Simple and Fun Fall Activities for Preschoolers
Fall is here! Well, for some of you… I am in Atlanta and we are still getting up to 90s most days. So, I am willing the cooler weather to come by writing this post on fall activities for preschoolers.
I would love to share some of our favorite family traditions and activities that we enjoy in the fall. Hopefully they can become some of your favorites too!
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Leaf rubbings is one of my favorite fall activities for preschoolers and toddlers. I have done this since my oldest was two years old. It’s a fun activity that includes getting outside, observing nature and making a fun fall craft!
We start this activity by heading outside with a magnifying glass (because everything is more fun with a magnifying glass) and collecting some of the most beautiful leaves that we find.
Once we find enough leaves, we head inside and make a collage on contact paper. Make sure that you put the smooth sides of the leaves on the sticky part of the paper, so that the backs of the veins are facing up. This will be important for the tracing part of the activity.
Also, if the leaves are too crunchy, they might fall apart, so try to stick with the colorful, freshly fallen leaves.
Now, your leaves are secure and ready to be rubbed! Place a regular sheet of printing paper over the leaves. The contact paper really helps the leaves and the paper stay put. We all know that toddlers and preschoolers have a tough time keeping papers in place when they’re busy!
You might want to get more crafty and colorful by using construction paper. Don’t… I tried this once and quickly saw that it was a bad idea for a couple of reasons.
First, construction paper is thick, and unless your child is pressing their crayon down really hard, the leaf patterns will be really hard to see.
Second, when you try to peel the construction paper off of the contact paper, some of the paper gets left on the sticky part of the contact paper, which is fine, but really doesn’t look that pretty next to the leaves.
Okay, so now that you have your regular printing paper on top of the leaves, give your child crayons and have them color the paper. You will soon start to see the outlines and the veins of the leaves.
Once your kiddo is done coloring, gently peel the printer paper off the contact paper. Now, you have two keepsakes – the colored paper and the contact paper with the leaves on it.
Take the contact paper and stick it to the window at the kids’ eye level. This way they can keep observing the leaves throughout the season!
Another fun fall activity for preschoolers and toddlers is decorating pumpkins. The first thing that comes to mind is pumpkin carving, but that’s probably not a great idea for the littles…
So, here are some other options for you:
The most simple way to do this is to get a pumpkin and some toddler safe paint and let your kiddo go to town painting it. Make sure you lay down some sort of a covering for your table. Sometimes we use newspapers, but I prefer to use a cheap plastic tablecloth.
Also, if you prefer to not do a ton of laundry, either strip your kiddo down, or have them use a paint apron to protect their clothes.
If your kiddo is a little older, this would be a perfect opportunity to explore mixing paint colors to make new colors!
When my daughter was two, I was satisfied with her just painting the pumpkin however she wanted, but the following year, I wanted something a little prettier that I could use as part of our fall decorations (I know, I know, mom shame for not wanting to display my daughter’s muddled painted pumpkin…)
So, I took a large circle puncher and punched out a bunch of circles out of painter’s tape. I had my daughter help me put the circles all over the pumpkin. Make sure you press down the circle really well so that the paint doesn’t bleed through.
You could, of course, make different patterns with the painter’s tape. You don’t have to use circles, and you could use circles of different sizes. Get creative and have fun!
Then, I gave my daughter white paint and a paint brush and instructed her to cover up all the orange with white. You can sprinkle some glitter all over to add some extra pizzazz to the pumpkin, if you want.
Once the pumpkin is dry, take off the painter’s tape circles, and display your child’s work of art!
If you want your pumpkin to go outside, make sure you put some sealer over it. I made the mistake of skipping the sealer and had the paint run the first time it rained. What can I say? You live and you learn. And now you can learn from my mistakes!
Melted Crayon Pumpkin
So the melted crayon pumpkin is my ambition for this fall. If you want to be my guinea pig and try it out before me, I would love to hear how it goes.
Here is my plan for creating this pumpkin:
Buy a white pumpkin and have my kiddos help me pick out the crayon colors they want to use. Take the paper off the crayons and use a hot glue gun to attach them to the pumpkin. Place the crayons around the stem horizontally. Kind of like sunshine rays coming out of the pumpkin stem.
Set the blow dryer on the hottest setting and point it toward the crayons. Wait patiently for the crayons to melt and run down beautifully along the sides of the pumpkin!
Pumpkin Guts Play
I have a really good excuse for you to have an at-home pumpkin carving date with your significant other, or to plan a pumpkin carving party with your besties… you need pumpkin guts for your kids to play with!
Save all the pumpkin guts and seeds from the pumpkins you carve and let the kids play with it the next day. Encourage them to pull out as many pumpkin seeds as they can.
You can practice counting with the seeds, and once all the sensory and math fun is done, you can bake the seeds and eat them for a yummy and healthy snack!
If you are looking for more sensory play fun, I have some ideas for you here!
Another really fun fall activity for preschoolers is apple tasting. You can either do this after visiting an orchard and bringing home a variety of apples, or you can just go to the store and have the kids help you pick out some apples to sample.
Cut them up and have your kiddos taste the different kinds of apples. Use descriptive words as you talk about the apples: crunchy, sweet, sour, soft!
If you have any apples left over, you can melt some caramels, dip the apples in, and sprinkle them with whatever toppings you desire for some gourmet apple goodness!
Another great fall activity for preschoolers is going on nature walks! Of course, you can go on a nature walk in all seasons, but this is really my favorite time to explore the outdoors. The weather is starting to cool off and the trees start turning so many beautiful shades. There are many changes in nature that the kiddos will notice and point out. Plus, what kid doesn’t like to crunch leaves?!
If you are looking for some extra activities to do on your nature walk, I have some ideas for you to check out in this post.
Visit a Farm
Find a pumpkin patch nearby and go pick out some beautiful pumpkins to decorate. You can find some free pumpkin patches and just pay for the pumpkins you want to take home!
Many farms will offer hay rides, animal petting or feeding, and yummy snacks for a small cost. With little kiddos, you really don’t need much, and they probably can’t last super long anyway, so no need to spend tons of money on this outing.
You could also go to an apple orchard. The kiddos will have fun picking apples, and just like pumpkin patches, many orchards will offer a variety of kids activities.
Those of you living in the North Georgia area, here are some of our family favorite farms to visit in the fall:
The farm is beautiful and the admission is free. They have wagons that you can use to haul your pumpkins around which also make really cute photo props.
The hayride is only $3 and two year-olds and under are free. Depending on when you go, the cost includes a little cup of fish food that you can throw to some fish living in their pond.
The farm also sells some animal feed so that your little ones can feed and pet their farm animals. The animals are in their homes and you pet and feed them through the fence, but my kids always preferred that anyway.
Hillcrest Orchards is a really fun place to go with your whole family. They offer apple picking, delicious fall and carnival foods, and a TON of activities for kids of all ages.
If you go to Hillcrest Orchards during their “Apple Pickin’ Jubilee,” the cost is $14 per person. So, it is definitely on the pricier side, especially if you want to come home with some apples and buy some special treats while you’re there.
If you can, go on a weekday and save some money when the admission is $8 per person.
Now, although this is not the most budget friendly place to visit, it does include a LOT. You can easily spend the entire day there.
My kids loved the “riding” the real tractors set up on the property, they spent a lot of time in the petting zoo, and they just HAD to do the jumping pillow two times. We didn’t even come close to doing all the activities they had to offer.
Fall Activities for Preschoolers
I hope some of these fall activities for preschoolers have inspired you to go out and enjoy some of the beauty of the season with your kiddos. I’d also love to hear about some of your favorite fall family traditions and activities! Drop a comment below if you’d like to share!