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Fall is the favorite season of many people throughout the world. Not only is it the season of everything pumpkin, but even nature also celebrates this time! From the cool, crisp breezes filling our lungs with refreshing air to the palette of colors on the trees as the leaves change, fall is a time of wonder and beauty.
What better way to celebrate the changing seasons than by engaging in some fall leaf activities with your kids and family? Below are just a few ideas to help you and your little ones fully delve into the joy that fall and autumn leaves can bring!
Leaf Art Projects
There is nothing to soothe the soul like creating something artsy! One easy and fun leaf art project to do with your kids this Fall is to make a picture of leaf rubbings. Let your little ones collect their favorite leaves from the yard and lay them face down on a flat surface under a piece of paper. They can also arrange leaves they collect of different shapes and sizes and glue them down to form a leaf man
Next, have them gently rub their crayons or colored pencils on the paper over the area the leaf is under, and voila! If your kids are at the age where play dough is a favorite activity, they will love using air-dry clay to make leaf impression ornaments, They can hang these in their windows. Once they have pressed the leaves into the clay, use a straw to make a hole in the top for the string. They will have a great time making leaf prints and ornaments to use as place cards for Thanksgiving or to give as gifts to their Grandparents.
Another fun art project is creating original leaf bookmarks of their very own. Cut strips of construction paper and help your kids glue their leaves down. Once they are all glued down, laminate them and punch a hole in the top to tie a string or ribbon through. This is a great way to encourage reading and art time as a family all in one! Then pick out some great fall books to read together and put your beautiful leaves bookmark to use!
Raking and Jumping
Another excellent Fall activity is raking leaves! There’s no way kids will want to do this, right? Usually, that might be the case; however, what kid doesn’t love a nice big pile of leaves to dive into? Not only can they use these piles of leaves for jumping into, but they can also spread them out to create designs!
While a corn maze might be a little intimidating for toddlers, a leaf maze would be just their size! You can also make “leaf angels” together. (Think snow angels but with leaves!) When all the jumping and running through the leaves is over, let them help you put the leaves in a large yard paper bag. Using designs cut out of construction paper and let them decorate the bags to create Fall yard decorations.
Science is a favorite subject for many kids. Creating a leaf science day with your kids is very easy! One great way to do this that is enjoyable for all ages is to take a nature walk collecting various shapes and sizes of leaves, pine cones, seeds, pine needles, acorns, and anything else that catches their eye.
Once you are back home, help the kids sort their collection into piles of like items. Once their groups are sorted, they can compare and decide which they collected most of, least of, and so on. Then you can ask them to mix them up and try to sort them again in different ways such as colors, sizes, etc.
Another fun leaf science activity is gathering different sizes and shapes of leaves and comparing how they feel. Are they soft or crunchy? Do they fall apart or stay together when trying to crumple them? Children are naturally curious about the world around them, and science encourages them to ask questions and discover the answers.
For older kids you can help them research and understand why leaves change color and why different leaves turn various vibrant colors.
You can even do a math activity with acorns and real fall leaves. Addition, subtraction, counting to make graphs are all great ideas for little hands.
Fall Sensory Bin
Many children, especially younger ones, love to feel different textures! Why not create a Fall sensory bin? Your toddlers and children can help you gather items from nature to put in the bin. Everything from twigs to acorns can be included and will add to the sensory experience!
Sensory play is so important for young children to safely explore the world around them. Teaching them to observe and appreciate the beautiful fall colors is a simple way to help them see the variations of the seasons.
The kids will enjoy playing with the different Fall items while better understanding nature’s textures. Moss has a fascinating texture as it is, quite literally, nature’s carpet! Carefully check the things your children collect for bugs if your sensory bin is inside your house instead of on a porch or screened room.
While most kids are fascinated by critters of all shapes and sizes, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want them getting a free ride into your home! Creating a fall sensory bin for your kids can be a great first step toward the leaf science activities mentioned previously. Once your kids are tired of feeling and playing with their collected things, you can encourage them to start sorting!
Finally, what would a list of fun fall activities be without mentioning crafts? Kids (and adults) of all ages enjoy getting crafty, whether it is something simple or complex. One of our favorite fall leaf crafts is using the different colors and shapes of leaves to make a turkey! Simply help them glue their leaves (you can even use fake leaves if you want for this one) in a fanned-out design, cut out the body of your turkey, and let them draw or glue on the eyes and a beak! This is a great activity for fine motor skills as well.
Another favorite is painting with leaves. This craft can get messy, so be sure to prep your crafting space accordingly! Lay out several colors of paint, some thick paper, and brushes. Then let your little artists paint their real leaves before using them as a stamp to create leaf shapes and designs on the paper.
If you have more than one young child and you know one likes to mix the paint, giving them their own little paint palette might not be a bad idea. As you can see, fall leaf crafting can be as simple or messy as you have time to spend on it!
While there are so many wonderful and fun ways to enjoy fall with your family, we hope this has at least helped you start your fall to-do list for fantastic fun! As with anything you do, the most important thing is making memories that your children will cherish well into adulthood. Who knows, hopefully they will want to pass some of those experiences on to their kids in the future!
Check out this article for 5 Fall Adventures You Can’t Miss This Year With Toddlers. Enjoy this special time of the year!