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Leaf Raking Activities
If you’re raking the leaves and your toddler wants to help, let her! Fall activities with leaves are easy and fun. Just give your toddler a child-sized rake (or a child-sized shovel, if you don’t have a rake), and let her make a mess if she wants to. You can rake the leaves into one large pile and encourage her to jump in. Alternatively, rake them into several smaller piles first and let her jump from one pile to the other.
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Corn is so plentiful and delicious in the fall. If you have corn for dinner one night, save the cobs. Wash them well and let them dry overnight. Then show your toddler how to dip the cobs into paint and roll them across a piece of paper. You can also show him how to dip an end into paint to make circular shapes. Hang his work of art in a prominent location after it dries.
You can also make a leaf placemat with your child after you’ve gone leaf collecting. Just give him a large piece of tag board and help him smear glue all over it. Let him stick the leaves all over the paper in whichever order he prefers. When they dry, cover the paper well with contact paper. Voilà! Your toddler has a new placemat to use at the table, or to send a relative as a gift. You can also try some other fun fall crafts.
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Pumpkins are another favorite aspect of fall. If you’re using fresh pumpkin in a recipe, let your toddler have some fun with it first. Let her draw a “funny face" on the pumpkin; she might choose to draw an animal face instead. No matter what it looks like, encourage her to name it, and pretend that it is now one of the family. When the time comes to cut open the pumpkin (warn her about this beforehand to prevent meltdowns), let her scoop out the seeds inside. It’s a slimy job, but one that many toddlers enjoy!
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Other Leaf Activities
If you’ve gone leaf collecting with your toddler, try sorting leaves from only two – and possibly three, eventually – different trees. You’ll be surprised how even a younger toddler can often tell the difference between various types of leaves, and an older toddler will be even more successful. You can also encourage your toddler to hold several leaves in his hand and “dance like a tree," to classical music if possible. At the end of the song, you can throw down the leaves and pretend that it’s finally fall. Alternatively, try some other leaf crafts with your toddlers.
These toddler fall activities are some great ways to help your child tune in to the fall season. You can also try playing some fall games with your toddler. Follow your toddler’s lead when it comes to additional fall activities; you never know what she’ll come up with!