With the end of Term 1 just around the corner for our southern hemisphere subscribers, the beginning of Autumn is in the air. We’re looking to make the most of this cooler and contemplative season, while some may be celebrating Easter, others may be preparing for Ramadan. As we turn to warm cups of tea and cosier clothes, we’re sharing with you some story and activity ideas, to keep little minds busy, get them excited about the wonders of nature and changing seasons, and make the most of the Term 1 break.

1. Stories to evoke the tree hugger in everyone

  • Morris the Mole: Written and illustrated by Nicki Greenberg and read by Dolly Diamond, Morris's adventures underground (and above) are hugely entertaining and full of joy. 

  • One Thousand Trees: Award-winning artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers takes readers on a journey of imagination and discovery. Read by tree-hugger extraordinaire (and wonderful actor) Trevor Jamieson, One Thousand Trees is a thought-provoking celebration of the natural world that examines our wonderful trees from every angle!

  • A House of Her Own: A gently humorous story written by Jenny Hughes that explores the clash between a quest for independence and the longing for security. Internationally acclaimed illustrator Jonathan Bentley has captured all that is wonderful about fathers and their little girls in every picture.

  • Isabella’s Garden: Told soothingly by Maddie Thiele, Isabella's Garden is sure to awaken curiosity in beginnings and endings in the natural world.

2. Activities to get active and go outdoors

Taking a walk in nature is said to have vast improvements on your emotional, physical and mental health, and has wide-ranging benefits for everyone. Make a walk in nature a fun activity for kids, by encouraging them to collect leaves and create beautiful artworks with them, using the Activity Time for The Red Tree for instructions.

After watching Stephen Michael King's Three, read by Lisa McCune, show children how they might take notice of the world around them by going on an Insect Hunt in the garden! They might discover creatures never seen before—just like Three did with his new friend, Fern. Head to the Three story page and click on the Activity tab to find the Activity Time instructions.

3. Short Film about change

Our story, Goodbye House, Hello House, is about embracing change and new beginnings. Storyteller Catherine McClements shares how reading and telling stories can build greater understandings of life's complexities and how to cope with change. ⁣

4. Discover hidden gems in your area 

There are so many places to explore in your local city, bursting with art, hidden gems and stories to be uncovered! The National Gallery of Victoria’s stunning Triennial exhibition is on now until 18 April, while Brisbane’s Ipswich Art Gallery’s ‘On The Move’ interactive exhibition for kids is all about transport and inventions, just to name a few. 

If you can’t access your local museum or gallery spaces, immerse yourself in one of our Short Films: Discover hidden gems at the National Library of Australia.

5. Make healthy food choices, even on holiday!

Autumn is a wonderful time for seasonal apples, amongst other harvests during this time of year. Following instructions from the Mr McGee Activity Time, encourage children to peel and enjoy apples, feeling the natural energies from healthy fruit and food choices.

Learn more about Alice Zaslavsky's digital toolkit Phenomenom! Designed to help kids make healthier choices (without using the word 'healthy'!), Phenomenom is a lot like Story Box Library in its aim to help teachers to think outside the box.

For more ideas on stories to share with loved ones and foster family connections, during any time of year, explore more books we’re sharing with loved ones.