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5 ways to celebrate fall in the ECE classroom

As the temperature falls and the leaves begin to change, children everywhere are ready to celebrate fall, one of the most exciting seasons of the year. Between crunchy leaves, perfect weather and the advent of the holiday season, what more could your students ask for?

Have fun with fall in your own classroom by trying out some of these five activities with your kids:  

1. Decorate the classroom
When your kids walk in the door, surprise them with a classroom transformed for the season. Decorate with small pumpkins and gourds, as well as autumn-themed colors like orange, brown and yellow. Paper chains are an inexpensive option that you can create at home in the evening while catching up on your favorite TV show.

While you can get the decorating started on your own, consider involving your students by making special art projects together to decorate the walls. Consider crafting pumpkins out of paper plates and orange paint, or using leaves from outside to make fun designs on colored construction paper. Using these decorative ideas, you can celebrate fall in both your classroom decor and your craft time.   

2. Create themed snacks
The kids in your classroom are already excited about snack time each day, but why not add a little extra splash of fun? Take advantage of the season by serving themed treats, whether it's fall-inspired snack mix or caramel apples. 

However, a themed snack doesn't need to be unhealthy. Consider using autumnal produce such as apples, squashes or pumpkins to create something that's both flavorful and full of nutrients. You might even think about introducing the kids to some of these foods by featuring a different piece of fall produce each week of October. 

Eating apples outdoors puts a fun fall twist on snack time.  Eating apples outdoors puts a fun fall twist on snack time.

3. Decorate gourds 
The produce of the season isn't good for just eating - it's fun to decorate too! Celebrate the harvest by decorating mini gourds or pumpkins with paint, glitter and other craft supplies. Just make sure to put down newspaper to protect your tables. This project is likely to get messy.  

4. Take a walk
There's no better time than fall to get outside of the classroom and enjoy the great outdoors with your students. Go on a walk and talk to the kids about the signs they see of the changing season. Point out the changing colors of the leaves and the cooling temperatures. You may even see some birds beginning to migrate south for the winter. Use your own area to teach your students about  how plants and animals prepare for the colder months of the year.  

5. Read together
Finally, keep some fall books on hand that you put out when October rolls around. Since school has probably been in session for a month or two at this point, it's the perfect time to introduce a few new books to your reading area. During story time, pick a few to read together as a celebration of autumn.  

For more tips on how to help your students both learn and have fun, consider enrolling in "Activities That Promote Social and Emotional Development in Preschoolers."