Autumnal Bookshelf and Crafting
in Childhood Magic
This time of year for me is all about drawing in, reflecting on those long summer days and eagerly awaiting the oranges and browns to cover the forest floor. There's also something about these chilly mornings and darker evenings which inspires me to get my craft on, to pick up that knitting I haven't touched since April and, of course, bake all of the crumbles. Watching the seasons go by with a child by my side makes everything extra magical, cold mornings curled up with a pile of books, long woodland walks foraging for apples and blackberries, collecting conkers in the park and taking a moment to say goodnight to the moon before bedtime. Fully observing the world around us as seasons pass by is so important in order to retain our connection with the Earth and our place within it. Autumn might actually be my favourite season, I love the colours, the harvest feasts, the leaf collecting, the long chilly walks and all round general cosiness.
On days when it's just Roscoe and I at home we have a loose daily rhythm that guides us through the morning. We were very much a no routine kinda family when Roscoe was a baby but as he is growing I'm finding that having a vague rhythm that aligns with the seasons is actually really wholesome and nurturing. Our autumnal daily rhythm usually involves coffee whilst Roscoe plays, stirring porridge together, reading autumnal poems over breakfast and then sitting down with more coffee and another pile of books. Roscoe will often then pull his wellies over his pjs and run around the backyard whilst I do some chores/a little work. If we're not going anywhere we will then normally either bake together or do some seasonal crafting. Our autumnal crafts so far have ranged from leaf rubbing to making little pinecone people to building a stick house in the backyard. One of my favourite books for seasonal craft inspiration is undoubtedly the Earthwise book by Carol Petrash, we found ours second hand and I can see it being an invaluable resource as we continue our Waldorf-inspired homeschooling days.
Our Autumn Bookshelf
The books that make up our autumnal inspired bookshelf are not necessarily directly related to seasonal changes but also books we feel inspired to read at this time of year. I should also note that whilst I am the worst for reading blog after blog and noting down a booklist longer than my arm full of wonderful children's books, I am also a big advocate for libraries and shopping second hand. Most of the books below were either bought second hand or are on loan from the library. I recently discovered our local library system allows us to search any book through the app and order it to the mobile library bus that conveniently stops just outside our house. Mind. Blown.
On the Shelf from Left to Right
'I am the Seed that Grew the Tree: A nature poem for every day of the year' by Fiona Waters and Frann Preston-Gannon. A beautiful book we have read every morning for the past few months, it's a great way to introduce seasonal poetry, Roscoe now has a load of favourite poems he has to read every day. It's also the only book in this selection which I bought new, one we treasure every day though.
'Things I Like' by Shirley Hughes. This is actually a compilation of favourite Shirley Hughes works that goes through all the seasons and corresponding colours. Roscoe loves pointing out the pages which match seasonal weather and activities. Shirley Hughes' 'Autumn' and 'Out and About' are also great though.
'The Squirrels' Busy Year' by Martin Jenkins. A tale about two squirrels throughout the year, a great introduction to all the seasons with a beautiful circular story and illustrations.
'Mole's Harvest Moon' by Judi Abbot. One of our favourites that we've been reading at least two or three times a day recently what with the harvest moon appearing last weekend. It's a wonderful tale of foraging, forest walks, friendship and appreciating where our food comes from.
'Moon: night-time around the world' by Britta Teckentrup. Another beauty which passes through the night-time sky in different habitats around the world, whilst also showing the moon's changing shape throughout the lunar cycle. This book was a gift to us and I honestly cannot recommend it enough.
'Room on a Broom' by Julia Donaldson. One we have all heard of for sure yet still a good one. Especially with the approach of halloween.
'Old Bear and his Friends' by Jane Hissey. An old favourite from my childhood which features numerous stories set in autumn time. Think teddy bear teatimes with blackberry jam, baby bears lying in conker shells and crisp walks through crunchy leaves.
'Flower Fairies of the Autumn' by Cicely Mary Barker. Another classic not to be missed, full of nostalgia and whimsical beauty.
'Wuthering Heights' and 'Jane Eyre' by Jennifer Adams. Not particularly related to Autumn but I re-read these two classics every time Autumn comes round so it only felt right to put these two on the shelf too. The Wuthering Heights one is particularly enchanting, following the story of Cathy and Heathcliff through the seasons using Emily's original descriptions of the changing moorland landscape.
'The Story of the Root Children' by Sibylle von Olfers. This one is normally associated with Spring due to the waking children and their preparations to come up above ground. However it's also lovely to read it in Autumn time as the leaves start to fall, flowers disappear and the root children all go back underground to start their long winter's sleep.
'The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin' and 'The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes' by Beatrix Potter. All of Beatrix Potter's works are amazing to read to young children, such wonderfully elaborate and beautiful language. These two are a couple of our favourites though.
'Botanicum' by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis. Again, not exactly autumn related but the pictures are wonderful for identifying all those leaves we collect on our walks. It's also just a beautiful book to have around at all times for all ages really.
We also have a nature table which is decorated with things we find on our walks and are used as inspiration for our seasonal crafts.
We were away travellng for the entirety of Autumn last year so, as you can see, I am extra happy to welcome it this year.
Wishing you all the warm, cosy autumnal vibes.
Thanks for reading.