invitation to play with acorns: outdoor fun for little ones

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invitation to play with acorns

The following guest post is written by the amazing Angela Thayer of Teaching Mama (not to be confused with this here ole teach mama blog, of course!). Angela is a twenty-something, Iowa lovin’ wife and mom to boys–a former teacher and now stay at home with her 2 year old and 3 year old.  Check her out!


I am so excited to share this activity with y’all! Fall is my favorite season, so naturally I love creating crafts and activities for my little ones during this time of the year. Something we frequently do is an Invitation to Play.

I simply set up materials for them to play with and don’t give them any specific directions. I let them play, explore, be imaginative, and watch their creativity blossom. It is a gift to sit back, and watch them learn.

  •  Invitation to Play with Acorns:

For this activity, we gathered a bunch of acorns on a walk and then I set up a table with a bowl of acorns, water cups, leaves, toy hammers, and various containers to play with.

My youngest, 26 months, wanted to discover what was inside of an acorn.

He tried with a hammer, but had better luck with using his fingers to peel back the shell.

 invitation to play with acorns


My oldest, almost 4, decided to make and acorn pie.

He poured them in a big bowl with water and leaves and stirred.

 invitation to play with acorns

Then he poured them into a pie dish, and they added water and more leaves to the top.

 invitation to play with acorns

While my oldest was putting the finishing touches on his pie, my youngest enjoyed scooping acorns out of water and putting them in an ice cube tray.  I love that he is working on fine motor skills.

The boys played with this activity for at least an hour.

Here is the final product!

invitation to play with acorns


This is a simple activity that is free and easy to do, but sparks so much imagination, curiosity, and creativity. That’s what I love about it!

I love this quote from Kay Redfield Jamison: Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.

I believe play is vital to a child’s education.   Play is as important to their physical and mental health as getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising.

This is why I share this activity with you today: to emphasize that simply letting kids play is so important. If you are looking for hands-on learning and play activities, please check out my ebook.


headshotAngela is married to the love of her life and is a mom to two little boys. She is a former teacher and a stay-at-home-mom. Angela is passionate about home education and loves bringing learning to life through engaging, hands-on activities. She blogs about toddler and preschool activities at Teaching Mama.


Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Angela,  for sharing!

Looking for more activities for ringing in Halloween (and sneaking in a little learning) with your littles?

Stop by and follow these great educational Pinterest boards:

Or check out any of teachmama’s Halloween posts!


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