The wind gathers, blowing the trees from the leaves in golden, ruby and bronze showers to the ground. The air moistens and mists gather. The golden warmth and light of the sun is subsiding. The world slips towards the cold promise of winter. The cover picture is from an old favourite from Floris books
In my part of the world, it has been a particularly long Summer and autumn leaves are just beginning to fall despite the gnawing cold to remind me that winter is yet upon us too. I love autumn, a time to celebrate the festivals of light when families can create their own light festivals and enjoy a lantern walk in the night. It is the last hurrah before winter sets in and all hibernate ‘til spring. It is a time of gathering the harvest; when the fruits of human labour are gathered and transformed by human hands. A time to prepare the garden for winter, raking leaves, pruning trees, bonfires and the planting bulbs in ready for spring.
Star Secrets - Margret Meyerkort (Sing to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little, Star)
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are?
Art a gateway in the sky?
Art a little angel’s eye?
Shine your starry light to earth.
Bring a thousand stars to birth.
Stars in seed pods, apple, pear, Stars in flowers everywhere.
So you guide me near and far, Twinkle, twinkle, little star."
There are some great products at dragonflytoys that can help you bring Autumn to life for you and your family. One of my favourites is Beeswax! Beeswax is a warm and wonderful medium.
Stockmar Modelling Beeswax is very pliable and warming to the hands and has a delicious honey scent that seems to stimulate the tactile, visual and olfactory senses. Children love to listen to autumn stories whilst warming the wax in their hands. Then once the wax is warm they can model it into anything they wish, often by the story or what they have experienced within the season.
Stockmar Beeswax Crayons are also wonderful as they too smell of honey and have beautiful rich colours. As they are made from beeswax they are nontoxic. Block crayons are especially suited to younger children, as they are easier to hold and allow them to fill their page with colour. In autumn I tend to give my children the autumn colours or red, yellows, browns to explore with and discover the different shades of orange that can appear as the colours blend naturally on the page.
Below is a little verse you can say as your children draw. Try to encourage them to fill their page with colour so there is no white left.
Colourful Journeying - Betty Jones
"With my crayons I will go,
Journeying over the bright rainbow,
Red and yellow, green and blue, Orange and purple, that will do,
Now let’s see where they take me to."
Using watercolour paints is also a wonderful way for children to explore colour and reflect on autumn and all they are experiencing as the leaves fall and the temperature drops. I suggest using Stockmar Opaque watercolours. The colours are beautiful and the tin box they come in enable you to sit outdoors in the splendour of an Autumn day whilst painting.