Tips To Keep Little Kids Busy This Fall

Happy fall ya’ll! I had to say it. I love the change of seasons! Fall is finally here with crisp weather, oversized hoodies and family fun. This year it seems especially important to make memories. Fall is a great time to make the ordinary extraordinary and to even build new family traditions.

Fall Activities

Here are a few of my favorite activities to get you out enjoying the fresh air or keep you cozy at home.

Take a fall scavenger hunt. Look for a pine cone, a spiderweb, an orange leaf, an acorn, a pumpkin, a squirrel, a school bus, a football, a flock of geese, mums and an animal track. Make up your own list and start hunting.

Collect leaves to create a collage or a place mat. Use colorful construction paper for a collage or use clear cabinet liner for a place mat.

Go for a woodland walk. Use your senses. Notice the smell. What do you hear? Does fall have a smell? Look at the trees and fallen leaves. Try our StoryWalks if you’d like a little more direction on your walk.

Enjoy the fall harvest of fruit and vegetables. Make caramel apples. Turn apples into a stamp (for best results, cut the apple in half and let it dry for about an hour). Paint a pumpkin. Make a jack-o-lantern. Make roasted butternut squash soup.

Make a no-sew fleece blanket. Creativebug has a step-by-step video if you need directions. Involve the whole family. Talk about the colors and the feel of the blanket. Perhaps, provide some child-safe scissors for your little helper to practice cutting paper while you model.

Family Traditions

You can always add new ideas to your family’s traditions. Below are some little-kid-friendly ideas.

Bake. Spend a cold or rainy day inside baking. Young children are eager to measure and stir. They also love eating what they’ve made. Of course we have hundreds of cookbooks to check out if you want a new recipe. We even have lots of baking cookbooks that focus on baking with kids.

Boo a friend or neighbor. Pack fall treats in a seasonal container and share anonymously. Drop it off on the porch with instructions to Boo another friend or neighbor.

Make a “I am Thankful Tree.” Cut leaf-shaped pieces of paper and encourage your entire family to write something they are thankful for. It’s okay for your child to dictate what they’re thankful for. Use a clothespin to clip the ‘leaf’ to a branch set up in your home.

Photo taken by the Bureau of Land Management

Be a stargazer. With the sun going down earlier, plan to go stargazing. Grab blankets and a warm drink for a cozy evening under the stars. Share a special story beforehand or while you’re watching the sky.

Become a bird enthusiast. Grab binoculars and look for feathery friends. Your child can make their own binoculars with two rolls of toilet paper taped together. (Get really creative and decorate with stickers or markers.) Make a bird feeder with a toilet paper roll (using peanut butter and birdseed) or use a 2-liter bottle to make a bird feeder. Check out a nonfiction book to reference the birds you see.

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As the Early Childhood Learning Coordinator, Sherry is focused on engaging young children and their families in play-based early learning experiences. The Learn & Play Bus and its service are at the heart of her work. Sherry has a background in early childhood education.