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Thursday, December 30, 2021 by Amy Boyington

4 Great Fall Activities for Nature-Loving Kids

With fall comes cooler weather and busier schedules, now that school is back in session. Still, nature-loving kids will want to spend time outdoors in the crisp fall air. After school and on weekends, consider moving learning and activities outside to enjoy the wonder and curiosity fall brings.

4 Family Fall Activities 

Get outside with your child this fall for these perfect autumn activities.

Physical Fun Outdoors

Enjoy the beautiful fall weather by getting active outside. Make an obstacle course in the backyard, jump in piles of leaves, or go on a scenic family bike ride along colorful trails. Another idea: Take the family outside for an early morning or evening yoga session as you watch the sunrise or sunset.

Fall Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of things to find outdoors in the fall, like:

  • Red leaves
  • Pinecones
  • Acorns
  • Animal dens
  • Bird's nests
  • Twigs
  • Feathers
  • Wild berries

Snap photos of your finds to share with others.

Leaf Study

Collect leaves of different colors, shapes, and sizes in a bag when playing or walking outdoors. Bring along a notebook, pencil, and magnifying glass. Find a cozy spot to sit and study the leaves together. What differences and similarities can you spot? Draw a picture of each leaf and write down your discoveries. When you get back home, help your child use the computer to research what types of leaves you found and learn more about the trees they came from.

Fall Science Experiments

Learning is in full swing at school, but engaging in fun experiments at home welcomes learning in unique and exciting ways, and fall is one of the best times to bring that learning outside! Here are two fall-inspired experiments to try with your kiddo:

Sink or Float? 

Fill a large cooking pot filled ¾ of the way with water. Gather materials that you find outside on a nature walk, like rocks, leaves, and pinecones (you might use what you've collected from the fall scavenger hunt!). Separate a paper into three columns labeled "Object," "Prediction," and "Sink or Float?" Write down each object in the Object column. Then, have your child predict whether they think the object will sink or float in the water. Now, it's time to place each item in the water! Your child can write what happens and see if they predicted correctly.

Breathing Leaves

Explore how a leaf breathes, driving home the fact that trees are living things, just like us. Have your child remove a large leaf from a tree. Place the leaf in a bowl filled with water, ensuring that the leaf is completely submerged. If needed, lay a small pebble on top of the leaf to hold it under. Put the bowl in a very sunny spot for 5+ hours. When you return to look at the leaf, see if your child notices anything different. There should be small bubbles floating along the water and leaf's surface. These are oxygen bubbles that the leaf releases as it "breathes" during photosynthesis!

Great Fall Activities for Nature-Loving Kids

Kids who love nature will appreciate all the hidden wonders of fall. Try some of these activities after school to unwind for the day or during family time on the weekends. If you need more ideas, search Pinterest, ask your child's teacher for suggestions, or just see what your child can come up with to inspire a life-long love of outdoor learning.