Fall-themed Ideas to Keep Your Preschoolers’ Minds and Bodies Working!
I don’t know about y’all, but I get really jazzed when I begin seeing the first signs of fall each year. The kids can run around outside without sweating a river and I get to cover up my pasty body….bonus! *Side note: Each summer when I am forced to unveil my blinding whiteness complete with skin so translucent you can see the inner workings of my body, I am reminded of Slim Goodbody. For those who of you who were not children in the mid 70’s or early 80’s, you may have been deprived of Mr. Goodbody’s cool educational segments and his occasional White Dude ‘fro.
But I digress….
Fall can also be a terrific time to change up the activities you introduce to the little people in your life. Here’s a little secret: your kids will enjoy them so much they won’t even realize that they are actually learning something!
Color Scavenger Hunt
Autumn is a marvelous time to get your preschoolers out into nature for a color scavenger hunt. Even if you have children participating who already know their colors, you can expand on the activity to teach them about the trees and flowers you come across or the animals you spy. I try to encourage my kids to stump me. They will exclaim, “Ask the lady in your phone!” Hey, learning is a wonderful thing at any age!
You can use one of the many color hunt printables available on Pinterest, like this one from www.girllovesglam.com. For our scavenger hunt, I glued the printables onto a piece of cardboard I cut out from a discarded box. Clipboards would be even easier, if you have those handy.
The twins and I hit a local park with lovely trails and gardens. I was pleased to observe my kids working together for a change instead of competing against each other. I must say that this was a wildly successful activity which the children would love to do again.
Painted Leaf Monsters
I found this dandy little activity on www.messylittlemonster.com! Who doesn’t love finger paint? Oh come on, Mama! A little mess won’t hurt anyone, especially if you have everything set up outside. I’ve recently come to understand just how incredibly beneficial finger painting can be for young children. Since little ones learn through sensory play, finger painting is wonderful for incorporating the tactile and visual senses. Finger painting can also be therapeutic as a way for children to express themselves as well as to build their creativity.
This simple activity turned into hours of the twins and me enjoying time together doing something slightly out of the ordinary. Searching for the “perfect leaf” led to a spirited mile and a half walk, complete with the children grabbing the largest sticks they could find and charging ahead with purpose!
Once the children had made their picks, we headed back to the homestead. The twins were jonesin’ to get their hands in that mushy mess! I almost went home with some dollar store fingerpaint, but decided against it because – well – who wants to risk ruining $40-$50 worth of kid clothes to save a few bucks? We used up the rest of our Crayola washable fingerpaints so I didn’t have to hold my breath the entire time! And the dollar store did stock googly eyes, so it was not a wasted trip entirely.
The twins were exceedingly proud of their finished project, which sparked their excitement about entering into fall and gave us a memorable afternoon together.
Autumn Maze Activity
Looking to chase away boredom on a rainy day or engage your kids with a fun (and quiet) learning activity? Mazes can help young children sharpen their problem solving ability while improving their fine motor skills. I’ve just begun introducing mazes to my twins recently and have been pleased to see their determination and patience hard at work.
Here’s the latest one that they have worked on, courtesy of Education.com:
Take this opportunity to incorporate the vibrance of Autumn with the critical thinking skills needed to solve a maze with your little ones! For more learning activities go to Education.com.
Readers, do you have any tried-and-true fall-themed activities for preschoolers? Do share!
**This article contains an affiliate link. If you want to buy fingerpaint and choose to do so through the Amazon link provided, there will be no additional cost to you. AND, you won’t have to schlep to the store (where your kids will force you to buy more than you planned) plus I’ll make a little commish. Win-win!
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