Now Featuring: Make a Candy Corn Wreath

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Christi at Frugal Novice made the cutest Candy Corn Wreath with her two little boys.  She found this project  from Women’s Day.  This is an excellent craft project for a family or for a class. If this is done with a class, two or three students could come up at a time and glue on their candy corn. Be sure and have extra candy corn for nibbling!

(By the way, Christi just happens to be our daughter, and the two little boys just happen to be our adorable grandsons!)

Teaching Kids About Fall / Autumn

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The words “fall” (the fall of the leaf) and “autumn” became common words around the 16th century to name the season that comes after summer.  Before that, people referred to the season as “harvest.”  But with fewer people farming and more people moving into town, autumn and fall became the popular names for the season.

Whether you call the season “fall” or “autumn,” the coolness and crispness of the air after hot summertime is refreshing.  Here are some activities, books, and DVD’s to help in teaching children about this season.


  • Have children collect pretty fall leaves (real ones).  Make a huge tree trunk with limbs out of pieces of brown construction paper or poster board and secure to a bulletin board or to the wall.  Attach the fall leaves onto the tree and around the base of the tree.
  • Have children cut out shapes of leaves in different colors of construction paper (green, red, orange, yellow, and brown).  Make a large tree trunk with limbs out of brown construction paper or poster board.  Use the leaves in various ways, as a reward for good behavior, for completing a goal or assignment, etc.  Let the child write their name on the leaf and attach it to the tree each time they accomplish something.
  • Have children collect acorns.  Glue on eyes, mouth, hair, etc., to make acorn people.
  • Leaf rub:  Collect fall leaves and place on white sheet of paper with the vein side up.  Place another sheet of white paper on top.  Peel paper off crayons to be used.  Rub the side of the crayon over the top sheet of paper to make a design.
  • Pressed leaves in wax paper mosaic:  Place fall leaves between two sheets of wax paper.  Place heavy book on top of wax paper to flatten the leaves.  Cut two pieces of brown paper out of a paper bag.  Place wax paper on top of brown paper, then a layer of leaves, then wax paper, and last another sheet of brown paper.  Have an adult iron on top of the brown paper with the iron set on the medium setting.  Make sure the wax paper has stuck to the leaves.  Cool.  Trim edges of wax paper if necessary.
  • Make a Candy Corn Wreath


  • Welcome Fall by Jill Ackerman.  Good for ages 1-4.  Tactile board book.
  • Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky.  Good for ages 3-5.  Watercolor paintings and simple text reveal the changing seasons.
  • Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell.  Good for ages 3-6.  Story about pumpkin and apple picking.
  • Blue’s Fall Day, Blue’s Clues Series by Lauryn Silverhardt.  Good for ages 3-6.  Blue picks apples and pumpkins.
  • Little Red’s Autumn Adventure by Sarah Ferguson.  Good for ages 3-6.  Little Red and her friends’ adventure on their way to the Great Harvest Festival.
  • Arthur Jumps Into Fall by Marc Brown.  Good for ages 4-6.  Arthur’s leaf raking job turns into a leaf party.
  • When Autumn Falls by Kelli Nidey.  Good for ages 4-6.  Making caramel apples, bobbing for apples, Jack-o-lanterns, and leaves are part of autumn.
  • Leaf Trouble by Jonathan Emmett.  Good for ages 3-7.  Little squirrels are scared when leaves start falling off their home and try to stick them back on until mama explains about autumn.
  • I Know It’s Autumn by Eileen Spinelli.  Good for ages 4-7.  Delightful book about autumn with rhyming text.
  • Fall by Nuria Roca.  Good for ages 3-8.  Beautiful illustrations.
  • Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.  Good for ages 4-8.  The travels of a man made of leaves.
  • Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger.  Good for ages 4-8.  Yellow Leaf is not ready to fall off the tree and float away.  Story is good for someone who is afraid to face the unknown.
  • The Fall Festival by Mercer Mayer.  Good for ages 4-8.   A fun adventure of picking apples, going on a hayride, and picking out the perfect pumpkin.
  • Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson.  Good for ages 5-8.  Anna and the town pick apples during the fall apple harvest.  Some  American history is given.
  • Autumn:  An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur.  Good for ages 5-8.  A brief poem for each letter of the alphabet with rich descriptions.
  • The Fairest of the Fall by Disney.  Good for ages 5-8.  Two stories about Ariel and Sleeping Beauty during the fall season.


  • Let’s Explore Autumn and Winter, Levels 1-3. DVD approx. 30 min. Produced by One Smart Cookie. Distributed by Library Video Co.
  • Tractor Ted in Autumn Time, Children’s DVD.  Good through age 6 or 7.  Experience life on a real farm.
  • Weather for Children:  All About Climate and Seasons by Schlessinger Media.  Good for grades K-4.

Teaching Kids About Spring


When I think of springtime, I think of pretty flowers blooming, lots of rain showers, rainbows, and all of the things associated with spring.  But I guess flowers are what I think of the most.   Pictured above are flowers that originally came from the parent plant in my grandmother’s garden.  Bulbs were passed on to my mother, then to me, then hopefully soon to our daughter.  When our two grandbabies get old enough, I plan to explain to them that these flowers came from the parent plant that was their great, great grandmother’s.  So with the coming of spring also comes a blooming remembrance for many families of their loved ones.  What a lovely tradition that appears every spring!


  • Flowers: Have each child plant flower seeds in potting soil in a plastic cup.  Have each child water their own plant.  Great to incorporate with science.
  • Flowers:  Art activity – use paper cupcake liners to use as the middle for construction paper  flowers.
  • Flowers:  Art activity- using different colors of construction paper, have children trace around their hands and cut out the hand shapes.  Curl the fingers forward to make “flower petals.”   Add a green paper stem and leaves.
  • Flowers: Art activity – cut colored gift tissue into long strips about 10-12 inches long and 3 inches wide.  Fold accordion style the length of the tissue.  Secure in the middle with a green pipe cleaner to make the stem.  Fluff out the tissue paper to make the flower.
  • Rainbow:  Art Activity – using the construction paper the colors of the rainbow, have children trace around their hands and cut out the hand shapes.  Using the hands, make a large rainbow on the wall by stapling the same colors together to make each color band of the rainbow.
  • Wall mural:  Art activity – have the class make a wall mural filled with different kinds of paper flowers that they have made.  Add the cut-out hands rainbow in the sky above the flowers.
  • Rainbow:  Make a 9 x 13 cake.  Top with light blue icing.  Using M&M’s, make a large rainbow on top of the cake.


  • Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer by Susan Hood.  Good for ages 2-5.  Charming story in rhyme about a caterpillar’s day.
  • Spring is Here!  Fisher-Price Little People Lift the Flap Series by Carol Monica.  Good for ages 2-6 and early ESL.  Concepts include “spring,” colors, action words, counting, shapes, etc.  Enforces vocabulary building.
  • Spring Peeps! (Peeps Series) by Cindy Eng.  Good for ages 2-5.  Has a yellow PEEPS candy chick as one of the characters – have the candy to eat after reading the book.
  • Splish, Splash, Spring by Jan Carr.  Good for ages 2-6.
  • Spring is Here, Corduroy! by Don Freeman.  Good for ages 3-6.
  • That’s What Happens When It’s Spring! by Elaine W. Good.  Great for ages 3-6.  Spring seen through the eyes of a rural child.
  • Oh, Yes!  Oh, Yes!  It’s Springtime!  (Little Einsteins Series) by Susan Ring.  Good for ages 4-6.
  • Mouse’s First Spring by Lauren Thompson.  Good for ages 4-6.
  • Spring is Here by Lois Benski.  Good for ages 4-6.  Has an old-fashioned charm to it.
  • Magic School Bus Makes a Rainbow:  A Book About Color (Magic School Bus Series) by Joanna Cole, George Arthur Bloom and Bruce Degen.  Good for ages 4-8.
  • Spring is Here, Grumpy Bunny! by Justine Korman.  Good for ages 4-8.  Reinforces the idea of early literacy by reading to babies from an early age.
  • Spring by Nuria Roca, Dimitry.  Good for ages 4-8.  Beautiful illustrations.  Fun crafts and projects are provided at the end of the book.
  • It’s Spring! by Linda Glaser.  Good for ages 5-8.  Includes suggestions for nature study projects.
  • Poppleton in Spring (Scholastic Reader) by Cynthia Rylant.  Good for ages 5-8.  Easy chapter book.  Humorous story, beautiful illustrations.
  • The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring by Lucille Clifton.  Good for ages 5-8.  About two city boys who discover spring.


  • Children’s Favorites:  Spring Into Fun.   Features Barney, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, and Kipper.
  • Spring for Strawberry Shortcake.  Good for grades PreK-1.
  • Rain Showers and Spring Flowers.  Good for grades PreK-2.
  • Nick Jr. Celebrates Spring.  Good for grades PreK-3.
  • Stanley: Spring Fever (Stanley DVD Series).  Good for grades PreK-3.  About all the animals that come out in spring.
  • Let’s Explore…Spring and Summer  (Let’s Explore DVD Series).  Good for ages PreK-5.  An activity guide is available online to with this.
  • Weather for Children:  All About Climate and Seasons by Schlessinger Media.  Good for grades K-4.