Once the rush of adjusting to new back-to-school schedules has slowed, it’s time to enjoy crisp fall air and activities with just a hint of pumpkin spice. Studies have shown being outside improves kids’ health and well being, and cooler temperatures mean frolicking in the yard or park is that much more pleasant for you and your children. When you’re looking for fall activities for kids, look no further than out your front door for hours of fun.
1. Nature Walk
Getting out and walking in the woods or even the neighborhood is a great way to get some exercise in for the whole family, all in the disguise of learning about your environment. Make a checklist before you head out, even if it’s just a mental one, for different types of bugs to look for, varieties of trees and leaves, bird species, and rocks of different shape and color. Bring along a tote to collect some of your findings, if you’re so inclined.
You can use leaves to make leaf rubbings when you get home by covering them with a blank sheet of paper and gently rubbing the paper with a crayon until the leaf pattern shows up. Be sure to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty so you can stomp in plenty of leaf piles along the way.
2. Pumpkin Painting
Carving pumpkins with small children can be more chore than fun, with lots of mess and sharp objects that don’t mix with little fingers. Instead, get out your craft paint, stickers, and stamps and have a pumpkin painting party on your front porch. Lay down old newspaper and wear painting clothes, then set everyone free to decorate to their hearts’ content. To us, this is the perfect fall activity for kids.
Mini pumpkins or pie pumpkins are a good size for small hands. Adults can get Pinterest-y with polka dots or chevron patterns, using painters or masking tape to help create clean lines. Kids will love having a pumpkin of their very own and proud when you display their perfectly imperfect creation alongside your own.
3. Feed the Birds
Another way to get craft with nature is to remember the sticky fingers of your childhood and make a bird feeder out of a pine cone, nut butter, and birdseed. Pick the largest, plumpest pinecone you can find, maybe from your nature walk, and tie a piece of string or yarn to the top.
Scoop some nut butter out on to a plate or wide-mouth bowl, and let your little one spread it over the prickly cone with a plastic knife or cheese spreader. Pour the birdseed onto another plate or bowl and help your child coat the sticky project with seeds by rolling the coated pinecone across the plate or sprinkling the birdseed onto the cone with your hands. Hang from a tree in view of a good window and watch the feast begin.
4. Fall Ball
Nothing says fall quite like a good game of ball in the yard. Gear up the whole family in tennis shoes and weather-appropriate active wear for a game of fundamentals. Make a soccer goal out of a laundry basket or designate bushes as the touchdown line for a football game. If your tiny tikes are already into team sports, let them show you their skills from their latest practices, or use the opportunity to divide the family into teams and practice good sportsmanship. Everybody wins if the game ends in hot chocolate.
Of all the fall activities for kids, this is the most quintessential. Whether you’re out searching for the Great Pumpkin, picking apples for homemade cider, or just taking in the scenic countryside, visiting a local you-pick farm is one of the most fun fall adventures you can have. Research nearby options online, since some locations can have an entrance fee, and you’ll want to find out which farms include fun extras like petting zoos, corn mazes, or seasonal food vendors.
There’s no limit to the amazingness you can have in autumn. What kind of fall activities for kids do you do?