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Fall is one of my favorite times of year. The weather is cooler and the changing colors of the leaves are striking.
And I just love being outside in the crisp fall air.
Sometimes, though, when we have little ones at home, it can be hard to come up with things for them to do now that the pools are closed and going outside requires a little more bundling up.
As a tech blogger, I love
technology and the many opportunities it offers us, but I’m also a huge proponent for reducing screen time and just enjoying the world and the people around us. Plus, there are lots of good reasons to limit your kids’ screen time.
If you’re looking for fun screen-free fall activities for your kids, you’ll definitely want to check out this list. You’ll find over 30 awesome activities that bring out the best of fall.
By the way, you may also be interested in this list of
screen-free Thanksgiving activities for kids.
Make sure you pin these ideas to come back to later!
From easy crafts to hands-on sensory activities, from activities that will get your kids (and you!) outside to quiet tabletop activities to encourage independent play, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for here.
Easy Crafts for Little Hands
Help your kids get creative with these easy crafts that are both fun and simple.
"Leaf pressing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and preserve the beauty of the season long after everything goes drab and brown."
The quintessential fall activity, pressing the pretty leaves you and your child find is beyond simple and gives you the chance to enjoy and learn about the outdoors together.
"This free printable banner of little owls is easy enough for children to make and the template is included."
So cute! And if your child is anything like mine, he'll LOVE cutting out the owls for your very own homemade fall decoration.
"Making a craft vegetable patch is a . . . fun, simple activity that the whole family can enjoy."
You might not be doing much actual gardening in the fall, but this is a super cute and fun idea for letting kids learn about gardening... without getting dirty!
"These Apple Pumpkin Stamps are a great way to use up bruised apples the kids won’t eat while also creating some cute, seasonal art!"
I don't know any kid who doesn't enjoy painting. And painting with food is even more fun! Even with washable paint, you might want to consider an
art smock to protect clothes.
This craft is "a tribute to the beautiful autumn trees as they change colour and fall off."
I love that this post includes a list of books for children to read about leaves and fall before doing the activity. And the finished product is so pretty!
"This popsicle stick scarecrow craft is perfect to get everyone in the fall spirit."
My kids have a weird obsession with popsicle sticks, and I think they would love this adorable craft.
So cute! I'm taking a trip to visit my family in Maine this fall, and I'm really hoping we get a chance to do some apple picking before the season is over.
I think my kids will love getting their pictures taken at the orchard and putting them on this craft.
Such a fun, easy craft for little ones to paint their own leaves.
"Simply print out the FREE leaf template, cut out the shapes to make a stencil and then paint your vibrant fall leaves with red, yellow and orange paint."
Mess-free painting? That's an idea I can get behind!
"This is a great sensory activity for babies and toddlers."
"Silhouette suncatchers are super easy to make." And the resulting craft is super cute, too.
The kids will love watching the sunlight come through their colorful creation.
I love this cute handprint wreath and the pretty fall colors.
"The end result makes a perfect gift for grandparents or just a nice keepsake to remember how little your child’s hands were!"
Get Them Outside
The cooler weather makes fall a perfect time to get outside. Here are some fun outdoor fall activity ideas.
"A fall scavenger hunt is the perfect way to get kids and the family outside to enjoy the crisp autumn weather and have fun."
The cute pictures on the scavenger hunt printable make it super easy for young kids to play, too.
With this scavenger hunt you'll take photos of "favorite fall activities like playing in the leaves, eating a caramel apple, drinking a fall drink."
You'll want to work in teams on this one so that each team has someone to read the list and take the photos--or just play all together. No need to make it a competition!
This is another scavenger hunt printable with cute pictures to help little ones play.
"It includes items that can be easily found almost everywhere, such as leaves and pumpkins."
This is such a fun idea!
Take a nature walk and collect a bunch of acorns. Put letters on the acorns and put words together to help little ones learn their letters and sounds!
My son loves making words and loves acorns too, so I know he would have a blast with this activity.
Writing down and drawing what they see outdoors is a fun way to help kids start developing observation skills and learning about the world around them. Even preschoolers can draw what they see... in their own special way!
This post makes it easy to start a nature journal with a printable download that includes prompts and activities.
Not just for fall, your kids can use a nature journal year round!
Hands-on and Sensory Activities
Here are a bunch of hands-on and sensory activities made especially with fall in mind!
This "snow" globe is so pretty and is a great quiet activity.
"There is something so soothing about watching a sensory bottle in action — like these shiny foil leaves swirling. They’re relaxing!"
This sensory table looks so pretty and makes me just want to bury my hands in it.
Probably not suitable for kids who put things in their mouths, but I think a preschooler or elementary kid would have a blast with it.
OK, I'm gonna be honest here--I haven't gotten on the slime bandwagon yet. But this looks intriguing.
"This pumpkin pie slime is super jiggly (as opposed to stretchy) and stays in place when you mold it, so it’s perfect for pretend cooking sensory play!"
This is a fun variation on slime.
"This slime recipe is perfect for fall because of all the gorgeous leaf glitter and fall colors."
As a self-proclaimed nerd, I love that this post includes a kid-friendly explanation of the science behind what makes slime work.
This "super easy cinnamon scented slime is perfect for fall slime making activities with kids."
My daughter loves to join in when her big brother is playing with playdough... but she's still at an age where if it looks edible, she's going to put it in her mouth.
This recipe looks like a great solution. It takes only 3 ingredients, and is no-cook--so it's super easy to whip up and let your kids get started playing!
My son is always asking if he can mix his playdough colors. With this activity he can!
If you’re looking for a playdough craft perfect for fall, you won’t want to miss out on this autumn sensory activity.
Putting it in a pumpkin is a fun twist on the volcano activity.
"The erupting pumpkin science experiment uses baking soda and vinegar for a classic chemical reaction."
Hammering nails into a pumpkin sounds kind of random... but I actually think it would be a really fun sensory activity!
"Hammering nails is a great activity for hand-eye coordination."
Whether you're using them for quiet time or independent play, these tabletop activities will keep your kids occupied.
The fall pictures on this Bingo game are so cute!
"This game is all images, so it's easy for kids of all ages to play."
This is a good one for the readers in your home.
"With 15 autumn inspired words to find, this is a challenging word search puzzle, great for building vocabulary and reinforcing spelling skills."
I love that this word search includes a coloring section, making it enjoyable for readers and non-readers alike.
"There are 30 autumn vocabulary words to look for that will be horizontal, vertical, diagonal and backwards. The printable download also includes the word search with the solution."
Another fun word search!
This one "comes with two different options: a full color version with fall leaves and a black and white coloring page word search."
This is a great collection of fall tabletop activities.
It includes two versions: an easier one for younger children and a more challenging one for older children.
It also comes with a word scramble and a fun riddle.
This fun word scramble includes options with and without a word bank, for an easy or hard version.
Either way, you'll also get an answer key.
This blog might just be my new favorite. Like me, Lorena is a non-native Spanish speaker who wants her child to grow up bilingual.
I was a Spanish major in college but admittedly haven't been as consistent with teaching my kids Spanish as I wanted to be. One of our
favorite YouTube channels has songs in Spanish, but we haven't gotten much farther than that.
Besides just being a fun fall activity, I think these flashcards and coloring book perfect for toddlers and preschoolers will help my kids learn Spanish!
And One More...
This fall activity doesn't really fit into any of the other categories, but it was too good not to share.
I am all about being
being intentional. Know what you want for yourself and your children, and make choices that move your goals forward.
This kindness challenge is a great way to be intentional about developing kindness in your children. With four unique activities for each month of September, August, and November, these activities will help you kids "spread kindness to:
Parents Classmates Teammates Friends Teachers Neighbors Community helpers"
Which of these screen-free fall activities for kids will you be trying first?