• In your dramatic play area, let the children become pastry chefs
while pretending to bake autumn-flavored pies, such as apple,
pumpkin, and forest berry. Include playdough and a basket of
wooden toy rolling pins, plastic knives, craft sticks, and some
cookie cutters. Bring in aprons, pot holders, and recyclable alu-
minum pie plates. If you have it, introduce play food, such as
artificial fruit and imitation pie slices. The children will enjoy
rolling out the dough and creating a pie for you to sample. Tell
them they are superb pastry chefs.
You can use this center in your upcoming Autumn’s Apples
(page 38) and Perfect Pumpkins (page 46) themes too.
• Using autumn colors of tempera paint (red, yellow, orange, and
brown), allow the children to make leaf prints. Model how to
lightly paint the leaves, textured-side up, making sure to cover
every area of their stem, veins, and surface. Lift up the leaf and
press the painted leaf down onto white construction paper. By
putting a paper towel over the
top of the leaf and gently using a
circular motion with your finger-
tips, you will be able to include on
your print every vein of the leaf.
Show the children what happens
when you overlap two leaves and
two colors, such as red and yel-
low, to create orange. Let them
discover the blending of autumn
colors to create new colors.
• Create autumn binoculars. Staple
together two toilet paper tissue
holders and let the children paint
the homemade binoculars with
autumn colors. After they dry,
punch holes in the side and tie
them together with autumn-col-
ored string (such as red, orange,
or yellow). Tell the children you are going to go on an autumn
foliage walk and will be looking specifically for autumn colors
and autumn leaves. Use these binoculars for the nature hike
that opens this Fall Leaves theme (page 18).
Children will wear their autumn binoculars just like nature explorers
do. Trentyn and Brionna paint their binoculars red.
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