Home    |   Playful Learning Activities   |   Seasonal Activities   |   Fall   |   Big List of Fall Activities for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Big List of Fall Activities for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Sep 20, 2019    |   FallOutdoor & Sensory Play
toddler participating in Fall activities for early childhood programs

The fall season, with its cooler weather, multi-colored leaves, and new fruits and vegetables is a source of curiosity and fascination for young children.  In this week’s article, we share lots of fun, play-based learning activities to enjoy with the little ones in your early learning program. These engaging, open-ended activities use natural materials and are easy to set up, so the children in your program can dive in and explore the new season. Each activity description includes a link to additional information.

Activities for Infants

Each of the activities below will give your youngest learners a chance to engage in Fall objects and elements in a safe and natural way. As always with infants, observe closely as infants explore the activities to ensure that they are playing safely and that nothing presents a safety hazard.

Fall activities for early childhood programs: pumpkin seed sensory bag activity for infants

  • Fall Leaves Sensory Bottle: Sensory bottles offer a great way to allow infants to explore new items safely.  By filling a recycled water bottle with acrylic leaves, cornstarch and glitter, you will have a fun activity that will engage and excite infants.  
  • Autumn Treasure Basket: Using a Montessori-inspired concept, fill a basket with a variety of fall items and invite infants to explore. You might use pinecones, apples, mini pumpkins, fabric or any other items that will allow infants to explore a variety of textures, shapes, and sizes. 
  • Pumpkin Seed Sensory Bag: The inside of pumpkins are squishy and gooey, making them perfect for infant sensory exploration. For a mess-free sensory activity, put the seeds and “guts” in a large plastic bag so that infants can feel, squeeze and explore what is inside of a pumpkin. 

Activities for Toddlers

Toddlers love sensory experiences, process art, and exploring through open-ended play and activities. Each activity offers flexibility to tweak materials to make it work well  for you and the children in your care. 

  • Water & Leaves Fall Sensory Bin: Water play isn’t just for summertime! Make “Fall Soup” in a sensory tub filled with orange water, leaves, and soup ladles to allow children to scoop and pour as they explore the leaves. 
  • Autumn Leaf Suncatchers: Using clear contact paper, allow children to stick on fall leaves to make a beautiful collage. When the children are done sticking, hang the contact paper in a window to allow the sun to shine through the colorful leaves. If you have an available window at the children’s level, they will enjoy being able to revisit their artwork. 
  • Scented Autumn Play Dough Recipes: Playdough is always a hit with young learners. For an added bit of exploration, adding scents to playdough allows children to use another one of their 5 senses to explore.
  • Apple Stamps Process Art: Apples are in season during Fall, making them perfect for engaging with young children. By cutting apples in half, and dipping them in red, orange, and yellow watercolors, children will be able to enjoy a fun, process art experience.

Activities for Preschoolers

Preschoolers are naturally interested in the world around them. The activities below incorporate natural materials, making them engaging for young children and affordable for teachers!

  • Fall Science Center: Offer preschoolers a simple provocation of natural materials (such as pine cones, leaves, and gourds) and magnifying glasses for an easy, engaging activity. The children will have a chance to investigate each of the items, feel their texture, notice their colors, ask questions, and categorize them based on their unique properties. 
  • Corn Shakers: Music & Movement Activity: Do your preschoolers love music and movement? If so, they might enjoy an opportunity to dance with homemade shakers made from unpopped popping corn placed inside recycled water bottles containers. You might even let the children decorate their own shaker with ribbons, stickers, paint, or other fun materials. 
  • Tissue Painted Mini Pumpkins: What’s better than carving pumpkins? Using tissue paper and glue to create a sticky, messy, process art experience! Preschoolers can decorate their pumpkins with a variety of colors and patterns. When they’re dry, they can be taken them home or displayed around the classroom. 

Activities for Pre-K

As children prepare for kindergarten, you might consider incorporating more math and science concepts as well as other kindergarten readiness skills into your curriculum. Use the activities as inspiration to help you get started in planning your Autumn curriculum!

Graphing fall leaves for preschool and pre-k

  • Fall STEM Leaf Sculptures: Children have a chance to explore math, engineering, and science skills by using leaves and other natural materials to make a sculpture. The children can be challenged to see how tall they can make their sculptures. This project might work especially well if children are given a chance to revisit their sculptures over a short period of time.  
  • Painted Pasta Necklace: Painting necklaces is a two-part activity, with children first painting raw pieces of pasta, and then threading them to make a necklace once they are dry. Children will have a chance to engage in process art and practice fine motor skills as they thread each piece of pasta onto the string.
  • Graphing Fall Leaves: Children will enjoy going on a nature walk to look at all the trees with leaves changing colors and collecting some to take back to the classroom with them. For a simple math activity, invite children to create a graph, categorizing leaves by color or shape. The graph can be arranged in several different ways, including using a big poster board, making a graph on the sidewalk with chalk or by arranging the leaves into a graph on a table.
Related Articles & Posts

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This