Learning through Exploration – some Autumn Activities

“Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days and even a lifetime.”

(Moore and Wong)

Throughout the nursery the children are busy learning about the different aspects of autumn, engaged in activities planned by our experienced team.


Attachment between staff and children is a strong focus for our nursery and is underpinned by our values. To facilitate attachments between the new children due to start at nursery, the baby room team planned an autumn stay and play experience.

This allowed the babies to explore their new environment and begin to make relationships with the practitioners in the baby room, as well as providing the practitioners the opportunity to begin building parent partnerships. The babies enjoyed the sensory experience of manipulating natural resources such as pine cones, leaves, sticks and pumpkins.


This week the babies have wrapped up warm with hats and gloves ready to embrace the colder weather to collect a range of autumn leaves, sticks and pine cones to create an activity incorporating the children’s interests into the autumn theme. The children have enjoyed finding these objects and investigating the different textures and smells.

Continuing to support exploring the children’s senses we took part in a pumpkin activity, manipulating the pumpkins and filling and emptying the seeds of the pumpkins using different tools.


Our Toddler Room team has incorporated learning about autumn around mark making – the children have taken part in leaf collages, conker rolling and wellie printing.

The children have enjoyed sharing their experiences of autumn walks and the treasures they have collected along the way with their friends during group time; we have explored the different colours of the leaves as well as the feel of conkers and the prickly shells. The Toddlers have also enjoyed autumn walks along the salt line observing and investigating the world that surrounds them.

Pre-school has planned various activities focused around autumn to support all areas of the children’s learning. The children have learnt about ‘Understanding of the World’ through discussions about the different types of trees that leaves come from. We have also incorporated number recognition and counting into the week’s activities through counting conkers and matching them to a corresponding number.


The children have spent time during circle time learning a song all about ‘Hilly Billy Hedgehog’ which we can often hear being sung throughout the nursery. Pre-school have been getting creative making their very own hedgehogs using wooden sticks and material. Our staff supported the activity by providing a picture of a hedgehog as a visual prompt which encourages a lot of aspects of speaking, listening and questioning between the children.

All of the activities planned by our team across the nursery come from the children’s interests and from their experiences at home that we receive through our home links and from planned next steps from observations.

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