With summer coming to an end, many of us are anticipating the joys of autumn. Before long, we’ll trade in our swimsuits and sunscreen for closed-toed shoes ready to crunch through the colorful leaves as they fall to the ground. Our foods will change from summer salads to fall-themed delights like chili, taco soup, pumpkin bread, apple strudel, and more. And when it comes to our kids, they’re likely scrolling through online advertisements, dreaming about this year’s Halloween costume.

But there is more to autumn than just hearty foods and colorful leaves. Check out this list of 7 interesting facts about fall that you and your kids should know.

Interesting Fall Facts for Kids

1. We often call the season fall, though the official term is autumn.

Autumn typically commences on September 22 and ends on December 21. Though some people refer to the season before winter as autumn, many have adopted the term “fall” to represent leaves falling off deciduous trees during the season.

2. Halloween is a much-loved fall holiday.

Halloween is the much anticipated holiday that children look forward to as soon as the school year begins. But aside from the opportunity to dress up in their favorite costume and collect candy, there are some fun things to know about this ghoulish holiday. For instance, the traditional colors of Halloween are orange and black. And that’s not just because the colors look great in the dark. Instead, orange symbolizes the color of the autumn leaves and pumpkins. Black is the color of mystery and, of course, of darkness.

3. Autumn is when we get our turkey on!

Though children tend to love Halloween, Thanksgiving is a favored family holiday that also takes place each fall. And, it is easy to remember when Thanksgiving falls because it is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. In Canada, however, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October. So, this is a great time to talk to young children about countries and their different holidays. And, don’t forget to teach your children that Maryland is located in the United States, on the North American continent!

4. What makes leaves turn color?

One stand out feature of fall is when the leaves begin to change colour to vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds. But have you ever wondered what causes those leaves to change color? Leaves get their color from molecules that are called pigments. For example, the pigment that causes the green color that we see on most leaves comes from chlorophyll, which is critical for plants to make food using sunlight. The sun is abundant during the spring and summer, which means plenty of chlorophyll. But in the fall, when it starts to turn cold, plants stop making chlorophyll, and the remaining chlorophyll is broken down into smaller molecules. As a result, other pigments come out, and leaves turn yellow, orange, or red.

5. Which kind of trees have the most brilliant leaves?

Many trees flaunt brilliant leaves each fall. And if you are like many Americans, you love a scenic drive down a wooded road during the fall so that you can take in the breathtaking colors. And kids love the bright colors on the trees too. So, why not discover which trees will produce the most brilliant leaves and go on a scavenger hunt to find them this fall? Be on the lookout for Black Tupelo, Ginkgo, Shumard Oak, Red Rocket Crapemyrtle, Kentucky Coffeetree, Sugar Maple, Red Maple, and Sourwood.

6. Why does the weather get colder during autumn?

One of the exciting facts about fall that kids learn in school is how the angle of the sun’s rays on the Earth changes as the Earth rotates around the sun. And, with less direct sunlight on the top half of the planet, the days begin to get shorter, and the temperatures get colder.

7. Do squirrels really store up for winter?

As humans, we can go to the grocery store to purchase food whenever our shelves are empty. And in today’s modern world, we can even order food online and have it delivered to our homes in a matter of hours. For animals, on the other hand, things aren’t quite so convenient. So, when we see squirrels picking up acorns and other nuts, they aren’t necessarily picking them up to satisfy their hunger right then and there. ​​Instead, squirrels collect and store nuts throughout the fall to ensure they have enough food to last them through the winter. But the entire process of squirrels collecting and storing nuts has benefits to humans too. Often, these nuts will be buried and forgotten, or a stray nut or two will escape. These nuts can turn into trees later on, and we all get to benefit from that.

Have your child share an interesting fact about autumn at their next dental appointment.

The We Make Kids Smile dental team enjoys learning new things about the seasons. So, during your child’s next dental checkup or cleaning, please encourage them to share some fall facts with their dentist. And maybe we’ll have some interesting facts about fall in Waldorf, Maryland, to share with you and your child too.

By the way, if your child is overdue for a dental cleaning and visit, now is the time to call our office or fill out this form to get an appointment on the calendar.

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