The cooling temperatures and changing landscape of fall are often a welcome shift from the summer heat. The atmosphere seems to permeate everything, with autumn spices in the air and the morning chill that makes it clear that summer is over. If you want to embrace the season and spend time with your children this fall, start looking at fall activities for kids. The good news is that the season is full of opportunities to engage with your kids and make memories. We’ve gathered a list of some of our favorite autumn activities to plan with your kids today.
Fall Activities for Kids Who Enjoy Crafts
Some kids eagerly reach for the crayons and the craft boxes when they want something to do. If this sounds like your children, these fall craft ideas can help you celebrate the season.
1. Tissue Paper Fall Leaves
Few things conjure those feelings of autumn quite like vibrant fall leaves. With many leaf crafts for kids to make, there are ways to involve children of all ages.
To create a tissue paper autumn tree, start with a paper towel roll. Give your child tissue paper in shades of reds, browns and yellows to represent fall leaves. Cut those pieces of tissue paper into smaller squares for your child to crumple up and glue to the paper towel roll. Bunch the paper all together in various colors around the top to create the tree’s crown, using a glue stick or kid-friendly glue to stick them in place.
Alternatively, you can create pressed tissue paper leaves. Cut out leaf shapes from heavy brown or black cardstock. Apply contact paper or coat the leaf in glue, then let your child stick various pieces of tissue paper to the leaf to create colorful collages in the colors of fall leaves. Trim any excess tissue paper around the edges to make the shape more defined.
2. Bird Feeder
Feeding birds is another of the most popular fall activities for kids. As the temperatures cool down, birds may struggle to find food on their own. Your child can help the bird population in your area by crafting a homemade bird feeder. You will need:
- Medium-length stick
- Empty toilet paper roll
- Peanut butter
- Bird seed
Put the bird seed into a shallow pan or on a baking sheet. Spread a thick layer of peanut butter around the entire toilet paper roll, then roll the toilet paper roll around in the bird seed so that you get as much seed as possible stuck in the peanut butter. Slide the toilet paper roll onto the stick, then tie the string on each end of the stick so you can hang it. The stick provides a perch for the birds to sit while they enjoy the seed.
3. Leaf Rubbings
Gather a variety of fall leaves from the yard, then bring them indoors. Place a leaf underneath a piece of paper and use a crayon to lightly color over the leaf. The pattern of the leaf will appear on the paper in the crayon. Kids can create collages of various leaves in a mixture of colors to express their creativity.
Fall Activities for Kids in the Yard
Many young children enjoy helping in the garden and digging in the dirt. Autumn doesn’t have to mean the end of fun adventures in the yard.
4. Plant Spring Bulbs
Many spring flower bulbs need to over-winter so that they sprout properly when the spring thaw hits. Fall is the ideal time for planting those bulbs. Get the kids involved and give them a chance to dig in the garden and get their hands dirty. Teach your young ones how to create the holes for the bulbs and how to cover them back over. As an added bonus, when the bulbs sprout next spring, you won’t have to worry about mowing that part of the yard!
5. Pumpkin Carving
Although some people consider pumpkin carving as an indoor activity, it might surprise you to see how much fun it is to do outdoors. Not only that, but carving pumpkins outdoors makes cleanup easier, too.
Let your kids get their hands into the mix by pulling the seeds out of the pumpkin. Many kids enjoy this sensory experience. Remember, don’t waste those seeds! Save some to season and roast, and dry out a handful to plant outside next year. If you grow your own pumpkins, you won’t have to buy one to carve next year.
6. Play in the Leaves
Playing in the leaves is a rite of passage for children in the fall. Rake up piles of leaves for your kids to jump into, toss around and just have fun in. Kids can stay entertained by piles of leaves for longer than you think. Choose a day when the wind is low, and then later you can use those leaves to mulch your garden and feed your lawn. Break them down and spread them evenly for the best benefit to your yard.
Fall Activities for Kids Who Love Outdoor Adventures
Some kids spend more time outside than in, and fall is a perfect opportunity to embrace outdoor activities that make the most of the season.
7. Pick Apples
Early fall is perfect apple-picking weather as the crops ripen and the orchards share their bounty for picking. Get your kids out there to pick apples where they can wander in the trees, climb up to reach that perfect apple and enjoy a healthy snack while they’re at it! Many apple orchards offer cider press tours and other outdoor events as well if you call ahead to find out their schedule. This is a great way to make memories and bring home some fresh fruit to turn into pies, applesauce or crisp.
Hayrides and fall just seem to go together. Many farms and orchards offer hayrides this time of year to enjoy the weather, the changing leaves and the autumn atmosphere. Sometimes they include a campfire or a harvest gathering afterward, which lets you make even more of the event. Look for a hayride with a farm petting zoo or similar activities to keep your kids engaged.
9. Corn Maze
No fall season is complete without a visit to a corn maze. You can use a maze as a teaching moment without your kids even realizing it. Reinforce decision-making skills, reasoning and directions as you navigate the corn maze with your children. Consider grabbing the map at the entrance just in case!
Fall Activities for Kids in the Kitchen
Fall baking and treats help round out the seasonal celebrations. Get your kids in the kitchen to create things they can enjoy eating and be proud of.
10. Popcorn Balls
Popcorn balls are popular throughout the autumn and winter seasons. These caramel popcorn treats are fun for kids to make because they are hands-on. Make sure you have disposable gloves and plenty of non-stick spray or butter to coat the gloves and prevent sticking!
You’ll need a few quarts of popped popcorn and the caramel mixture. To make the caramel coating, combine:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1/4-cup water
- A dash of salt
Heat the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until everything melts, dissolves and thoroughly combines. Continue to cook until a candy thermometer reaches the soft-ball stage, which is roughly 235 degrees Fahrenheit. Add three tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract and stir, off the heat, until the butter melts. Then pour the mixture over the popcorn and toss or stir the mixture to coat everything evenly.
Allow it to cool for a few minutes until it is safe for your children to handle, then let them grab handfuls and form it into ball shapes. Store them loosely wrapped.
11. Baked Apple Chips
This is a perfect activity after you’ve taken the kids to the orchard to pick apples. Wash and core the apples, then use a mandolin to slice them all evenly. Have your kids sprinkle the slices with cinnamon and spread them evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the slices at 225 degrees Fahrenheit so that they dry at a low temperature and don’t burn. This typically takes an hour or two, so check them after about 90 minutes, and every 10 minutes after that. Let a slice cool slightly and then test to see if it is crisp. Once they snap when cool, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before eating.
Choosing Fall Activities for Kids
When you want to spend quality time as a family, these fall activities for kids offer great opportunities. Think about your children and their personalities as you find the ideal activities to do this autumn season. Make memories your children can cherish for their whole lives with experiences they can pass on to their own children. For more tips about fall adventures and activities you can plan, check out Rugged Standard today.