It’s Fall! My favorite time of the year. I just love the changing colors of the leaves, the crisp air, apples, and putting on a sweater and bundling up for a nice walk.
Fall is a great time to get some outdoor learning in before we slip into winter. I write about boys learning and am always trying to find enjoyable learning experiences to share.
Alecia has some great posts about fall activities for preschoolers here on her site and I wanted to share a few fall learning activities that you can try. Getting kids outside in nature is so good for them and they can learn so much from a simple walk.
Here are some ideas to get kids learning about this change in the seasons. They need very little prep and are fun for families to do together. Learning as a family is a rewarding experience. I hope you will take some time to try one of these activities.
One simple, and very fun activity is to go on a leaf hunt. There are many different ways to do this but here are a couple of our favorites.
- Go out for a long walk in the woods, a park, or your neighborhood and pick up any leaf you don’t recognize. Find the tree that it came from (sometimes a challenge due to blowing leaves) and take a picture of the leaf and the tree. After you get home check your leaf and tree pictures against a tree guide to learn about those trees.
- Try to find specific leaves. Challenge each other to find a certain leaf. For example, everyone needs to look for maple leaves. The first person to find a maple leaf names the next leaf to search for. This is a fun way to help kids match leaves with their names—and remember them. You can also make it a bit more difficult by trying to find 3 types of maples or different types of oak leaves.
- Ask questions about the leaves and how they might change colors, why they fall from the trees and what happens to them while on the ground. Let the kids think about these things for a while. Get their ideas about how nature works. You can look up answers when you get home.
We have some nut trees at a park nearby and we like to go explore in fall. If you can’t find nut trees nearby take a drive. I have called our state park offices to find what I want to share with my son and they are always very helpful.
- Find and identify different nuts and nut trees. Break the nuts apart and smell them. You may need to bring a nutcracker or a hammer along. I wouldn’t suggest eating them unless you know what they are.
- See what has been eating the nuts. We search around and see if we can find tooth marks in any of the broken nuts, and look at and try to identify the shells. We also try to spot nests, squirrels, or chipmunks as we are looking around.
- We have a little game we play with acorns or small nuts. Try to find a tree with a hole in it and toss the nuts into the hole–if you can. It is challenging and a fun activity. What are they learning? Well, we just do it for fun but this is the time we talk about what we have discovered or learned during our time out. Plus it is good for hand-eye coordination, if you need an extra reason to play.
Just getting out and doing a few fall learning activities can lead to a lot of fun. Go on a leaf hunt or look for nuts while spending some time together in nature. Observe, touch, feel, smell and learn a lot while you are enjoying the fall season.
How do you get your kids learning in fall?