as — okay probably more than — the average person, but we can look to Mother Nature for valuable lessons in slowing down, reaping what we sow, nurturing the land and following the natural rhythms around us.
In our family, we are constantly looking for ways to get back to nature, to reconnect with the land, to show our children where food comes from and to encourage them to feel the changing seasons with their bodies.
Below, you’ll find a few ideas for a fall-themed morning basket for toddlers. You can read more about how we use morning baskets here.
The changing seasons are such a sensory experience, and I hope you get to treasure them all!
Fall sensory bins. Busy Toddler introduced me to sensory bins, and I’m so glad I discovered them. With a little practice, they can be perfect for independent play, and I particularly love the seasonally themed options. You can make your own at home by collecting things like leaves, acorns and pinecones or check online retailers like Etsy for creative, ready made kits. This pumpkin sensory kit is fairly basic and looks like it would be good for a younger child who is new to sensory bins. It’s also a great price! This pumpkin patch-themed bin is intricate and more appropriate for an older child.
Fall playdough stamps. How sweet are these woodland creature playdough stamps? They’re handmade with love and so beautifully detailed. My two year old will love them.
Fall stickers. My oldest daughter turned two a few months ago and has been on a major sticker kick ever since. These leaf and mushroom stickers would be perfect for decorating pumpkins or making fall tree crafts. This set of whimsical autumn stickers is so cozy and unique….also perfect for a young baker!
Fall flashcards. I hesitate to use the term “flashcard” because it sounds so…studious. And institutional. But actually, we have a set of touch and feel cards, and my two year old and one year old both adore them. I love this fresh take on flashcards: autumn themed movement cards. They say “stretch like a scarecrow,” “drop like an acorn,” “sway like a tree,” and other movement-related phrases. The designs are beautiful, and the set is only $3! (You print at home.)
Fall books. Of all of the fall books that we own, my favorite by far is I Am Thankful by Sonali Fry. The book is written in rhyme, and each page offers a different set of (seasonal) things to be thankful for, like “crunchy leaves,” “bees that buzz,” “apples we pick,” “grandma’s pies,” etc. The illustrations are so sweet, and the book ends with the question, “What are YOU thankful for?” (There’s no reference to the Thanksgiving holiday for those of you who don’t celebrate it.)