Nature Play and Learning.

Fall has come to our small corner of the world.  I have to admit that it is my favorite season.  I especially love how easy it is to immerse ourselves into nature at this time of year.  There are so many things for the children to explore and notice.

We spend alot of time outside at our daycare center.  We believe on a philosophical level that children benefit physically, emotionally and cognitively from spending time in free play outside.

Every now and then we have "one of those mornings".  If you work in childcare you know what I mean.  Certain dynamics can all converge to create a wee bit of craziness. 

???Toddlers... Tiredness...Tuesday...Sickness...Toddlers???

Today was one of those days.  So I packed three littles into our amazing triple stroller, added in just the right little walker to complete my 4:1 ratio and took off for a soothing, calming, grounding, refreshing walk around our gorgeous University campus.

We found so many treasures! 

We found big leaves and little leaves, and all shapes and colors.

I gave the stroller riders pinecones and leaves to hold.  

*We compared

*We measured

*We used terms like large, medium and small.  Like big and tiny.

We were doing Math!!  The toddlers were learning Math....through their play and exploration!  

We laminated our leaves to preserve them and they look awesome on the light table.   One of my co-workers suggested putting pinecones, chestnuts and leaves into a basket or bin for the toddlers to enjoy a seasonal sensory experience.

I think tomorrow we will do some painting inspired by all the gorgeous leaves we saved.


  1. What a great way to turn a hectic morning into something fun! I recently did a 10 hour course for my professional development on outdoor play for daycares and it was full of so many inspiring ideas. I'm not working at the moment, but it's been fun to do a lot of these activities with my son (2years) and daughter (5months). He's been so interested in leaves and we usually cross a bridge in our daily walk, so we've started a game of throwing our leaves in the creek and watching them float down. I love to see little ones discover nature!

    1. thanks for your lovely, friendly comment! I stopped by on your blog and it looks like you live in a gorgeous corner of the world. Your beautiful children are fortunate indeed!