Autumn is a fantastic time to go out on a nature walk and find a variety of interesting textures, shapes and colours. You don’t have to go far to discover what mother nature has to give; pavements become littered with dried gold and red leaves, parks are carpeted with horse chestnuts or sweet chestnuts and oak trees rain down acorns. Keep an eye out for;
Horse-chestnuts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
- Sweet chestnuts
- Crunchy leaves
- Pine cones
For this activity you will need to go outside, collect a range of natural items from around where you live and then bring them home and arrange in bowls, tubs, baskets or anything you can find.
Now its up to you to decide what sort of activities you would like to do with the person you are caring for. You could work on a very sensory level and encourage touching, smelling and arranging the materials. What could be more satisfying than dipping your hand in a bowl of shiny conkers! Perhaps you would like to draw around, take a rubbing of or paint your favourite item. Examine the feeling of different items in your hand, what is the heaviest, softest or most colourful?
When we did this activity with a class of students at a special school we found that everyone reacted to the materials in a different way, some liked to order things in size, or colour, some liked the action and sound of poking holes in a pumpkin and some liked the sensation of rubbing the items on their face. Explore and see what works best for the person you are caring for.
If you are caring for an older person perhaps you could arrange compositions of items and take a series of photos, why not make a hole in a conker ,thread some string through and reminisce about conker bouts.