Autumn: Change is Everywhere

By Tracy Thomas

Autumn is officially here. 

As the days become shorter and temperatures begin to drop, many of us are filled with new emotions. We tend to feel more strongly in times of transition, transformation, and solitude. Hope can exist with loneliness. Excitement can exist with boredom. It’s important to remember that no matter what we feel in this moment in time, one thing we know for sure is that everything is always changing!

We get to be reminded of this as we experience all the wonders and changes of Autumn! We have found it very helpful to help our kids work through the big emotions of change as we embrace all of the changes around us. Nature is a wonderful backdrop because as kids understand why nature is always in transition, they can more easily navigate their own changing emotions.

Why do leaves change color?

Perhaps the most visual element of Fall is the changing color of the leaves and their eventual falling to the ground. This happens in response to colder temperatures and decreased daylight, which signals the leaves to stop producing green chlorophyll. As plants and trees lose their chlorophyll, the lack of green color allows for other colors to show up in the leaves, and they begin to cycle through reds, yellows, oranges and browns before eventually falling to the ground. 

What’s Happening in the Animal World?

Fall is a busy time in the animal world.  You may notice that the animals seem to be rushing around a bit more than usual.  This is because they are preparing for the winter, a time when food is scarce and temperatures are cold.  

Many animals will focus their efforts on eating as much food as possible during this time. You might even notice that some animals begin to fatten. This is because they are building up reserves for the winter. They may also be adding an extra layer of fur in order to help them survive the dropping temperatures.  

Many animals are preparing to hibernate, but those animals that don’t hibernate are likely also getting ready by stockpiling as much food as possible. They might hide things in underground lairs or in the hollowed out trunks of trees in order to return to these places when food becomes hard to find.  Other animals, and especially birds, are likely preparing for a big migration.  Many birds will travel to warmer climates during the winter and return when spring comes again.  Birds can travel great distances in order to survive harsh winters.

Come with us this Autumn as we take you through short activities that bring families together in nature, in the kitchen, and on meaningful literature journeys. Enriched at Home is a monthly subscription service for families with K-6 kids who want more after school!

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