Fall is here, and whether that means crunching through leaves or a slightly cooler day at the beach, there are many fun and educational activities your child can do outdoors. Here are some family-friendly educational outdoor activities for children.
- Go on a nature walk. Fall can be an ideal time for your child to learn more about nature. You can go on a family walk to collect fallen leaves, spot migratory birds, or notice any changes in flowers and plants.
- Visit a farm or orchard. Autumn is a time of harvest, and by visiting your local farm or apple orchard, your child can get a better sense of the seasonality of food. Not only do many farms and orchards offer family-friendly activities such as tractor rides and apple-picking, but your child can learn about the life cycle of fruits and vegetables as well.
- Plant a fall garden. Spring and summer may be the most popular times for gardening, but you can get your young child involved with an autumn garden, too. Have your child help you plant fall-friendly vegetables such as spinach, radishes, carrots, and kale. This is another way for your child to learn about food seasonality, and they will also develop fine and gross motor skills.
- Make an autumn sensory bin. The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of outdoor sensory bin play. Leaves, twigs, stones, soil, small gourds, and dried corn can make an ideal addition to your sensory bin. As your young child sorts, scoops, pours, and mixes, they’ll explore and learn while using their senses.
- Hold a scavenger hunt. Ideal for a small group of children, an autumn-themed scavenger hunt can include items like orange leaves, green leaves, pinecones, stones, and flowers.
- Become tree detectives. The changing color of leaves is a classic fall image, but your child can also learn about the entire tree. As a family, examine the autumn trees in your neighborhood. How are the leaves changing? What does the bark look like? What does it smell like? Are the twigs soft or strong? You can bring a notebook to write or draw what you discover.
- Make a leaf maze. Many of us have fond childhood memories of playing in a pile of freshly-raked leaves. However, your child can have fun with fall leaves while also engaging their problem-solving skills. If you have a large amount of leaves to rake, you can create a small leaf maze for your child to walk through, and allow them to figure out the correct pathways on their own.
- Paint outdoors. Summer may be over, but chances are the weather is still good enough to paint outdoors. You may want to offer your child paint colors in an autumn hue, or ask your child to paint their favorite thing to do in the fall.
With these fun and educational fall outdoor activities for children, the whole family can take advantage of the cooler autumn days.