I really love the fall. I suppose all of the seasons lend themselves to nature-study activities and crafts, but fall seems to be especially rich to me. My kids and I do fall crafts and art projects every single day – sometimes to the detriment of our homeschool lessons!
Nearly every one of our fall craft projects begins with a walk outside. We remember to dress in layers, and we always make sure to bring along a tote bag or a bucket to collect our treasures.
A quick tip: always make sure to spread out your fall treasures when you get home to let them dry. If you collect leaves (either green, colored, or already dried), put them between the pages of a heavy book (a telephone book is perfect if you have one of those around somewhere). If you can’t find a thick, heavy book, put the leaves between pieces of paper and put a couple of heavy books on top of them. Keep the leaves there for a week or two, until they dry out. If you take them out too soon, they’ll crinkle up as they dry and you won’t be able to use them.
Here is a round-up of some of our favorite fall crafts and activities.
10 Fun Fall Kids Activities & Crafts
- Painting with our nature finds. We collect leaves (thick, green ones work best), sticks, acorns, and other interesting shapes, and we use them as stamps and brushes – painting with the nature objects rather than on them.
- Painted acorns. Collect all the acorns you can find. Bake them at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so to kill any wood-boring creatures that may be inside, then take them out and paint them. You can paint them with the caps on or remove the caps and hot glue them back on when the paint is dry. While the paint is wet, you can sprinkle them with glitter. There are so many options! When your acorns are dry, you can set a bunch in a bowl on a table or you can hot glue them onto a fall wreath. We made a wreath using fall flowers on clearance at the craft store and glued our painted acorns as accents.
- Painted pine cones. Painted pine cones works almost the same as painted acorns. Who woudn’t love a vase of pine cones as a table setting this time of year?
- Make mosaics using your leaves and other treasures. We made a bird from our fall leaves, but you can make almost anything – use your imagination! Any combination of leaves, acorns, vines (watch out for poison ivy, which is abundant even in the fall!), and seeds can come together to make abstract or real-looking pictures.
- It’s not exactly a craft, but another favorite fall activity at my house is making apple crisp, pear crisp, and applesauce. Your kids will love these activities! Let them help with the peeling, the cutting (if they’re big enough), the mixing, and the assembling.
- Cooking together is one of my favorite things to do with my kids, but we really love reading, too. Annie the Apple Pie Fairy is a great apple-themed book to read with your littles.
- Make apple stamps. While you have the apples out, cut a couple – at least one up and down, through the stem, and at least one horizontally to show the star in the center. Use the cut apples as stamps then apply paint (not too much) and stamp the apple onto paper. It’s fun to experiment with the different shapes.
- Get some pumpkins! You can cut pumpkins up and explore the flesh and seeds. You can cut smaller ones in half like the apples and use them to paint. The real fun, though, is painting bigger pumpkins. We love to drizzle paint over pumpkins, paint with brushes, explore with patterns and stamps, sprinkle them with glitter, and even experiment with stickers, tape, and glued-on objects like buttons and jewels. There is no end to the creativity of painted pumpkins. Finish up your pumpkin activities by reading books like the Pumpkin Patch Parable or A Pumpkin Prayer.
- This one isn’t nature-related, but it is perfect for the coming season. Create a Thankful poster with your family now to give you plenty of time to fill it up with gratitude. Give each member of your family a pen or marker, and have her write the things she’s thankful for on the poster. Leave it up from now until Thanksgiving and add to it whenever the mood strikes.
- While we’re thinking about Thanksgiving, make some handprint turkeys! They’re a classic for a reason, and one of my personal favorite crafts. I have one for each of my kids from each Thanksgiving of their lives. I’ve seen some updated versions, but I’m still partial to the old standard.
What are some of your favorite fun fall kids activities? I’d love to hear your ideas too!