September 22 marks the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. While the weather may not yet feel like fall, soon temperatures will begin to fall and days will get shorter. In many areas, leaves will also fall off the trees and animals will start to prepare for winter. While it’s fun to get outside and enjoy nature all year-round, fall is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy some fun and educational activities with your kids. We’ve rounded up a few activities to help you get started.
Go on a Nature Walk
In the story, Nature Walk, a premium story from iStoryBooks, Billy goes on a nature walk with his grandfather. On the walk, Billy and his grandfather talk about the different plants they see. You can do the same on a nature walk with kids. As you walk in the woods, you can notice:
- the different colors of the leaves
- the size and shapes of different leaves
- the height of different plants and trees
- nests, thickets, and other animal homes
- insects and other creatures hiding under logs
- the sounds and appearance of birds in the forest
If you need to motivate kids to go on the walk, you can set up a scavenger hunt and have kids find different items, such as a smooth rock, a fern leaf, a piece of moss, and a feather. However, you should also encourage kids to look beyond their list to see what cool things they can find. There’s bound to an odd-shaped rock or a crooked tree to delight kids. Take along your camera to get pictures of the unique things that you find.
For more fun, pretend you’re re-enacting a story like Hansel and Gretel and leave a trail (of nature-friendly items, of course) for kids to try to follow on their way out of the woods.
Make Leaf Art
On your nature walk, collect different shapes, colors, and sizes of leaves. Bring them home and use them to create fun art projects. A few projects you can do with leaves include:
- Make a leaf collage
- Arrange the leaves to make people or other objects
- Buy sun paper and make the imprints of the leaves
- Place a leaf under a piece of construction paper and do a leaf rubbing
- Attach a leaf to a wooden craft stick and glue on googly eyes to make a leaf puppet
- Draw an animal shape, such as a turkey or hedgehog, and use the leaves as feathers or quills
- Paint the leaves and use them as stamps on a piece of paper
- Cut a piece of construction paper into a strip wide enough to fit around a child’s head and glue leaves to it to make a leaf crown
If the ideas above don’t work, just give kids some paper, glue, markers, glitter, and leaves, and let them come up with their own creations.
Head to an Apple Orchard or Pumpkin Patch
Summer isn’t the only time you can pick your own fruits and vegetables. In the fall, apples and pumpkins are often ready to be picked. If you live in an area where apples or pumpkins are grown, head to the apple orchard or pumpkin patch to pick your own apples, pumpkins, and even corn, as well as enjoy other activities. Many orchards and farms have other activities for kids to enjoy during the fall, such as hay mazes and tractor rides. You may also get to purchase some treats, such as apple cider or pumpkin bread to take home and enjoy.