The other night, my husband and I had dinner alfresco at a bistro’s sidewalk table. As I snuggled into my sweater and watched the sun set, it was evident that warm summer evenings are mostly behind us.
During our meal, I couldn’t help but spy a cute bookshop a block down the street. After we paid, I convinced my husband to take a stroll and peruse. I left him in the business section and checked out the wonderfully curated children’s section where I found Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn. In this book by Kenard Pak, a little girl takes a walk in the woods and through town to greet nature as summer transitions to fall. The girls were thrilled when we came home from date night before bedtime AND with a new book.
In addition to evenings that require an additional layer, there are signs of impending fall in New England. Some of the deciduous trees have touches of color, and we’ve noticed that the sun is setting earlier. The harvest is in full swing with pumpkins and squashes showing up in the local offerings. Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn is helping us talk about these and other seasonal changes happening around us.
An Autumn Scavenger Hunt
Reading Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn inspired us to take our own nature walk to observe autumn’s impending arrival. I designed a simple scavenger hunt inspired by the book to guide our walk. I sketched fall harbingers from the book’s illustrations onto a sheet of paper, wrote a descriptive word beside each, and included a check box that the girls could mark. I duplicated it so each had their own. To make the activity manageable for little hands, I attached each sheet to a clipboard and brought a pencil. We also brought binoculars, a magnifying glass, and a gathering basket.
We had a lovely stroll, exploring our neighborhood and finding and collecting signs of late summer and early fall from Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn. Afterwards, the girls colored their scavenger hunt sheets with crayons. We read the book again last night at bedtime, the last official night of summer, and woke up saying “Hello, autumn!” like the little girl does on the last page of this book.
Plan Your Own Hello Autumn Nature Walk!
- Read Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn and discuss the changes in nature as summer transitions to fall.
- Make or find your own scavenger hunt activity sheet or download mine.
- Walk, complete your scavenger hunt activity, and savor the first few days of fall.
An excellent conversation starter and what a lovely idea to help children really take note of the changes going on around us. As adults we often take these changes for granted, or if you are like me, moan about Summer being over – and forget that our children may be noticing and properly experiencing these things for the first time. Thank you Aliie!
Awesome idea Allie! I can’t wait to try this with my toddler. Thanks for sharing your creative activities and recommended literature!