Fall is a time of wonder and discovery for children as the world changes around them.
The bright, colorful leaves and other seasonal changes capture children’s attention and spark their imagination. Fall is also full of opportunities for children to learn about colors, science, and the five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch):
- Talk to children about seasonal changes and what changes occur in fall. Explain that fall is also called autumn. Ask children what changes they are noticing when they look or go outside.
- Discuss how and why many plants and animals are beginning to prepare for winter in the fall. Birds migrating and animals scavenging for extra food for storage are two good examples you can discuss with children.
- Incorporate fall colors (yellow, brown, orange, and red) into conversations and home decorations. Encourage children to learn and identify the colors.
- Explain that fall is harvest time. Apples, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins are great fall harvest crops to introduce to children. Encourage children to touch and feel any crops they are not familiar with and to try eating fall vegetables and fruit.
- Take the focus off of Halloween and candy. Plenty of other important events make excellent talking points and history lessons this time of year, such as the Great Chicago Fire for older children and the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America.
- Use Fire Prevention Week (October 6 -12) as an opportunity to discuss fire safety and evacuation plans with children. You could even incorporate the Great Chicago Fire into your discussion with older children.
Fall Activities for Parents and Kids
- Visit a pumpkin patch or apple orchard
- Carve or decorate a pumpkin
- Go on a hayride
- Attend a fall festival
- Go on a nature walk
- Collect fall leaves, pinecones, or acorns
- Have fun getting lost in a corn maze
- Play in the leaves and then do a little yard clean up
- Pick out a Halloween costume or make your own
- Do a pumpkin science experiment
- Donate food to your local food pantry
- Pick a cause or charity your family wants to help at Thanksgiving or Christmas
Let us know some of your favorite fall activities to do with your children!