Why Fall is the BEST time for exploring seeds with Children- The air is crisp and the leaves are dropping off the trees like crazy. Its safe to say that Fall is in full swing, yay!
Fall is a wonderful season for partaking in many different family outings and activities. From pumpkin patches to apple orchards, and brilliantly colouful hikes- there are countless opportunities for learning about nature with your children during this time of year.
In our house, seeds make a huge appearance in early Spring as we start our garden veggies indoors. And by huge I mean temporarily-relocating-our-dining-room-set-to-the-living-room huge, to give the indoor greenhouse access to prime window space.
So although our daughter Amelia is just under 3 years old, she’s fairly familiar with seeds and their importance in our lives.
Planting seeds, sowing seedlings into the garden and nurturing them as they grow into plants has been a fun experience for our family. And although Spring is a great time for your children to learn about seeds, Fall offers an entirely different (but equally important) aspect of seed exploration.
In Fall, many plants make and disperse their seeds so that new plants can grow the following year.
Seeds are the theme of the first week in the Exploring Nature with Children nature study, which we are following along with our children. My youngest is 9 months old, but you are never too young (or old for that matter) to learn about the natural world and all it encompasses.
Exploring seeds this past week with my little ones has been fun and educational. We learned so much about the seeds in our own backyard and would like to share our experience.
Why Fall is the BEST time for exploring seeds with Children
The season of heat and humidity has ended and we are welcoming a much appreciated break from the mosquitoes. Fall is the perfect time to go out on a nature walk to discover the different types of seeds that are present in your neighbourhood.
From acorns to maple keys, it isn’t difficult to find a variety of seeds right now. We went on a few nature walks and collected as many different seeds as we could find. Amelia loved running through the forest with her collection bag, adding to it as we went along.
By the time we made it back home, we had an impressive collection of nuts, berries, apples, cones, milkweed, and all kinds of seeds from wildflowers.
Here’s an obvious one, but something that literally cannot be overlooked! The colours that have painted the landscape in the way of deciduous leaves are incredible, and something that should be experienced by all.
While out on our nature walks collecting seeds, the Fall colours were all around and served as a great way to incorporate colour identification with our toddler.
Seeds are all around us. It doesn’t matter if you live in a rural setting or in a large City, seeds are everywhere during the Fall season. Squirrels carrying nuts outside your window, dandelion fluff floating on the Autumn breeze.
Discovering seeds with your little ones is easy to do and can be done anywhere!
Another interesting point is that seeds found in your backyard are likely different than the types found in your neighbour’s yard. We primarily have deciduous trees on our property, but while walking down our road we found many different conifer cones.
All Shapes and Sizes
After collecting an array of seeds from our neighbourhood, we laid them out on a table and examined what we found. There were many different shapes, sizes and textures!
Amelia helped sort the seeds into similar groupings and then we used cardstock and glue to display the treasures we found. We then got a little fancy and made a “seed bird”. I drew the outline of the bird and Amelia helped to fill it in with the different seeds.
It’s Harvest Time!
With Fall comes the season of harvest! We’ll be exploring the Harvest Moon in an upcoming post but have started to enjoy Fall harvest foods already.
We used a freshly picked apple to make a fan favourite around here- apple donuts! It’s just a sliced, cored apple with some sort of topping. We went for classic cinnamon this time, but sometimes we level-up with peanut butter frosting and hemp heart “sprinkles”.
After coring the apple, we worked on fine motor skills by removing the apple seeds from the core using tweezers and counting how many seeds there were. (7 by the way).
The Season of Snuggling
If you ask me, Fall is the coziest of the seasons and a great time to snuggle up with a good book. Each week as I plan for the upcoming week’s theme, I set aside books from our own collection that correspond with the theme. A few books we read this week are
Dispersal is Happening
Seeds are dispersed in 4 different ways: By the plant itself, by animals, by water and by the wind. Many of these dispersal methods are occurring in the Fall. We noted different methods of seed dispersal happening in our yard.
- We watched a squirrel bury a nut
- Pulled a few burrs off our pant legs and identified the plant responsible
- Blew the fluff off a couple dandelions and cat tails
- Noticed the tomato plant growing in the compost pile…
Hearty Meals and Tasty Treats
Fall is probably one of the best food seasons (hello, pumpkin spice). With squash and apples in an abundance, there are lots of opportunities to explore seeds in the foods we enjoy in Fall.
We love to cook and bake, and Amelia loves to help with our creations. We harvested our squash this week and made a bomb curry butternut squash soup. Amelia helped to scoop the “guts” out of the squash and prepare the seeds to save for planting next year.
As a treat, we made chocolate chia seed pudding. This recipe is so easy that my almost 3 year old was able to make it with little assistance. (The hardest part is waiting for it to be ready to eat!)
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
- 4 tbs chia seeds
- 1 cup milk of your choice (we used homemade coconut milk)
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbs cacao powder
- Combine all ingredients into a jar and shake!
- Let sit for 2 minutes, then mix or shake again until chia seeds are clump-free
- Cover the jar and place in the fridge overnight (or at least a few hours)
- Top with your favourite toppings if desired and enjoy!
So, there you have it. You now know why Fall is the BEST time for exploring seeds with children! Its been fun learning about seeds with my little ones this week and I’m happy to be able to share our experiences with you. Be sure to check out my first blog post if you haven’t already How to Make Exploring Nature with Little Ones Fun!
Amelia’s quite interested in the world of seeds, so she seemed to really enjoy the activities we did over the week.
We’ll find out in a couple weeks if her interest remains after she helps us plant 300 garlic cloves for next year’s harvest!
What is your family’s favourite way of discovering seeds in the Fall season?