We’re in our Harry Potter era and as a result, my daughter is making more potions that ever! Here’s a really easy Autumn potion idea to try with your kids using natural resources.
Autumn in Vienna this year has been a bit of a strange one. For starters, we’re still dealing with 28c weather most days and we haven’t really felt much like getting into the spirit of Halloween. Flowers are still blooming in the garden in the absence of any cold weather to chase them away, and yet the conkers and pinecones are still abundant in the local parks. All of this has resulted in a rather pretty collection of natural resources to use!
Natural resources can be used for so many Autumn themed activities – including loose parts play – however my 7-year-old daughter will often gravitate towards potion making.
The great thing about this Autumn potion – or indeed any potion – is the fact you can make it more scientific as your child gets older. Keep reading this blog post to get some ideas on what to include!
Suggested Resources for an Autumn Potion
Here are just ideas for what you can use in an Autumn potion. Availability of the items below will depend on where you live.
In addition to natural resources you can also try using the following in your Autumn potion:
- bicarbonate of soda with vinegar – to make the potion fizz
- bath bombs
- Halloween sprinkles
- dried herbs or tea
- tuff spot tray / large tray to catch any spills
- old cooking pans and utensils
- fine motor tools / tongs
- baking trays/ cupcake trays
- plastic cauldron
- food dye
- Safety goggles – for any potions you make that have a chemical reaction. Always do your research before mixing ingredients together.
How to Set up the Autumn Potion Tray
If you want to make an Autumn potion with your child, it’s best done outside where your child can experiment without having to worry about the mess that they make.
Set up all of the resources and ingredients on a large tray in advance and present as an invitation to play for your child to explore. Then let them use this materials as they see fit – allowing them to see what happens, for example, when vinegar and bicarbonate of soda is added together – there is nothing quite like seeing this reaction through the eyes of a child for the first time!
If you’re worried about materials being wasted or used up too quickly, place them into spray bottles or jars. Remind your child that the only ingredients available are the ones on the tray – this often helps them to slow down!
Potion Play for the Middle Years
As your child gets older, play is still important and anything that encourages them to embrace STEM activities is a major win. Most weekends, my daughter can be found making potions – often with her best friend.
Whilst we often just use whatever we have in the house, you may also wish to start introducing scientific concepts.
This can sometimes be a tricky balance. You don’t want to turn everything into a school lesson, but at the same time, there’s so many opportunities to learn through play.
Here are some gentle ways to include STEM learning:
- Ask, ‘I wonder…’ questions. E.g. I wonder what will happen when we mix x and y together? or ‘I wonder why the potion fizzed when these ingredients were mixed?’
- Try not to just give your child the answer – even when you know it! Encourage research by looking up answers in a science book or on a kid friendly education site.
- Include accurate vocabulary such as solids, liquids and gasses.
At Home Autumn Art & Sensory Camp
If you wanted to find more fun Autumn themed activities after trying this easy Autumn potion, check out the At Home Autumn Art & Sensory Camp in my membership group. If you would like to access the content, you can check it out here.
Halloween Posts to read next
If you enjoyed this simple Autumn potion idea, have a look at our other Halloween themed post ideas.
Autumn Blog posts to read next:
You might also like some of our other Autumn posts. Most are suitable for both toddlers and preschoolers:
You can also search the keyword ‘Autumn’ in the blog search bar for the most up-to-date Autumn blog post listing.