Understanding the World

What to look for in Autumn; a guest blog by Grandpa Smith

Autumn is Grandpa’s favourite season so I’ve invited him to write this –

Daisy may be too young to understand the turning of the seasons but she’s not too young to savour the assault on the senses presented by the arrival of Autumn. It is the most sensory of the seasons providing stimulation colour and texture, sounds smells and tastes that herald the depart of summer and the promise of change.


I am of the ‘Ladybird’ generation, educated in part by those compact masterpieces that conveyed ‘grownup’ things in digestible collectible volumes. ‘The What To Look For’ series first published in 1960 deals with the seasons and the book on Autumn was, and still is, my favourite.

A copy of the book What to Look For In Autumn, a Ladybird Nature Book by E L Grant Watson and C F Tunnicliffe

It will be a while before Daisy and I share E. L. Grant Watson’s succinct descriptions of C. F. Tunnicliffe’s evocative illustrations, but she is ready to get her yellow wellies on and experience the crackle of dead leaves, the glory of the red and white fly agaric toadstool (don’t touch!), the tang of early apples freshly picked from the tress and the contrasting textures of the conker’s prickly skin and its polished nut.


The many shapes, colours sizes and textures of leaves at this time of year provide an endless resource for tactile learning as well as a natural soft play area (always check for hidden hazards!).

Where we live she will also hear the honking of the geese as the form their V-shaped fly past and smell sweet woodsmoke in the crepuscular light.



Much of Autumn’s bounty can be brought inside for further examination and display (yes, I am of the ‘nature table’ generation as well). Learning Resources’ Sensory Tubes are perfect for storing this kind of scavenging  Such collections of leaves and twigs, nuts and berries, moss and bark can be enhanced by extras from Yellow Door; take a look at their Coloured Leaves and Wooden Tree Set. Their Natural Sorting Traysalso provide an opportunity for a little simple classification and make great display items.

With or without extra resources Autumn is a gift of sensory learning for all children and a magical time of sharing for grandparents.

Grandpa Smith says

Put some potatoes on to bake before you go outside!


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