As I’ve spoken about before, we loosely follow the brilliant Exploring Nature With Children curriculum, dipping into it most weeks. I find that it gives me something to think about in terms of what we might be looking for on our nature walks and books to pull out to support this. This week focuses on the Harvest Moon, so I’ve brought out some books to spark some conversations.
The Harvest Moon
The time of the harvest has been celebrated for hundreds of years, and the harvest festival is traditionally held on the Sunday near or of the Harvest Moon – this is the full moon that occurs closest to the Autumn Equinox (next week’s theme!) which falls this year on Sunday 23 September. It’s a time to be feast and be grateful for our food, traditionally giving gifts to those less fortunate.
As well as reading books about both the harvest festival and the moon – see below for our books – we are planning a nature walk in the dark, something Frida is very much looking forward to. The Harvest Moon often appears larger, brighter and a warmer colour than other moons thanks to the seasonal tilt of the earth, so I’m hoping for a clear night. Frida’s bedtime has shifted to around 19:30/45 at the moment, following her natural rhythm, so she will have to stay up later than usual to see the full effect, but I’m sure she won’t mind!
If Frida likes the idea – I have a feeling she will – we might use Oreos to create the phases of the moon to match to these cards (I also love these solar system ones). I’ll let you know how we get on!
Books for this week
Harvest and the Harvest Moon: Hello, Harvest Moon (this is such a gorgeous book!) and We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season (a great look at how harvest has been celebrated through time and across cultures).
The moon and space (most of these are a little bit too old for Frida – I think space in general can be such an intangible topic for young children – but we will dip into them and read the parts that feel relevant and interesting to her!): The Story of Space (a great whizz through all the aspects of space and our solar system), Moon (a sweetly illustrated, simple poetic book for young children), Moon Book, Look Inside: Space (Frida really enjoys this series), Our Solar System (a great “first book” on the solar system), The Moon (My First Discoveries) (I really like this – if I had to pick one moon book it would be this one) and Sun, Moon and Stars.
Night-time animals: The Little Book of Night-time Animal Sounds (this series is so good), The Owl And Other Night-Flying Creatures (My First Discoveries) (ditto!) and Night Animals (another great series, simple enough for young children but rich in information).
We will also be reading various poems about the moon in general, and the Harvest Moon specifically!
Will you be looking out for the Harvest Moon next weekend?