Outdoor Play Ideas for the Fall

As the weather changes, outdoor activities change.  The cooler days of fall are ideal for long walks of discovery.  Pack a snack of cut fruit, cheese curds, crackers or finger sandwiches and some water to drink.  Walking in familiar places makes changes more noticeable.

 Watch for:

  • Flowers turning brown

  • Leaves changing colour and drying

  • Birds and animals gathering food

  • Pets growing heavier coats

 Encourage children to:

  • Look, smell, feel and think

  • Collect pebbles, twigs, leaves, pine cones, wild flowers

  • Hug some trees and decide which is largest, smoothest, friendliest

 Use nature collections for crafts and to decorate at home:

  • Make a branch mobile with leaves and nuts.

  • Dip leaves, feathers, evergreen sprigs, etc. in paint and then press onto paper.

  • Adopt an abandoned spider web by sprinkling it gently with talcum powder – lift it by placing a sheet of black construction paper underneath.

  • Create a table centrepiece of acorns, pine cones, pebbles in a glass jar, or flowers dried by hanging upside-down.

  • Preserve leaves by pressing between wax paper (cereal and cracker boxes have super wax bag liners) or use a placemat-size piece.  Place gathered “treasures” on one piece of wax paper.  You could shave crayon pieces with a grater, cut out magazine letters to create a name or add magazine pictures for added interest.  Place another piece of wax paper on top and iron gently (no steam) to melt together.

  • Press leaves between sheets of wax paper placed under a heavy book.  Preserve leaves permanently by covering with clear MacTac.  Cut around leaves leaving 1/16” MacTac around edges.  Hang these in a window to twirl and sparkle in the sunlight.

  • Place a leaf or two under paper, rub the top of the paper with a crayon to see the leaves appear magically.

  • Create an apple face with miniature marshmallows or raisins.

  • Use apple chunks to add to muffins or pancakes.  Share a cooking experience!

  • Use apple pieces dipped in paint or pudding to make apple prints.

 The colder weather of early winter brings out mittens and scarves.  The changing textures of clothes and dropping temperatures can be discovered.

  • The ground is hard.

  • We see our breath.

  • We hope for snow.

  • Watch the grey sky, and move quickly when outdoors to stay warm.  Play FREEZE! – then HOP – FREEZE, JUMP-FREEZE and so on.  Let the children take turns calling freeze.