Fall Harvest Theme Preschool Activities
School is in…and so is the harvest! Weigh-in on these exciting activities to add some hands-on fun to your harvest theme. A thematic unit is provided to help extend your fall activities for preschool and kindergarten.
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Harvest activities provide lots of opportunity for exploring hands-on. Kids can touch bristly leaves and stalks, and cut open fresh tomatoes to see the seeds inside.
A visit to a local farm or farmer's market is a great way to introduce an understanding of food sources to early learners. Seeing first hand how produce is grown and harvested helps initiate a greater appreciation for the food we eat.
If a field trip is not an option in your area, try planting a few seeds or starter plants in deck pots. Plan your curriculum to include planting in spring or summer, observing the growth of the plants, and harvesting in late summer or early fall. Harvest activities can include picking veggies, washing veggies, and sampling veggies!
Planting and harvesting
Many vegetables such as green beans and tomatoes grow well in deck planters. Container gardens are easy to plant and care for.
Cherry tomatoes are ripening on a tomato plant. Look closely to pick out the red and green tomatoes. Kids can count the ripe tomatoes as they pick them.
Children’s names can be etched into a pumpkin or zucchini early in the season. The letters grow with the gourd!
Promote early math skills with counting and sorting, measuring and weighing.
- Observe the texture, color, size, and shape of a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Measure by length with a tape measure or ruler.
- Compare weights of different types of produce.
1. Wrap a few tomatoes in newspaper or brown paper. Place them in a convenient location where kids can easily unwrap and check them daily. Observe them until they ripen to a bright red, then wash and enjoy in a salad, or on their own at snack time.
2. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables and place on cotton towels to dry.
3. Engage all your senses as you shake, smell, peel, slice and taste produce.
Enjoy the fall harvest with a variety of hands-on activities. When possible, extend your harvest theme with a visit to a local farm or garden. Kids will love the experience of digging in the earth, picking vegetables, and munching on fresh produce.
Bring the harvest into your home or classroom with the help of this thematic unit.
Fall Harvest Thematic Unit
(using our ABC Method = Activity + Book + Craft)
A - Activities
1. Field trip
Pick fruit and vegetables grown at a local farm or in a container garden, or on display at a farmer's market.
2. Music and Movement
(tune: Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush)
This is the way we dig the rows (make digging motions as if with a garden hoe).
This is the way we plant the seeds (walk up and down the "rows" sprinkling seeds).
This is the way the rain will fall (wiggle fingers like raindrops falling from the sky).
This is the way the sun will shine (raise arms, join hands to make a big circle overhead).
This is the way the garden grows (crouch low, slowly rise up until standing on tiptoe with arms reaching up to the sky).
3. Small Group
- Chop foods to prepare homemade soup for snack or lunch. Can you spot the carrots and celery in the soup?
- Takeaway Game : Place several vegetables on a tray; remove one item ; can you guess which item is missing?
- Blindfold Game: Guess which fruit or vegetable you are holding, using your sense of smell and touch for clues.
B - Book
Cows are in the Corn by James Young
Up We Grow!: A Year in the Life of a Small Local Farm by Deborah Hodge
Sesame Street Down on the Farm
C - Craft
More harvest theme activities from kid-friendly bloggers
Harvesting in the Carrot Patch / Powerful Mothering
Harvest Sensory Bin / Little Bins for Little Hands
Harvest Theme for Preschool and Kindergarten / The Preschool Toolbox
Harvest Preschool Activities: A Social Studies Lesson / The Educators Spin On It