All children learn about the world around them through their senses.
For many the most exciting play opportunities rely not just on one or two of these sense, but all of them together.
With a riot of colour in the trees, the sensation of leaves crunching under foot, and the swish of the wind blowing through branches, a simple walk in the forest can provide your children with a sensory feast.
For activities you can enjoy at home, be inspired by this list of Autumn inspired sensory-provoking play ideas.
1. Autumn Gloop For the base of your gloop mix two parts cornflour with one part water. You should end up with a thicky, white, gloopy mixture that pours like a liquid but is stiff and sturdy like a solid. Add in natural Autumn gifts such as leaves, berries, acorns and conkers. Younger children can have fun pushing the items around in the gloop. Older children can use a pair of jumbo tweezers to rescue the objects, which is great for fine motor skills practice.
2. Leaf printing painting Make a beautiful collage by applying paint to a leaf, then printing the pattern onto a piece of paper.
3. Leaf Paper Mache When they get wet, leaves naturally stick to flat surfaces. Use a collection of brightly coloured leaves to create a pattern on the slide by pasting the leafs on using just water. On a sunny day, the leaves will dry quickly and you might be able to lift them as a complete sheet if you are lucky. For added tackiness you could mix in a little mud with the water.
4. Autumn Fruits Exploration For this activity you will need a plum, an apple and a blackberry, all Autumnal fruits. For each fruit encourage your child to explore the texture and smell, notice the sound when it's cut and bitten into and the taste of the flesh. Older children can write down words to describe each fruit within a diagram of the fruit. For younger children you will need to scribe for them. Look at the collection of words and ask your child to notice the ways in which each fruit is similar and different to the others.
5. Autumn Soup Fill an old paddling pool or water play table with water, mud, acorns, conkers, leaves and all the other lovely debris nature throws around this month. Add in some spoons, jugs and pots and your child can have an hour of fun making mud pies, autumn soup and leaf cakes. You can also make mud muffins using silicon cake cases. Fill them with wet mud, decorate with leaves, twigs and berries, then leave to back in the sun. Once the mud has dried out you will be able to peel off the silicon case.
For more outdoor play ideas, take a look at the rest of the Wicken Toys blog posts.