Autumn is often a favourite time of year to be outdoors and experience the changing scenery. Our landscapes are awash with colour and we grab the chance to enjoy the last few warm afternoons of the year. If you're going out with your group, take a look at these ideas for what you can do once you’re outside.
Make a flower. Use all the beautiful falling leaves in their red and gold colours to make a flower. Use a stick with a bit of mud to hold the leaves in place and see what you can create.
Bird spotting. Autumn means birds are on the move; some leaving, some arriving. A lack of foliage in the trees means they're easier to see. Take your group on a walk around a woodland to see what they can find. Kids love using their hands as binoculars and its great to practice being quiet as you walk around. Spotter’s guides can be found from The Woodland Trust here.
Play conkers. Reverse the trend of conkers being left untouched on pavements and woodland floors. Introduce children to the lost art of threading conkers on strings and the forgotten pleasure of a twenty-sixer. You can read the full guide here.
Conduct an investigation. Find as many different colours as you can on the same type of leaf. Take them back into the classroom and research what's caused them to change from their traditional green colours.
Hawthorn ketchup. Take a stroll and collect some Hawthorn berries to fetch home and make into ketchup. Full instructions can be seen here.
Make a hedgehog house. Hedgehogs are looking for places to hibernate over winter. Find a quiet part of your grounds or garden and build walls and a roof using sticks, mud or stones and then cover it up with leaves so it’s well hidden. As long as it’s dry, hedgehogs will love it. You can even put in some grass or leaves to make it warm and cosy for them.
Bird feeders. Start feeding birds and continue to do it throughout winter. Mix up your own feeders with cooking fat, seeds and dried fruit. Roll the mixture into balls and place a piece of string down the middle to hang them up. A few hours in the fridge should harden them ready for hanging.
Good luck and have fun! Whatever activity you end up taking part in outside, if each member of your group takes just one memento back inside to the classroom you can use this to evoke memories and enthuse your children with their next task.