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In-person and Virtual Fall Activities for Young Children

Oct 09, 2020    |   FallPrintables for Educators

The change of seasons from summer to fall is a colorful and special time of year. As leaves change, and the air becomes fresh and crisp, children will be eager to investigate the falling leaves and colorful new scenery. This is a perfect time to think about some new activities to incorporate with the children in your care.

In this article, you’ll find lots of activity ideas to enjoy with young children, whether you are with them in-person or doing virtual learning. Many of these activities can also be passed on to parents, who might be interested in new ideas to enjoy with little ones while they are still spending time at home.

Fall Leaf Faces

Here’s an activity that is fun for all ages, requires minimal materials, and combines nature and art. Since it can be done with children in the classroom or at home, it’s a great one to pass along to parents searching for ways to engage their little ones. We found this activity on the website of Tinkerlab, an organization based in Palo Alto.

Click here for a printable PDF with a detailed breakdown of this project, including the supplies that you’ll need, and even some ideas for prompts to inspire children’s creativity.

Pumpkin Decorating with Stickers and Paint

Image and project idea from Glued to my Crafts Table

Image and project idea from Shelterness

Carving pumpkins in your classroom might feel like a project that is either too messy, or too advanced for the children that you care for. For a simpler version of this seasonal activity, use stickers or paint to decorate mini pumpkins with young children. This is another activity that can be done in your classroom or shared with parents to try out at home.

If you are setting this one up in your classroom, you might consider giving each child a tray  with their own pumpkins and decorating materials to avoid spreading germs.

Click here to see ideas for pumpkin painting, or click here to learn more about using stickers to decorate pumpkins.

Pumpkin Volcano

Pumpkin volcano is a fun STEM activity that you can set up for children in the classroom, or during a Zoom meeting during distance learning. Whether in person or on a screen,  children will enjoy watching foam ooze out of the pumpkin.

For an extra spooky Halloween experiment, you might even carve a face into the pumpkin to make a jack-o’lantern, so that the children can see the foam come out of its eyes and mouth.

Click here for more information about how to set up this experiment; or for another fall idea, click here to see how to set up the same activity with an apple.

More Fall Activity Ideas from No Small Matter

No Small Matter is a wonderful documentary about early childhood education, and now  the team behind the film has a Youtube Channel that is full of useful information and resources related to ECE.

Check out their video, 7 Fantastic Fall Activities for Preschoolers, which includes several fun and unique Fall activities that young children will love. This video would also be a great resource to send to families who are looking for ways to explore the new season with their little ones.

Stories for Fall

Books are always a great activity, for both in-person and virtual learning. Some Fall favorites are listed below.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

This book by Lois Ehlert uses watercolor and a collage of actual seeds, fabric, wire, and roots to tell the story of the life of a tree. The book is written in a simple, easy-to-read style, with only a few words on each page, so it is a great read for a variety of ages. It also includes a glossary at the end that shares facts about trees.

The Very Last Leaf 

Written by Stef Wade  and illustrated by Jennifer Davison, this children’s book has a powerful and positive message about overcoming fears, while also including science lessons about leaves and trees. The story will be enjoyed by older preschoolers and children in pre-k.

Seeds and Trees

This beautifully illustrated children’s book, written by Brandon Walden and illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell, shares an important message about kindness and the power of words. The book’s warm colors and images of trees make it a great Fall story, and the message will lead to a rich discussion with preschoolers about relationships and friendships.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

Written by Julia Rawlinson and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke, this story, one of many in a popular children’s book series, includes vibrant illustrations of Fall trees, filled with bright orange and red leaves. This book explores the changing of seasons, in a heartwarming and touching story that will be enjoyed by toddlers and preschoolers.

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