Fall, and all of the season’s beautiful colors, foods, sports, and festivals, is here. For all of us involved in our children’s education, fall is a pivotal time to strengthen skills, reclaim any learning losses from “summer slide”, and prevent student burnout early in the school year. Fall learning activities can be just what your family needs to make those shortening days seem longer and more fun!

Fall Activities for Families

Living in a place where the seasons change dramatically, our family loves to be outside as much as possible until the snow flies. For family fall activities, we take drives to see the changing colors, hike through the woods, visit pumpkin patches, pick fall fruits, and rake huge piles of leaves in the yard for jumping parties. Our favorite outdoor family fall activity, however, is a bonfire with s’mores and spooky ghost stories. Our best one ever included rehearsed performances of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems and short stories and a few homespun tales by the children, complete with flashes of colored flames at the scariest parts. What are your fun fall family activities? If you are looking for ideas, here are a couple more!

  • Fall Scavenger Hunt: Enjoy nature while encouraging attention to detail (and maybe a little science) with this crafty family fall activity. Create a list of items you find outdoors during the fall where you live. As a family, take a walk around the yard,neighborhood, or woods looking for the items on your list. Try to include a leaf printable or samples to match for the little ones. Have each family member take a selfie with their discovered items and then create a fall photo collage together.
  • Stargazing: Shorter days mean you can catch earlier sunsets and drive-in movies. You can also capitalize on the earlier darkness to learn a bit about astronomy together. We love using a stargazing app and identifying the planets and constellations as we bundle together in the cool night air with blankets and hot chocolate. If a telescope is available, even better!

Preschool and Kindergarten Fall Activities

If you have young children, you may be interested in finding fall activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners that can help build foundational skills. These fall preschool activities can strengthen important reading, math, and science skills while celebrating the season:

  • Fall Spelling Activity: For this preschool reading or kindergarten language arts activity, spell out a word like “Thanksgiving,” marking each individual letter on a separate leaf or piece of paper, if you don’t have leaves available. Place the letters on the ground and ask your preschooler to jump on each one, saying the letter name and/or sound. Ask your kindergartener to rearrange the letters in the big word to spell smaller words.
  • Counting Fall Favorites: Kindergarten and preschool fall activities can also help with preschool math or kindergarten math. Find multiple copies of fall items (e.g., leaves, sticks, acorns, pinecones) to count. Ask your child whether there is more of one item than another. If your child is ready, take two small piles of an item and “add” by counting together.
  • Fall Object Sink or Float: Preschoolers and kindergarteners can learn science with this fun activity. Grab pinecones, apples, leaves, walnuts, stones, or mini pumpkins; then fill a large plastic bin with water. Allow your child to predict whether each item will sink or float and then test each one to discover if the prediction is right.

Elementary School Fall Activities

Fall activities for elementary school students can be both fun and educational. Here are a few that build on what elementary school students love:

  • Fall Storytelling: Ask your child to entertain you with a fall story. Give them some seasonal items that must be included in the story and then enjoy the creativity while your child strengthens language arts skills. Remember to record the stories for posterity!
  • Leaf Rubbing Art: Grow an appreciation for nature while enhancing math skills. Grab a white piece of paper (or tracing or wax paper). Have your child place the leaf underneath the paper and trace using a variety of mediums such as crayons or pencils to create leaf prints in rows and columns. Then practice learning about multiplication through repeated addition and arrays.
  • Fall Slime: Who doesn’t love slime? Making slime also helps kids learn science through sensory play and how different ingredients affect the outcome. For older children, this activity is great for building problem-solving skills when trying to figure out the right slime consistency.

Middle School Fall Activities

We can use fall activities to help middle schoolers strengthen skills with a seasonal flare. Try these activities with your tweens:

  • Fall Writing Prompt: Activate your middle schooler’s imagination while strengthening language arts skills through fall-themed writing prompts like these: What does fall mean to you? Describe a day in the life of a leaf, pumpkin, or jack-o-lantern. What if the scarecrow in the field could talk?
  • The Cost of Fall Fun: Practice math by asking your child to make a list for costumes, candy, and other fall-related items and calculate the total cost, including percentage discounts and taxes if applicable.
  • Straw Skeleton: Learning life sciences and the skeletal system will be very easy with this fall learning activity for middle schoolers. Grab a piece of paper, scissors, and pieces of straw (or plastic straws) and have your child recreate the skeletal system and then label each of the bones.

High School Fall Activities

Motivating high schoolers through fall activities may bring huge dividends. Consider adding the following activities to celebrate the season:

  • Fall Across the Country: While supporting both social studies and language arts, ask your child to design a project for learning about fall across the country: a research paper, a PowerPoint presentation, an artistic masterpiece, or some other project. In different locations, what seasonal changes occur? How do people celebrate fall in other areas of the country? How are fall clothing and food different in other regions?
  • Fall Party Budgeting: Get your teen to apply practical math by budgeting the cost of their ideal fall-themed party. Give your child a limit to the amount that can be spent and remind them to consider all the guests who will be attending. If your teen meets the budget, why not make the party happen?
  • Fall Collections: Capitalize on your teenager’s interests and strengths by asking them to create a collection of music with fall-themed lyrics, design and draw fall-themed clothing, create a menu and cook a fall-themed buffet, or put together fall-themed objects and scents in a crafty potpourri.

With the right fall activities in place, you and your child will look forward to autumn, and bolster learning during the change of season. Enjoy!