As leaves are starting to fall and Autumn arrives, it’s a great season to get kids involved and creative! From leaf crafts and scavenger hunts to scarecrows, spooky haunts and gingerbread fun, don’t miss these 50 awesome Autumn activities for kids – and parents!
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Autumn is a fantastic season that brings with it so many fun activities – pumpkin picking and carving, walking in the falling leaves, finding conkers and chestnuts, cooler days for wrapping up, and warming drinks when you get home!
We’ve chosen 50 of our favourite autumn activities that are perfect for family weekends, backyard fun or after school excitement – enjoy!
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Family-Friendly Autumn Activities
Go Leaf Peeping
View and photograph the beautiful autumn foliage in your garden, on the way to school or in the park or woods.
Make a scrap book from the leaves, trying to identify each leaf type. They will be perfect for paint patterns too.
Try Bird Watching
Try some bird watching, either from your garden or on a walk. Take binoculars with you and perhaps a book on birds and see how many you can spot.
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Make an Autumnal Mask
Make an Autumnal mask out of leaves. Collect a variety of autumnal leaves and arrange them together before gluing them in place onto a cardboard backing. Attach string or elastic to the back or else attach a little twig to the side of the mask for you hand to hold onto.
Go for a Hike
Keep the trail easy, mileage low and have a good general idea of the hiking area. Bring a box or backpack with you to collect little treasures symbolic to the time of year such as pine cones, acorns, etc.
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Buy a Bale of Hay
As a child, I remember having so much fun with my family and friends messing with hay. From the stories told sitting on the hay, to rolling around in it and even being scolded for having my fuzzy hair full of hay when I came in for dinner!
Collect Colourful Autumn Leaves
As the leaves start to fall, they are the perfect source of inspiration for many fun projects, like these 15 seasonal and creative leaf craft ideas for kids.
Make a Pine Cone Bird Feeder
It’s really simple to make a pine cone bird feeder:
- Tie a bit of string around a pine cone.
- Lather on some peanut butter and then shake bird seed over it.
- Hang outside and watch the birds flock to it.
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Plant Bulbs in your Garden for Next Spring
Tulips and daffodil bulbs are readily available from September in shops as well as garden centres, and don’t forget about the snowdrops and crocuses too.
Let the kids pick a selection and allocate them a spot in the garden to plant their own bulbs.
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Go For a Drive
Autumn is such a lovely time in nature, so make the most of it, and take a drive to the countryside to see the leaves turning on the trees, and admire all the signs of the season around you.
Head to the Library
The library is a great place to spend some time, no matter what time of the year. But for the season that’s here, why not borrow a book about Autumn, and learn some of the Autumnal traditions from around the world.
Jump in a Pile of Leaves
…Preferably not the ones the ones your neighbour has just raked up though! Run through them and see who can kick them up the highest.
Make Leaf People
Have the children glue a leaf on a piece of paper, and draw legs, arms, and a head to create a person. They could then tell or write a story about their leaf person – is it an autumn monster, a fairy queen, a magical creature or perhaps a self-portrait?
Bake Some Treats
Baking is fun anytime of the year, but why not make the most of the seasonal produce available at this time of year – apples, pears and pumpkin are particularly seasonal.
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Go Pumpkin Picking
Yes, you can pick up a pumpkin in your local supermarket or vegetable stand, but if you have the opportunity to visit a real pumpkin patch, it is such a memorable experience – and one completely unique to the season!
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Carve a Pumpkin
Will it be scary, funny or evil looking? Here are 10 easy pumpkin decorating ideas to give you some inspiration.
Make Toffee apples
This is a great Halloween activity for kids, and is a perfect activity if you hosting a kids Halloween party.
How to Make:
- Skewer some apples on sticks, and prepare bowls of sprinkles, small jellies/sweets.
- You will need melted toffee (shop bought/make your own using butter, sugar and salt), and ensure not too hot when kids making their toffee apples.
- Let each kid dip their apple into the melted toffee and then dip in sprinkles etc.
- Lay on greaseproof paper to cool.
Make your kid’s (or your own) Halloween costume. Need some inspiration? Here are 15 Homemade Halloween costume ideas the kids will love.
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Visit a haunted house near you, or a deserted house or castle ruin…if you dare!
Host a Halloween Party
Throw a Halloween party for your neighbours or have your kids invite their friends.
We’ve got the party sorted too with our Halloween Party ideas for Kids – including games to play, Halloween decoration ideas, and tempting party food ideas to keep all the little monsters happy!
Go On a Sound Scavenger Hunt
How about something a bit different to do outdoors? Here’s our free Sound Scavenger Hunt to download and enjoy while you are out in the forest or woods.
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Decorate the Driveway with Chalk Leaves
Simply place a leaf on the ground and trace around it using chalk. Then remove the leaf and colour in your outline. You could even do a pattern of leaves along the footpath to resemble footprints.
Make some leaf rubbings from the leaves you have collected. Let your child place a leaf under a piece of paper, and rub the paper with crayon, and the leaf shape will appear. This works much better with green leaves.
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Collect Pine Cones
Collect pine cones and display them in a glass bowl. You could let the kids paint them a variety of colours first, or why not make some fun crafts together? Here are 12 simple pine cone crafts for kids to get you started.
Collect Horse Chestnuts
Collect some horse chestnuts or conkers that have fallen from a sycamore tree. Pierce a hole in the middle and thread an old shoelace through it. Then challenge a friend or sibling to a conker match. Take turns banging your conker against the other raised one. The first conker to break is deemed the loser.
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Bushes should be ripe with blackberries from August onwards so go blackberry picking together.
Once home (if there is any left!), stew the blackberries with some apple to form a yummy compote, that will be perfect with custard, on porridge, or on yogurt.
Build a Scarecrow
This is a lovely project for the kids to do, particularly if they have helped you with the gardening. And even if the scarecrow is never used in the garden, it’s still plenty of fun and could be used for your halloween decorating.
All you need is some old clothes, hat, canes, straw or old newspapers for stuffing, needle and thread, and a plastic bag. You can see how to make this simple scarecrow.
Make a Leaf Wreath
Take the children outside and have them collect leaves, twigs and acorns. Cut out the centre of a paper plate and have the children paint it brown. After the paint is dry, have the children glue their leaves, twigs and acorns to the plate to make their very own autumn wreath.
Have a Scary Movie Night
Are you a Monsters Inc fan or Ghostbusters or Gremlins? What about Paranorman or Hotel Transylvania? There are lots of ‘spooky’ movies to watch that can be suitable for the whole family.
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Make an Acorn Necklace
Thread acorns onto string to make your own seasonal necklace
Paint a Personalised Autumn tree
Sketch the outline of a tree and then use fingertips dipped in paint to add an assortment of attached, falling and fallen leaves to perfect your picture. The whole family could get involved!
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Make Pine Cone Creatures
The pine cone forms the body of the animal and using playdoh add legs, arms, and a face.
Make Your Own Bird Feeder
Provide some treats for the birds and show the how to make a bird feeder, or alternatively buy an inexpensive one.
Fill it with seeds and bird mixes and watch from the window as the birds flock to it during the colder months.
Make Apple Cider
Synonymous with Autumn is the warming taste and comforting scent of apple cider. Make your own with this recipe for a lovely hot mulled cider that the whole family can enjoy.
Fly a Kite
The weather should be a lot windier now so it would be perfect for kite flying. You could even try your hand at making the kites.
Spot a Rainbow
…Then follow it to see if you can find the end of it. You may also like these 28 rainbow-inspired activities for kids.
Play ‘Pooh Sticks’
It you haven’t played this before, you’re missing out! This game can be played on any bridge over running water. Each person playing drops a stick into the water on the upstream side of the bridge. The one whose stick first appears on the downstream side is deemed the winner.
Get Cooking with Seasonal Foods
Build a Den
Keep kids busy on rainy days by making a den.
Layer blankets and duvet covers over a table, or build them up from the floor, leaving room for a doorway. The kids can then add their own finishing touches with cushions, fairy lights and bunting. Use it for playing games, making jigsaws and puzzles. Be warned though – they’ll probably want to even sleep in it!
Press Some Leaves
Let you child gather some “perfect” leaves, big and small ones and different coloured ones. For best pressing results, try to press them within half an hour of finding them and only use dry leaves. Place them between squares of kitchen roll and then inside a book and add weight to the top of the book. Leave for a few days.
Pull on your wellie boots and make some muddy prints on the footpaths. Explore the sizes, patterns and textures. Even if it’s raining, kids love to run and jump in puddles.
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Head to the Beach
Who says the beach is just for summer? Wrap up warm and head down to the beach for plenty of fresh sea air.
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Go Star Gazing
Grab a blanket and lie on the grass and gaze at the stars on a clear night, before the weather gets too cold.
See if you can recognise any of the well-known constellations – here are tips on Fun Astronomy for Kids.
Turn sycamore seeds into helicopters. How high can you throw them and how fast will they spin?
Climb as high as you can and enjoy the view – the world looks so different from the lofty heights of a tree. Get the kids to try measure a tree.
If you’re fine with having a mess to clean up later, why not squish around in the mud? Get your toes dirty, make a mud pie, or try several other fun messy activities.
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Before you have to be inside for the winter months, get your kids playing outdoor games – they might need a little bit of instruction to get started, so have a look at our 20 Great Childhood Games for inspiration.
Can they see their breath when it’s cold yet?
Have Some Science Fun
Feel free to get a little messy when you tackle these science activities:
- 5 Fun Halloween Science Experiments for Kids
- 5 Fun Science Experiments for Kids to try at home
- 18 Easy Science Experiments Perfect for Preschoolers
Have an Autumn Picnic
Once you are wrapped up warm, an Autumn picnic can be great fun. Pack flasks with soup and hot chocolate to keep everyone toasty, and sit back and admire the Autumn colours.
Make Autumn Playdoh
Use flour, water, salt and vegetable oil but add in spices such as cloves, cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg, to make you own Autumn playdoh. To make your playdoh seasonal in colour too, swap the water for paint (orange, red or brown colours).
You can watch how to make playdoh with this super easy recipe here.
Bake Gingerbread People
Don’t you just love the smell of freshly baked gingerbread?
Here is a very easy Gingerbread Man Recipe that you will enjoy making with your kids!
Make Leaf Cookies
Cut out the shape of a leaf on card and use it to shape your very own leaf cookies. Alternatively, use a round of oval cookie cutter shape for the leaf, and then score lines into the dough to make the leaf print. Your kids will “fall” in love with them!
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Have your say! What are your favourite autumn activities to do as a family? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!