Autumn colours are so beautiful and I was determined to have an activity hour to make the most of the rich seasonal colours on the farm. This was only a few weeks ago yet already the vibrant leaves are few and far between now December is here. We do still have the last of the Hydrangeas from summer turning rich shades of blue and purple and the fuchsias are still blooming, though suffering from the frost this week, in our mild hidden valley. For our activity hour colour by number became colour by nature with some numbers thrown in too. A great afternoon of learning made fun for our preschool children.
Nature Scavenger Hunt.
I find with preschool children that preparation is the key. Things need to be fast paced and easy to complete to keep their attention. I had an afternoon set up that I was sure would deliver. Thankfully the weather was on my side and we were able to do everything outside without the children feeling the autumn chill. After explaining what we would be doing, we set off with collecting trays in search of the colours of the rainbow in nature.
Autumn is so rich in colour it wasn’t hard to fill our trays and the children returned to the craft table eager to begin colour matching their finds to the rainbow chart. I had already placed little pieces of double sided sticky tape already on the card so they were all ready to peel and stick. The children were quite competent with their colours and delightful in their enthusiasm to complete the task.
By the time we finished, the one year olds were tired but the others were all keen to join in my colouring farm game. Each child choose a different coloured pen and take it in turns to roll two dice , add the numbers together, find the farm animal with that number and colour it in. This is in our early years educational section on the Coombe Mill website, as developed with twinkl UK, however, at just age two and three, I wasn’t sure they would manage it. The children really surprised me and colour by nature became colour by numbers.
Painting with Nature.
As they took the last few turns at rolling the dice I sensed their concentration waning and set up a table of paints. This was just what they needed. Once again colour by nature was in control as they painted the remaining scavenger hunt items and printed them onto paper. Energies were revived and concentration was back up to 100%. We had dinosaur steps with sound effects, raindrop splashes and all sorts of creative ideas flowing from the nature prints.
The children left armed with all their good work for the afternoon, but not before one last colour test: to see what colour would result when all the paints were mixed together. The result was, unsurprisingly for the grownups, a sludgy autumnal brown! I did feel sorry for the parent left with taking home the brown mixing plate as an extra souvenir from a fun afternoon.
If you have a preschooler age 2 to 5 I really recommend ‘colour by nature’ as a great afternoon of learning made fun.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.