Whether you call it Fall or Autumn, it’s that time of year again where we say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of summer and hello to sweater weather as temperatures get cooler and the pace gets a little slower.
Now that preschool has been in session for a few weeks and you’ve gotten to know your group a little better, it is the perfect time to get creative and incorporate some themes!
We compiled a list of fun activities to try this season. We made sure to include a wide variety of indoors and outdoors activities and paid special attention to the different developmental domains that each activity will engage your kids in.
Fall-Themed Sensory Bins For Young Children
Fall is the best time for sensory bins! They offer so much of creative opportunity and exploration.
Take advantage of the changes happening in nature and bring your sensory bin outdoors this Fall. Have the kids collect loose parts from your outdoor play area. These can be pinecones, stones, leaves, sticks, acorns – you can even strategically place some decorative gourds around the area to add something different!
Have the children put all these materials into a big bin and then sort through them. To take this a step further, talk to the children about the changes they observe in each of the materials as the season changes. How are the leaves changing color? Is there anything different about their texture? Were there pinecones on the ground before? Not only is this a great activity for children to connect with nature, sorting through and thinking about the differences will develop their cognitive skills. Their observations might surprise you!
The best thing about this? There is zero clean up! Everything is “harvested” outside and you can just return them to nature or use them as compost when you’re done.
Fall-Themed Crafts For Preschoolers
This paper strips pumpkin is an easy craft to prepare for. It is great for kids to work on their fine motor skills by practicing their cutting and gluing skills.
This activity also gives you an opportunity to use up the scrap paper that you have lying around! You can even incorporate new materials into the mix like fabrics, colored rice, beans – you’re only limited by your creativity!
Fall Reading and Literacy Activities for Kids
Make letter recognition activities fall-themed by using a letter matching tree. Label the leaves in the tree with upper case letters and the leaves on the ground with lower case letters.
You can make this really big and have the children work in groups to match them. This is a simple way to bring the beautiful fall colors into your preschool classroom! If leaves seem too common for you, you can adapt this using other fall motifs like acorns, apples, or a pumpkin patch!
Math Activities To Try This Fall
Here are some fall-themed number cards that will bring an element of interest to learning how to count!
You can pair them with some manipulatives to make the counting more tangible. This is also great for simple addition and subtraction for your older kids.
Some ideas for counting include:
- Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds
- Apple shaped cutouts that are numbered and black buttons as apple seeds
- Acorn shaped cutouts that are matched to real acorns or pom poms
- Leaves of different colors
You can even have the children organize the numbered cards in ascending or descending order.
Fall-Themed Gross Motor Activities
Being outside in the fall is a bit of a magical experience. There’s so much to explore, observe and enjoy! While thinking activities are great to help children develop problem-solving skills, it should be balanced out with some physical activities too. We found this fun activity called the Boot Scoot N’ Shuffle.
It’s easy, get your kids to wear boots that are slightly bigger than normal and then let them go outside. If you have big piles of leaves, this is the perfect opportunity to have your kids shuffle through them – this will help them with balance and strength.
Is it hard? Is it easy? Try with their normal boots – does it make a big difference? How about no shoes? Then, use some child-sized garden tools to clean up and rake the leaves into piles again!
There you have it, some adaptable fall activities to try with your classroom this year. What are your favorite fall activities? Let us know in the comments below. Share this with an early educator that might be looking for some inspiration!
This article is reviewed and approved by HiMama’s resident Registered Early Childhood Educator, Kiah Price. Kiah has been an early educator since 2010 and has worked mostly in the preschool room. She also has experience with infants, toddlers and children with special needs. She loves coming up with activities that are both fun and educational!