Try leaf collecting with your toddler or seated infant.
If your child can walk independently, you can provide him or her with a small paper or cloth shopping bag with a handle in which to collect fallen leaves.
You can make your own collection of leaves, too, or, if you are working with more than one child, all the children collect bags of leaves. Then conduct circle time outdoors on the lawn where each child can share his or her collection.
Select at least two or three leaves for identification. Make them easy ones such as maple, birch, and oak. You'll be surprised at how well young children remember these names and their associated shapes! Encourage your child to go and hunt for more of the same.
For a seated infant, you can sit down with him or her outdoors and reach for leaves to examine and put in the bag. If your child is still at a mouth-exploration stage, you can also set this up indoors using fruit and vegetables that can be put into a pan for washing. You can also provide a small pan of water for your child to wash them in. Remember to discuss and name whatever your child is handling -- cucumber, apple, et al.
Adventures in Autism
11 years ago