Do your children love collecting conkers, acorns and leaves? If so then they will love this autumn tuff spot which can be adapted for various ages and can include a simple math activity for preschool children. Again the math activity can be adapted for older children too. My children loved playing in our tuff spot filled with “autumn treasures” and the addition of a set of autumn number cards made it a fun learning activity too.
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Setting up an autumn tuff spot
One of the great things about this activity is that it’s two activities in one. The first activity is to go out on a nature walk to collect lots of autumn natural elements to add to your tuff spot or sensory bin. We collected a variety of different types and coloured leaves, acorns, conkers and pine cones. We even had some conkers that were still in their shells too.
Once back home I added the items to our tuff spot along with a few basic tools and a set of autumn number cards (which you can download by joining my mailing list at the end of this post).
Suggested items to include in your autumn tuff spot
A selection of leaves, conkers, acorns and pine cones
Toddler autumn sensory tuff spot
My toddler who is just two had lots of simple fun playing with the tray. She loved collecting acorns and conkers and putting them in the bowls. She had a go with the jumbo tweezers but she couldn’t quite get the hang of them. She also jumped right into the tray and crawled around in the leaves! We discussed the different colours and textures.
Autumn preschool math activity
For older children, there are lots of learning opportunities using the number cards. There are so many opportunities for counting and number recognition. You can adapt the activities to your child’s age and abilities.
We started by finding all the numbers hidden in the tuff spot.
Then my daughter put them into the right order from 1 – 20 (for younger children you could just do 1-5 or 1-10).
Next, we used conkers from the tray to count and match the correct number of conkers to the number on the cards.
How to make autumn number cards
Download and print out your set of autumn number cards. The set includes 20 numbered, hand-drawn autumn illustrations (5 different designs). I printed mine out, laminated them and then cut them out. You don’t need to laminate yours but I would recommend printing them on card if you decide not to laminate them. Laminating them makes them wipe clean and makes them a little sturdier and more durable.
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