Autumn is my favourite time of year: The change in weather and the textures and colours of nature that reveal themselves are great when working with little ones. For those of you stuck for ideas, here’s just some of the things you can do with your baby during Autumn!
Create sensory baskets using leaves, pinecones, sticks and other bits of nature
This time of year is fantastic for the colours, textures and smells that nature provides – pots of sticks, leaves, and other objects from outside can enable your baby to explore different senses and build their sensory profiles, all supporting the growth of their brain.
Go for a walk
It sounds simple, but can provide such a vast sensory experience for your baby. The change in temperature, the sounds of nature and your environment (it could even be the hustle and bustle of town!), and the many sights for them to see helps them to build the connections in their brain.
What’s more, this works really well even for really small babies – they love contrast and at this time of year with the branches on the trees exposed can help to stimulate their visual senses, and the crunch of the leaves on the ground provide auditory stimulation.
Build on this more by holding them close while you walk – using a carrier or picking them up close for periods and talking to them about what you see can add further layers to their learning.
Find out about your local groups
We are very lucky in Herefordshire to have a large variety of groups for parents. Getting out and about to groups can not only provide support for your baby’s development, but also your wellbeing as a parent through the darker days.
My sessions focus on birth until 1 years, you can find out more about my classes here. Otherwise we have a variety of sessions run by lots of organisations for right up until your child starts school. Find out more about other local groups here.
Everyone loves a baby hand and footprint, and it’s the time of year where we can even start to use them as gifts! See above the reindeer and robins made at last year’s Christmas party. You can try these yourself at home, or check out the dates for the Christmas craft session this year in Post Natal Group in Ross-on-Wye where we will be making tiles for you to take home for just £3 a tile!
Sing with your baby
Singing to your baby can help to reassure them (remember your singing is familiar to them already!), support your bond, and strengthen their arousal and attention. It’s great for building language skills, and by emphasising certain sounds, your baby will begin to copy. It can also help build various concepts relating to the world around them, including counting and exploring the world through colours and experience. For some autumnal songs to enjoy with your baby, check them out here!
Play with bubbles
Such a simple, yet effective activity to do with your baby to support their development!
Bubbles can help with visual development because they are shiny, and can vary in movement, so supports their visual tracking. They also motivate them to reach out and grab them, building on their hand-eye coordination. They also teach older babies about states, and if they feel the liquid, the sticky and wet sensation helps to build their sensory profile.