The turn of fall is a special time of year. The air turns brisk, the leaves take on campfire hues, and Halloween and Thanksgiving are right around the corner! Between leaf piles and pumpkin pies, there are plenty of pleasant stimuli floating about. Try these fun fall activities for kids in your classroom (or at home!) to capture and celebrate the fall spirit.
Fun Fall Activities with Leaves
If you live in the U.S., the changing trees are a keystone of autumn. Even in such temperate places as San Diego, there are trees that caramelize and drop their leaves every October. Embrace the leaves in your classroom this year with some fun activities!
While we wouldn’t recommend starting an indoor leaf pile, there are plenty of leafy things to be done this time of year. For starters, try going on a leaf hunt! Once you have a good supply of leaves, your students can use them to make everything from paint prints to collages. For less mess and more options, grab some fake leaves from your local craft store. These are a lot more durable and make way for such creative options as this maple leaf “snow globe.”
Make an Acorn Marble Necklace
There are plenty of fun fall activities and crafts to choose from. That said, we (and the kids we know) can’t get enough of these DIY acorn marble necklaces from Rhythms of Play. As a rule of thumb, kids tend to love baubles—especially when they look cool! These handmade trinkets are definitely aesthetically pleasing, and you’re sure to see your kids or students proudly wearing them after they’re made. Do note that this activity requires some glueing; younger children will likely require some supervision.
Indulge in Pumpkin Play
Like leaves, pumpkins are cornerstones of the autumn season. There are more pumpkin activities than we can can count, but a few of our favorites are:
- Decorate the classroom with paper pumpkins (try here and here for inspiration!)
- Decorate some real pumpkins
- Make some miniature pumpkin catapults
- Take a field trip to a pumpkin patch
Pumpkin carving can be nervy with younger kids, but there are plenty of ways to augment pumpkins without needing anything sharp or otherwise hazardous. Check out this article for a plethora of great no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas.
Become a Mad Candy Scientist
When it comes to Halloween, candy is king. Sure, you can argue that costumes are just as important, but good luck convincing the kids in your life. And while it might seem like the only thing you can do with candy is eat it, you’d be surprised. Kids can learn everything from chromatography to crystallization when they start running experiments on candy.
So, if you can, grab some candy from your kids’ Halloween stash. (Or, since they’re unlikely to part with their sweets without a fight, exercise your adult powers and buy a bag of your own). Here is a fairly comprehensive list of candy-related science experiments. If you happen to run through that, or just don’t like what you see, there’s an entire website dedicated to candy experiments.
All in all, it’s an amazing time of year. Teachers and parents, what do you do to get the kids in your life into the fall spirit? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below! Want more fall activity ideas? Check out our Fall Craft Pinterest board! And don’t forget to follow ECR4Kids on Facebook, Pinterest, or our blog via email for more of these posts!