Fun fall activities for families with young children

The sudden chill in the air and leaves changing colors signal that fall has arrived. Older kids are back in school, where they’ll enjoy fall decorations and study the Pilgrims’ role in American history, but what about little ones at home? Even very young children realize that fall is a time of change. Why not plan some fun fall family activities? For young children, three fun categories can provide hours of activities.

Fun with fruits and vegetables

Little girl in an apple garden

Exploring the plants of fall provides tactile activities that help young children learn. They can see, taste, smell and touch nature’s bounty and, in the process, learn about what their ancestors ate and how they lived. Many communities have farms that open to visitors this time of year, with corn mazes and pumpkin patches to roam. Picking apples at a local farm can be lots of fun as well. If the family gathers more than is needed for home, excess can be dropped off at a local homeless shelter, providing another chance for children to learn about how others live and the value of helping those in need.

Decorating the house

Little girl holds garaland of orange leaves in room with pumpkin

A day at home can be spent gathering pretty, colorful leaves, drawing patterns on them and taping them inside windows. Making a scarecrow with old clothes and other castaway items found in the garage is a fun rainy-day activity. Children can use pumpkins, apples, pine cones and other fall items to decorate the house with their own personal touch. They can draw funny faces on pumpkins and carve them, with an adult’s supervision. Very young children can “help” by gathering the pulp for a pie as an adult carves the pumpkin. Pine cones become decorative “owls” by gluing on googly eyes and felt feet and beaks. Children can paint a fall tree picture using wine corks dipped in red, yellow, orange and brown paint.

Preserving the memories

Halloween pumpkin cut out of paper lying on the tableYoung children enjoy remembering the fun experiences they’ve had. As they participate in their fun fall activities, they can gather items for a “fall memory book” that they can put together and enjoy all year. Colored construction paper stapled or taped together makes a great book that children can use for pasting leaves and prints of pictures from all their fun activities.

   

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