Seasonal trays and autumn colour sorting

by Fellowship Agency October 10, 2017

Work in groups outdoors, each with a shallow tray, and challenge the children to suggest and then find items related to the season, encourage them to only collect items that have fallen to the ground or have been cut down by lawn movers. Encourage them to think about seasonal colours and textures too and add further seasonally inspired items to their trays once back indoors. Here are a few ideas for Autumn to get you started – brightly coloured leaves and leaves in shades of brown, autumn coloured natural objects, twigs, conkers, pine cones, beech masts, acorns, berries, hazelnuts, mini-pumpkins.

Be careful if you spot any fungi (mushrooms), most are harmless but some are poisonous and should not be touched. It is safest to just look at fungi and not pick them up, you could take a photograph or draw a picture of your finds, some of them are very colourful.

Autumn grouping and sorting

Using the contents of your seasonal trays (see activity description above) and new tray with a multi, 4 or 6-section tray insert, begin to group and sort your finds by colour. Use each section of the tray insert for a different Autumn colour. Take a picture to capture your work before mixing everything back together again into your seasonal tray. Start again, but this time grouping and sorting using different criteria, for example:

  • Texture (rough, smooth, sharp, fuzzy)
  • Floats or sinks (you’ll need a deep tray half filled with water to test out all your autumnal objects)
  • Type (leaf, seed, seed casing, twig, bark)
  • Rolls or doesn’t roll
  • Living or non-living

Health and Safety

As with all Gratnells Learning Rooms What’s In My Tray Activities, you should carry out your own risk assessment prior to undertaking any of the activities with children.