5 Outdoor Fall Activities for Kids
Fall is one of the busiest and most fascinating times of year in our neck of the woods. My kids love to investigate the changes occurring in the local flora and fauna, setting up impromptu experiments as they play in the falling leaves. As the trees explode into bright colors, birds begin to migrate south, and hibernating animals stock up on food for the winter, nature gives us so much to observe and inspect. If you’re looking for ways to get outside with your kids this fall, check out these simple ways to learn and explore.
Learn the leaves
No matter if you’re four or forty, there is something incredibly inviting about a pile of colorful leaves in the fall. Every leaf is different from the next, and trying to learn and identify each species is an excellent way to incorporate science and exploration into your autumn activity list. Falling leaves are everywhere, after all! All you’ll need is a variety of leaves and an app like iNaturalist, which will help you and your aspiring naturalists identify any foliage you can find.
Create a Scavenger Hunt
Creating a fall scavenger hunt is an engaging way to get kids outside and moving around! Future horticulturalists and entomologists will love this one. To set this fun adventure up, give your explorers a list of items to find or clues to solve. Checklist items can include things that occur naturally on your property, in the park, or wherever you choose to do your hunt – for example, you could ask your hunters to find things like acorns, pinecones, twigs, leaves of different colors, and even bugs! To spice things up, you can offer a reward to participants at the end like hot apple cider or a fun activity of their choice.
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Many ornithologists (bird scientists) are able to identify birds by the sights and sounds they hear in the forest. Help your kids learn more about the birds in your area by getting outside with Merlin! Merlin is a bird identification app that allows users to identify birds by either their appearance or their birdsong. Even if you’re offline, you’ll be able to take photos/record birdsong that Merlin uses to provide a series of potential matches. This app makes practicing bird identification easy and fun!
Build a Fort
If you live near a wooded area or have access to some kid-friendly building materials, why not create a fort with your kiddos! Building structures is a great way for kids to creatively learn about physics and engineering. I’ve watched my own children build forts for hours, trying to figure out which objects would support and enhance their structures the best. Ideas for outdoor building materials include tree limbs, sticks, drop cloths, twine, and cardboard boxes. Encourage them to work together, and when they’re finished, let them have a snack, meal, or story time in their fort for added fun!
Make a Collage
During fall, beautiful and artistic scenes in nature abound! If you are looking for creative activities for the future field biologists your life, consider collecting some things from outside to use in nature-inspired collages. Leaves, twigs, acorns, old snail shells, pinecones, dried flowers, and so many other striking pieces of natural material can be combined to create thoughtful, striking projects that represent the very best of this whimsical season. All you need is a base (cardboard or a thick piece of paper will do), some glue, and your beautiful baubles from nature to get started!
Create an Obstacle Course
Help kids practice basic physics and mechanics by creating an obstacle course! Using whatever materials you have in your garage or backyard, create a series of challenges for your kiddos to climb, balance, and navigate! Teach young learners about pivot points by balancing a board over top of a cinder block. Demonstrate how gravitational force makes it difficult to climb over tall objects. Involve your kiddos when creating the course to make it fun and exciting for everyone!
There are so many fun ways to get kids involved with nature, and fall is the perfect time to explore! Whether you’re outside in your own backyard or traversing the local nature preserve, try some of these fun activities to keep your kids entertained while they learn. If your kids dream of becoming environmentalists, our STEM-inspired jewelry is certain to make the perfect gift.