5 Great Fall Activities for Active Toddlers
The dog days of summer make way for crisp autumn afternoons filled with brightly colored leaves, cooler temperatures and a bounty of fun fall activities for toddlers. The fall season offers inspiration for a variety of activities ideal for toddlers and preschool-age children, from crafts to exploring nature, as well as the local library.
One of the most popular preschool fall activities, leaf rubbings, can be done at home with kids as young as age 2. You only need several sheets of white printer/copy paper, crayons and several leaves. If you’re running low on paper for your home printer, brands such as Hammermill, Xerox and HP make white printer paper that works great for this project.
The first step requires a journey to the backyard or public park to collect many different leaves. Choose leaves that have already fallen from their tree, but opt for ones still pliable so the leaf doesn’t crumble when the paper is placed over it.
Show your child how to place the leaf under the white paper and to gently rub a crayon over the paper, pressing down so the leaf pattern appears. You can create several art masterpieces in this manner. Mount the pictures on yellow or orange construction paper and display them for fall decorations. Be sure to make extras for grandparents.
Pumpkin patch visit
A visit to the local pumpkin patch is one of the great fall activities for kids of all ages. Encourage your child to touch the pumpkins, and be sure to talk about the texture, teaching her words such as bumpy, rough and smooth. When visiting a pumpkin patch with a toddler, it’s an ideal opportunity to talk about shapes, the color orange and comparing sizes. Some pumpkin patches are pick-your-own, another activity younger children relish. Allowing your child to pick her own pumpkin can be a fun, memorable fall moment.
Tissue paper pumpkins
Fall activities for toddlers sometimes mean mom has to do a bit of prep work. This easy craft requires mom to cut a pumpkin shape from white construction paper or white card stock. Then, cut about 50 one-inch squares from orange tissue paper. Now your toddler is ready to create a tissue paper pumpkin by gluing the squares onto the pumpkin shape. The stem can be colored with green tissue paper or a green crayon. Younger kids love to work with glue, but to minimize mess, squirt the glue onto a paper plate and have your child dab it onto the tissue paper using a cotton swab. Be sure to use non-toxic, washable glue such as Elmer’s School Glue.
Fall into books
Take your toddler on a special visit to the local library. Spend some time looking for books about autumn, pumpkins and harvest time. Consider titles such as “Fall is for Friends” by Suzy Spafford, “Busy Little Squirrel” by Nancy Tafuri and “Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert. Many character favorites also have seasonal books. Look for fall-themed books featuring Winnie the Pooh, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Elmo.
Fall fun box
Create a fall fun box filled with seasonal items. Stimulate imagination and the senses with faux autumn leaves, small pumpkins and baby-safe blocks in fall colors. Toss the leaves up, and together watch them gently float down. Talk about the colors of the blocks, comparing them to the colors of the leaves. Help your toddler find all the orange items for a fun color game.