“Fall” in love with these ideas from our “play makers” and bloggers friends from around the web. Take note of the icons next to each activity — they’ll give you an idea of some of the key skills that each game and/or activity can help your child develop!
Gather several acorns with their stems still attached. Pick an acorn to bling out with paint and glitter, then tie two ends of a long string around the acorn stem to make a necklace!
Alphabet Apple Tree
A great fall activity for kids learning their letters! On apple-shaped paper cutouts, write each letter of the alphabet in capital and lower case letters. Punch a hole in each apple, and use pipe cleaners or string to tie the apples to low-hanging tree branches. Get your apple picking baskets ready, and have at it! Talk about the letters that your children pick to help with letter recognition.
You’re going to need a handful of bottle corks for this activity. Start off by painting a tree or cutting a tree out of brown construction paper and gluing it to a sheet of white paper. Squeeze out some fun fall-color paint (reds, oranges, greens and yellows), dab the bottoms of the corks in paint, and use the corks to paint leaves on the tree!
Gather up a bunch of leaves. Think about the shape of each leaf, and decide what animals they remind you of! A round leaf may be a turtle’s shell, or two feathery leaves may be butterfly wings. Glue the leaves to a piece of paper, leaving plenty of room around each one. Then, using the leaf as a starting point, draw in the rest of the animal.
Relay races with an autumn twist! Set up two containers filled with sunflower seeds or birdfeed, and put two smaller, empty bins several feet away. Have the kids break into teams and line up by the full container. At the start of the race, the first player fills up his/her cup with seeds, races to dump them into the empty bin, sprints back and hands the cup off to his/her next teammate. The first team to completely fill up the container with seeds wins!
Instead of getting rid of all the leaves in your backyard, rake out a maze path through the leaves! Kids can time themselves on how long it takes to find their way through, or turn it into a race! When everyone has mastered the maze, rake the leaves into a huge pile … perfect for jumping into!
Pass the Apple
A fun fall team game! Kids form two lines, keeping a good amount of space between each person. One player from each team tucks an apple under their chin, races to the next teammate and tries to pass the apple without using their hands! If they drop the apple, they can use their hands to put it back under their chin. First team to pass the apple to the end of the line wins!
Pick out a nice round pumpkin and cut the stem off, so it can roll smoothly. Then, cut out three bowling-ball-type finger holes with an apple corer. For bowling pins, set up a triangle of 10 rolls of toilet paper. See who can knock down the most rolls with the pumpkin!
Tie-Dye Coffee Filter Leaves
Cut fresh coffee filters into leaf shapes. Then, use water-based markers to color them in! For the tie-dye effect, make sure to use lots of different colors. Spray your leaves with a little water, and watch as the colors run! Don’t use too much water or the colors will fade. Let the filters dry, and then use a marker to draw in the leaf veins.
The Great Harvest Dig
The harvest hunt is on! Hide a dozen apples, mini pumpkins and gourds in a storage bin filled with seeds or hay (one per kid). Time them to see who finds all of the harvest the fastest!