Whether you call it Fall or Autumn, it’s that time of year again when 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 indoor and outdoor activities and paid special attention to the different developmental domains that each activity will engage your children in.
Fall-themed sensory bins for young children
Fall is the best time for sensory bins! They offer so much creative opportunity and exploration.
Take advantage of the changes happening in nature and bring your sensory bin outdoors this Fall. Have the children collect loose parts from your outdoor play area. These can be pinecones, stones, leaves, sticks, or 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 and 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, but 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
Build a tree
Go on a nature walk and collect a variety of leaves, twigs, plants, flowers, and stems to create a unique, brightly colored tree! Children will love creating differently shaped trees out of their natural materials. No two trees are alike!
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, and beans – you’re only limited by your creativity!
Fall cognitive activities for preschoolers
If you’re lucky enough to have access to the great outdoors, go on an adventure with your little ones to find different ways to count and determine numbers! Using objects found in the outside world allows children to explore nature by holding physical objects to explore and count, and the objects can be used as loose parts afterward for play.
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 children.
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, they should be balanced out with some physical activities too.
IT station blocks for night creatures
Nocturnal animals are fascinating to children since it is hard to understand sleeping during the day and being awake at night. They’re also fascinated because they don’t really get to see them in person since they are usually sleeping. Learning about these animals is fun, so after reading and discussing, they will enjoy building habitats using legos, and then pretend playing with toy figures will allow for children to put their new vocabulary into practice.
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!