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It also contains links to previous posts to give you even more ideas…
It’s that time!! Fall is upon us, and here in South Texas we’ve finally had a couple days with highs below 80F! It’s actually jacket weather in the early mornings, and it’s going to be time very soon for this gardener to get back outside and clean up my flower beds that turned to weeds in the heat of the summer. Becca has been feeling the change in the air, too… and has been begging to get outside and explore again, which is awesome!
A few weeks back (in the heat of the summer when we spent a LOT of time in the cool of The DoSeum), I came across this book in their library and fell in love. (A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston) I ordered it for “such a time as this” and the other day we pulled it out to read before going on a seed hunt! Becca was so excited to see our Texas Mountain Laurel seeds on the front cover- since our property is simply covered in Mountain Laurels! I love that the author incorporates LOTS of different plant seeds, talks about how various seeds are transferred and planted naturally, and also shows timelines of how long various seeds take to sprout and produce fruit! The illustrations by Sylvia Long are gorgeous, and it’s definitely a page turner that Becca loved – she begged to read it again when we got back inside, and also used it as a reference guide on our walk when she had questions. (And I can’t wait to get more of Dianna’s books – she has several that I’ve added to our wishlist!)
So what did we do exactly? First, we read the book. Then, we grabbed a bucket and headed outside with Daisy. We looked everywhere for seeds. At first, she was just seeing Mountain Laurels and acorns on the ground. But then her eye started getting more keen and she started looking AROUND instead of just down. And then she started looking UP! She was amazed at all of the seeds everywhere! We collected seeds along our way through our nature trail (we live on an acre and a half of very wooded land), and then before we came inside, I showed her that Daisy had been collecting seeds for us, too! What a fabulous way to see how animals transfer seeds! She was in awe. (If you don’t have this availability on your property, take a trip to your local wooded park or along the bank of the closest stream, etc.)
So, we brought our seeds inside, and then sorted them by the seeds that were obviously just seeds, and by what looked to be seeds inside seed pods. We talked about how the pods don’t drop their seed until just the right time, and she explored opening a couple of the pods and discovered that they didn’t all have seeds! One had a spider web, and it appeared the spider had probably eaten the seeds early on. Another had shriveled, tiny seeds. And yet another had a whole, healthy seed. It was a great way to talk about how appearances on the outside aren’t everything – all of the seed pods looked the same on the outside. She was ready to move on to a different activity, so I didn’t dwell on the character lesson, but the seed did get planted, so to speak. 😉
There was also a door left open to do more research about seeds – she wasn’t sure if the flowers that had seeds in their centers were considered seed pods or not, and she wasn’t sure about a couple of the weeds that we collected – and wants to know how their seeds get transferred. So, there is plenty of room for more discussion and research, which we will do at the library next time.
There is also room to go back and review the sunflower life cycle unit that we did last fall – so glad I laminated everything! 🙂 (not an affiliate link, just giving credit where credit is due – it’s a great unit she has set up!)
What are you doing to get your kids outside as the weather begins to turn cooler? Here are some other fall ideas you might enjoy!
Apple picking at a local orchard (or even the grocery store if you don’t have an orchard close by)
Sorting by color and/or size (order largest to smallest)
Counting (put in groups to add, subtract, or even multiply or divide)
Also check out my apple theme box here
And my apple activity center here
Apple Picking Day by Candice Ransom
Apples by Gail Gibbons
Pumpkin selection at a pumpkin patch
Cut one open, sort and count seeds after estimating how many are inside
Making a jack-o-lantern, talk about what facial expressions say about our emotions
The Legend of Spookley The Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano
The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
Never can get enough books? Me neither! Check out more of our favorite Fall Reads here!