We are well into the fall season, and the shorter days and cooler temperatures are letting us know that winter is just around the corner. But, before this season gives way to snow and ice, let’s enjoy some of the beautiful colors and sights that fall offers! When I taught Kindergarten, I loved finding ways to enjoy the season and incorporate some of its beauty and wonder into our classroom activities. Here are some of my favorite fun fall activities that you can do with your preschooler.
#1 – Turkey Hat Craft
This activity is super simple to put together, and kids always love making fun hats to wear!
I love this activity because it allows for a lot of creative expression, it is child-led for the most part, and each hat will be unique.
Crafts like this give kids the freedom to put their own artistic spin on things, which is always wonderful for their creative development. Plus, they’ll have a fancy turkey hat to wear on Thanksgiving!
#2 – Fall Sensory Bins
Sensory bins are a wonderful way for children to play using all of their senses, and there are some great ideas for fall sensory bins.
Really, you can use whatever materials you have on hand or that your kids enjoy. Some ideas could include corn kernels, ears of harvest corn, pumpkin seeds, pinecones, beads, and fall leaves. The possibilities are endless!
Be sure to include various tools for children to use, such as tongs, spoons, cups, etc. and then just let them explore and have fun.
This activity incorporates one of my favorite things – getting outside! Head out for a nice fall walk, taking in the sights, smells, and sounds of nature.
While you’re out, collect some pretty fall leaves. All varieties of shapes and colors work well for this activity, as it is entirely open-ended.
When you return from your walk, simply spread out your leaves with some art supplies like googly eyes, glue, paint, and stickers, and let your child have fun creating fall leaf creatures.
Grab some fall supplies and let your child experiment with some early math and science concepts with this center activity.
Gather some gourds, pinecones, and ears of corn, then set up your science center with large magnifying glasses and some kid-friendly measurement scales. Your child can experiment with measuring how much an item weighs, what it looks like up close, and anything else they are curious about.
Using a balance scale, they could also see which item weighs more/less, or how many pine cones weigh the same as a small gourd. The possibilities for exploration are endless with this simple activity!
Reading is one of the favorite activities in our household, so we always have a big selection of seasonal books that I pull out whenever the seasons change.
Fall is no exception, with great stories about apples, pumpkins, leaves, and all things fall! This list is an excellent resource for some engaging, age-appropriate books for preschoolers.
Cozy up with a warm blanket and a good book, and enjoy spending some quality reading time together.
This craft is a beautiful one that can decorate your windows throughout the fall months. It’s so pretty when the sun shines through these suncatchers, and the great thing about this craft is that it is very simple to do.
Simply cut out some leaf shapes using wax paper, and use tissue paper to cover the shape completely. Your child can be creative as they like, making patterns of colored tissue paper, glueing on random colors in no particular order, whatever suits them!
Then simply cover with a layer of Mod Podge to seal it all, and display them in your sunniest window!
#7 – Play in the Leaves!
How could we have a post on fun fall activities for preschoolers without mentioning the sheer joy of playing in the leaves? I don’t know a child who doesn’t enjoy playing in the bountiful leaf piles that adorn most properties this time of year.
So, grab a rake, make some piles of leaves, and let your little one have some fun! You could hide toys or treasures in the piles for them to find, experiment with throwing the leaves up in the air and see where the wind takes them, or simply let your child jump in the piles again and again.
This is a fun activity that gets everyone outdoors having fun!
Most people are familiar with the good ol’ Egg & Spoon Race, and this activity follows similar rules, except using chestnuts or “conkers” instead.
If you are lucky enough to have chestnut trees growing near you (I’m envious because we don’t have any near us), then this link provides some fun ways that you can use these little conkers to experiment and play. Part of the fun is just collecting the chestnuts and getting them out of their shell, which is great motor practice for little fingers.
Then, following the same rules as an egg & spoon race, simply place a conker on a spoon and have a race to see who can get the farthest without their conker falling off.
Harvest corn is a beautiful symbol of fall, and I love how there are so many variations to the colors. This harvest corn mosaic captures the variety of colors, and allows for so much artistic freedom.
Using craft foam, you simply cut small square pieces of different colored craft foam to be the little kernels of corn. Trace and cut out the shape of a corn, using construction paper or more craft foam. Then, stick on the small square pieces of foam, covering the entire ear of corn.
Voila! You have a beautiful harvest corn craft to display.
#10 – Kid-Sized Scarecrows
This has to be one of the cutest (and thus one of my favorite) fall crafts ever, and I can’t wait to try it with my kids. What could be cuter than a little pint-sized, pajama-wearing scarecrow?
Grab an old onesie from your child’s pajama drawer (make sure it’s not a favorite one, or they’ll immediately be wanting it back). Let your child stuff the legs and arms with straw, and then create the head to go on top. There are a few ways you can make the head, either using a pumpkin or a clear bag full of leaves.
Then, display your adorable little scarecrows in the yard for everyone to enjoy!
Let’s get those gross motor skills working! This easy activity only requires some black streamers, tape, and a good imagination.
Tape various lengths of streamers across the walls that your child will have to crawl over or under to get around. A hallway works best for this activity, so that it is easy to tape the streamers right across from wall to wall. Place them at all different heights to make it challenging but fun.
Then, let your little one work their way through the obstacle course, bending and stretching, problem-solving, and having fun!
We can’t forget about gratitude and being thankful during this season. This is the season of harvest, where we recognize all of the things we have in our lives that we are thankful for.
This activity put those things on display in a beautiful tree craft. Using brown tissue paper or construction paper, make the silhouette of a tree up against a wall or window in your home – wherever you would like it displayed. Then, cut out construction paper leaves in various colors. On each leaf, write something that you are thankful for. If your child is able to, have them write some of the words themselves.
Glue all of the leaves on to the tree, and you will have a lovely thankfulness tree on display in your home – a great daily reminder of all that we have to be grateful for!
#13 – Handprint Fall Wreath
I am always on the lookout for crafts that capture how little and adorable my kids are at this age, so I love handprint crafts. I find I look back on these crafts, even from just a couple of years ago, and marvel at how much their little hands have grown.
This craft is super simple, using just construction paper and some paint. Cut out a circle to make the base of the wreath, and cut out the centre of that circle. Dip your child’s hand in paint, and make multiple prints on a piece of white paper. Once the handprints have dried, cut them out and glue them around the wreath.
Add a bow or ribbon as a finishing touch, and hand it up on display. Be sure to write the date on the back, so when you look at it years from now, you remember how old your kiddies were!
Any chance I get to work gardening, agriculture, and nature into my lessons, I grab it. Kids love to play in the dirt, and they love plants and flowers. So, we plant as often as we can, and this is a great way to experiment with seeds and their life cycle.
Using a small pumpkin, cut open the top and have a good discussion about what we observe on the inside of the pumpkin. Without removing anything out of the pumpkin, add in some soil to fill the pumpkin up to the top. Put it somewhere sunny, and water it regularly, then wait for the sprouts to start!
Once they get big enough, plant them in a garden. If you’re lucky, this will be an experiment that you can do each year, using one of the pumpkins that you grew yourselves!
#15 – Fall Graphing Game
Kids can learn early math concepts while still having fun, and this graphing game is a perfect example of that.
This link provides a free printable that you can use with your child, and then all you need are some mini pumpkin erasers or any other small pumpkin objects. You can even use colored buttons – anything works!
Your child will have fun using the manipulatives to graph on the printable, learning some counting and graphing skills in the process.
#16 – Pumpkin Hammering
Ever had a bad day where you just want to hit something? Well, I know I have, and I know my kids have. That’s not to say I want them going around hitting things, but sometimes it’s good to get out some energy and/or frustrations with some good gross motor activities.
Hammering pumpkins is just such an activity! It lets your child practice their fine motor skills as they aim the hammer to hit the nail, and it also lets them bang away on the pumpkin, which is just super fun on its own.
So grab a hammer and some nails and of course a pumpkin, and get hammering!
Do you have a jack-o-lantern sitting around starting to rot? This simple science experiment will put that pumpkin to good use before you throw it out.
All you need is the pumpkin and your garden hose, and your child can have endless fun experimenting with water flow, pressure, force, and distance.
These are great STEM skills that your child will use later in life, and what a great way to play around with them by experimenting and having fun at the same time.
#18 – Paper Bag Scarecrows
Another adorable scarecrow craft! These paper bag scarecrows are really easy to make, and your child can decorate them however they want.
Simply fill a paper bag full of ripped up newspaper to make the head of the scarecrow. Then, decorate with scraps of paper, googly eyes, ribbon, and anything else you want to add. Strips of yellow paper can be the hair, and you can add a colorful hat for some flair!
Make a scarecrow family to decorate your front porch steps, each one representing a family member.
This activity is very simple, but it is a great one for developing fine motor skills in children. You can really use any manipulative, but these little plastic pumpkins are super cute and fun for fall.
Using kid-friendly tweezers like that one shown in the photos, have your child pick up a mini pumpkin and place it into a bottle or container.
The act of using their pincer grip to close the tweezers to pick up the pumpkin is great for strengthening the muscles in their hands that they will later use for writing.
Well, we’ve gone through our list of fun fall activities, and now we’re left with some pumpkins that have seen better days. Not to worry! This last activity is an experiment that will use up those leftover rotting pumpkins.
Let’s observe and record what happens to the pumpkins as they start to rot. Place them in a spot where they won’t make a mess, and take daily recordings of what they look like.
This is a great starting point for discussions on decomposition, producers and decomposers, bugs, mold, etc.
Which Activity Will Your Preschooler Do First?
I hope you enjoyed this list of fun fall activities for your preschooler! Which activity do you think you will try first?
Feel free to share this list with others who may be looking for some fun ways to enjoy fall. And let us know if you try any of the activities and how they turned out!