Speech Buddies Parents’ Corner – Fun Fall Activities for Families
The leaves are turning colors, the pumpkins are ripening, and fun fall activities for families are waiting just around the corner. Whether you’re ready for the pumpkin patch or are looking to add a fun science experiment to the mix, try some of these inexpensive (and easy!) fun fall activities.
Easy, Fun Fall Activities For Families
Take a Sock Hike
Fall is the perfect time to gather seeds – on your feet and ankles! Find a prairie, some woods, or even a trail (not paved) where you can take the kiddos hiking without shoes. Wear long socks (tucking your pants into them works well), and hike through the grasses, leaves, and around small bushes – just remember to follow the trail rules if you’re in a preservation area. Thick socks that are made with loosely woven or larger fibers will “grab” the most seeds.
Not only are the seeds interesting to inspect, but after your walk carefully peel the socks off, keeping right sides out, and you can try a secondary part of the experiment. Place the socks in a shallow dish, such as an old cake pan, and sprinkle with enough water to get the socks thoroughly damp. Place the dish in a sunny [and warm] location, and keep the socks moist. Watch your seed collection begin to grow! You can also add into your adventure reading with the kids some colorful and engaging stories about seeds.
- The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carle
- Sunflower House, by Eve Bunting
- How Seeds Travel, by Cynthia Overbeck
- A Seed Is Sleepy, by Dianna Hutts Aston
Visit an Apple Orchard
Not every apple orchard is created equally. Look for features that you think would suit your family’s needs and interests the most.
- Pick your own apples
- Apple tasting
- Old-fashioned apple presses
- Hands-on apple pie making
- Apple treats to taste – strudel, cider, dried fruits, etc.
Either before or after your visit to the orchard, try some of these activities with your kids:
- Make apple prints on linen dish towels
- Make homemade apple sauce
- Read about Johnny Appleseed [Seed By Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John “Appleseed” Chapman, by Esme Raji Codell]
Hold an Autumn Scavenger Hunt
Great for just you and your child or as an adventure for family and friends, your first annual Autumn Scavenger Hunt will be a hit. Make a list of autumn related objects that can be found in your area [your area can be your backyard, the neighborhood park, etc.]. Give everyone a list and decide the rules of the hunt.
- How much time do players have to complete the list?
- Are the items collected, marked with a checkmark on the master sheet, photographed, etc.?
- Is there a prize? (Think candy apples and other autumn treats.)
Ideas for your scavenger hunt list include:
- 1 red leaf
- 1 yellow leaf
- A caterpillar
- Spider web
Go On A Leaf Collecting Expedition
The colors and textures of leaves can really draw in those imaginations of kids, especially those who are tactile learners or who have sensory issues. Go for a walk around the neighborhood, a hike on local trails, or anywhere else where you can explore and gather the fall leaves. Take a basket, brown paper bag, or any other easy to carry satchel for collecting a variety of leaves. Make a morning of it and add a picnic lunch before heading home to try some of these fall leaf activities.
- Try to identify the leaves – Kids can make a leaf collection by gluing a leaf on each page of an inexpensive notebook and labeling what kind of tree once held the leaf.
- Make leaf rubbings – These classic kid crafts can be framed for fun fall artwork around the house, too.
- Press the leaves – Once the leaves have been pressed, have your child design homemade bookmarks with the leaves. You can simply laminate the leaves in a rectangle and add a ribbon, or make a miniature collage of leaves on cardstock, gluing them down, with the printed sayings such as: Fall into a good book, Just “leafing” through, etc.
More Fun Fall Activities and Trips
If you’re still searching for fun fall day activities and trips for your family, let your imagination loose and try some of the following.
- Look for an art crawl near you.
- Ask a farmer if you can visit him during his harvesting for your own “field” trip.
- Wander through a corn maze.
- Take an old fashioned hayride.
- Go on a bird watch for migrating birds.
- Find an Oktoberfest near you.
There are endless ways you can fall into fun with your family this autumn – and you don’t have to break the bank, either. By adding a few books and crafts to your adventures, your autumn day trips can turn into learning experiences for the whole family.