Inspiration

10 Outdoor Activities for Children to Try This Autumn

July 23, 2021

Get the little ones outdoors and learning this Autumn.

Get the little ones outdoors and learning this Autumn.
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With the cooler weather and the changing seasons’ colours, you can enjoy a treasure trove of outdoor activities for children in the Autumn. There are adventures all around us just waiting to happen, and each activity offers children a host of learning opportunities, like developing observational skills, colour matching, or even being brave with some tree climbing.

The beauty is that none of these activities feel like homework to children — they’re fun, engaging, and certain to burn some energy.

Activity 1: Outdoor colour match

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
Using colour cards from a paint store, children go outdoors and look for items that match the colours they’re holding in their hands on the cards.

Ideal for ages: 4-6 years

What you’ll need:

  • Paint cards
  • An outdoor space

How to do it:
Autumn has its own colour palette, so start out by talking about the season’s colours — the reds, yellows and orange that we see bursting across the trees. Next, choose paint cards with colours that align with the shades you see outdoors. Ask the children how many natural treasures (leaves, twigs, flowers) they can find outside that match the colours on the cards. Show them how to hold an object to a colour on the paint card to see if they match. Equipped with this clear mission, the children will love getting outside on the hunt for Autumn colours.

Image source: Inner child fun

Activity 2: Scavenger hunt

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
A scavenger hunt is always an exciting challenge, but especially so when you’re a preschooler. This Autumn, you can emphasize the season through your choice of scavenger treasures.

Ideal for ages: 3-6 years

What you’ll need:

  • Basket or bucket
  • Paper and pen

How to do it:
Create an illustrated list of items the children need to scavenge for outdoors, and give each child a basket or a bucket to place their treasures in. Show them how to cross off an item that they have found. This activity introduces gentle, active competition, and teaches children how to work through a list methodically. But most importantly, it’s fun!

Activity 3: Make a leaf slide

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
Children love a dramatic “explosion” — and this burst of colourful Autumn leaves will elicit giggles of satisfaction.

Ideal for ages: 2 and up

What you’ll need:

  • A slide
  • Lots of leaves

How to do it:
Talk to the children about how the trees change during this cooler season, and why they shed their leaves. Show them how to gather the dry leaves into a great big pile at the foot of the slide. At this point, children know exactly what’s coming next – sliding down into the pile. The bigger they make the pile and the longer they work to gather leaves, the more satisfying the result will be when they slide down.

Image source: Happy hooligans

Activity 4: Create an Autumn nature table

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
A nature table is a display of items that reflect something from your natural surroundings. Create one with your children using items you gather outdoors.

Ideal for ages: 2 – 6 years

What you’ll need:

  • A small table (or anything to act as a table, like a box with a table cloth over it)
  • Natural items collected outside

How to do it:
You can use any table at your home or setting, but a lower table makes it easier for children to reach — an upside-down box with a white tablecloth over it is perfect. Explain the Autumn theme to your children, tell them about the colours and the cooler weather.

Then, encourage children to find natural items outdoors that reflect this – beautiful leaves, feathers, brown grasses and any other treasures. Once you’ve been out collecting, display your treasures on the table together with your children, making a colourful leafy display. Now, you have a beautiful decoration that the children can reflect on for the whole season, and you can always keep coming back to add more.

Image source: Happy hooligans

Activity 5: Find the tree that matches the leaf

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
It’s like a treasure hunt, the clues are in the leaves. Match the leaf to the tree invites children outdoors to find the tree the leaf came from

Ideal for ages: 3 – 7 years

What you’ll need:

  • Some leaves
  • The trees the leaves came from (in a safe outdoor area)

How to do it:
You will need to collect the leaves before you start the activity. Choose as many leaves from each tree as there are children so that each child can have a leaf to match to each tree. Hand each child their own handful of leaves and ask them to look on the ground and in the trees’ branches to find the tree that belongs to each leaf. Just like that, you’re working on their observation skills, and encouraging their sense of curiosity.

Image source: Confidence meets parenting

Activity 6: Spot the season’s birds

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
Bird watching is a great activity at any time of the year. Especially as Autumn takes the stage, you can look for the birds that will be around during the colder season, and those that are passing through on their way south.

Ideal for ages: 4 – 7 years

What you’ll need:

  • Internet access to research the birds in your area
  • A bird book (not essential but it helps)
  • Binoculars
  • A notebook to record which birds you have spotted

How to do it:
Start by talking to the children about migratory birds that leave during the colder months in search of warmer regions. Research together and find out which birds will be in your area during the colder months. Choose a sunny day to head outdoors with binoculars, and search for those birds.

Image source: Moms.com

Activity 7: Leaf and land art

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
The big idea here is to beautify an outdoor space using natural materials. You could pile pebbles, stack stones, or make these lovely leaf totems — it’s all up to you to explore what’s in your environment.

Ideal for ages: 4 and up

What you’ll need:

  • A long thin twig with leaves pulled off
  • Beautiful leaves

How to do it:
First, decide what sort of nature or leaf art you want to create. To create the leaf art illustrated here, ask the children to choose an assortment of colourful leaves. Using tall and smooth twigs, have the children string the leaves on, one at a time. They’ll have to be careful not to break the leaves, so it’s a great way to practice using gentle hands and exercise those fine motor skills. When a child’s stick is full, show them how to plant the bottom end in the ground. Then, explore your area for more opportunities to make nature sculptures — children can use whatever else is within reach!

Image source: Artful parent

Activity 8: Build a bonfire and make some s’mores

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
The cooler weather calls for a warm fire and delicious comfort foods. While s’mores aren’t the most nutritious snack, we all could use a treat now and then! Plus, the memories children will have of these occasions will stay with them a long time.

Ideal for ages: 2 – 7 years

What you’ll need:

  • Pretzels
  • Marshmallows
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Campfire essential (firelighters, wood, a safe place for a fire)

How to do it:
Either in your backyard or a local park with a fire pit, have your children help to gather firewood. Teach them how to stack it and use firelighters to get a happy fire crackling away — remember to tell children to maintain a safe distance when you light the fire. Make the s’more together: toast the marshmallows, place a peanut butter cup on top of a pretzel and cover this with your toasted marshmallow. Finish it off with another pretzel on top. Of course, there’s no one right way to make a s’more, so you can use whatever you find in your local shop.

Image source: Redtri

Activity 9: Build a fort

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
This is a wonderful activity to try out after you’ve talked with children about the changes in nature that we see during the Autumn. Many of the little animals (and even the bigger animals) are looking for a safe place for their wintertime nap — and you can make a cosy little burrow too.

Ideal for ages: 2 to 7 years

What you’ll need:

  • Some tall trees
  • Rope
  • A large sheet

How to do it:
Talk to the children about the animals that hibernate, and then head out into the garden or your local woods. Ask the children to remember which animals like to hibernate and talk to them about their favourite ones. They’re going to pretend to be that animal and build a hibernation burrow — or a little fort.

This could be as simple as a hanging tent — simply string a rope between two trees, and hang a sheet across it, pinning the corners down into the ground. Now all the little animals can move in and out of the hibernation fort.

Image source: Redtri

Activity 10: Science and observation: The rotting pumpkin experiment

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
You can easily boost children’s observation skills with this rotting pumpkin experiment — it’s both icky and interesting. Plus, it’s a great use for your leftover squash, especially after Halloween.

Ideal for ages: 4-7 years

What you’ll need:

  • A pumpkin (any type of pumpkin will work)
  • An area where you can leave the pumpkin without it becoming lunch for some wildlife
  • A diary or notebook to record your observations

How to do it:
Place a cut pumpkin outside, in a place where you can easily see it or walk to it. Then, each day, go check it out with your children to watch the way it decays. Use scientific words like hypothesis, data, and observation and teach the children how to use these terms correctly. Record the children’s observations of the slow decay of your pumpkin. You might want to read to them what they observed the day before, and ask them if they see anything different. You could also record their observations and play that back to them each day before they look for any changes. The idea is to hypothesise what you think will happen and watch to see if that actually is what happens — it’s a big part of our observation skills.

Image source: Confidence meets parenting

Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

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Find out below how Famly saved the Beau Peeps team time in managing their nursery, and see what we can do for you in a personal demo.

“I would definitely recommend Famly, it’s very easy to use and quick to access for staff and parents alike. Things change constantly in a nursery and Famly makes it easier to manage." - Enrica, Manager, Beau Peeps Nursery

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10 Outdoor Activities for Children to Try This Autumn

Get the little ones outdoors and learning this Autumn.
10 Outdoor Activities for Children to Try This Autumn

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The EYFS Activity Library: 50 EYFS Activities

50 unique EYFS activities, from water play and composting, to LEGO towers and giant bubbles.

By
and
Marcus FoggInspiration
September 30, 2020

With the cooler weather and the changing seasons’ colours, you can enjoy a treasure trove of outdoor activities for children in the Autumn. There are adventures all around us just waiting to happen, and each activity offers children a host of learning opportunities, like developing observational skills, colour matching, or even being brave with some tree climbing.

The beauty is that none of these activities feel like homework to children — they’re fun, engaging, and certain to burn some energy.

Activity 1: Outdoor colour match

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
Using colour cards from a paint store, children go outdoors and look for items that match the colours they’re holding in their hands on the cards.

Ideal for ages: 4-6 years

What you’ll need:

  • Paint cards
  • An outdoor space

How to do it:
Autumn has its own colour palette, so start out by talking about the season’s colours — the reds, yellows and orange that we see bursting across the trees. Next, choose paint cards with colours that align with the shades you see outdoors. Ask the children how many natural treasures (leaves, twigs, flowers) they can find outside that match the colours on the cards. Show them how to hold an object to a colour on the paint card to see if they match. Equipped with this clear mission, the children will love getting outside on the hunt for Autumn colours.

Image source: Inner child fun

Activity 2: Scavenger hunt

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
A scavenger hunt is always an exciting challenge, but especially so when you’re a preschooler. This Autumn, you can emphasize the season through your choice of scavenger treasures.

Ideal for ages: 3-6 years

What you’ll need:

  • Basket or bucket
  • Paper and pen

How to do it:
Create an illustrated list of items the children need to scavenge for outdoors, and give each child a basket or a bucket to place their treasures in. Show them how to cross off an item that they have found. This activity introduces gentle, active competition, and teaches children how to work through a list methodically. But most importantly, it’s fun!

Activity 3: Make a leaf slide

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
Children love a dramatic “explosion” — and this burst of colourful Autumn leaves will elicit giggles of satisfaction.

Ideal for ages: 2 and up

What you’ll need:

  • A slide
  • Lots of leaves

How to do it:
Talk to the children about how the trees change during this cooler season, and why they shed their leaves. Show them how to gather the dry leaves into a great big pile at the foot of the slide. At this point, children know exactly what’s coming next – sliding down into the pile. The bigger they make the pile and the longer they work to gather leaves, the more satisfying the result will be when they slide down.

Image source: Happy hooligans

Activity 4: Create an Autumn nature table

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
A nature table is a display of items that reflect something from your natural surroundings. Create one with your children using items you gather outdoors.

Ideal for ages: 2 – 6 years

What you’ll need:

  • A small table (or anything to act as a table, like a box with a table cloth over it)
  • Natural items collected outside

How to do it:
You can use any table at your home or setting, but a lower table makes it easier for children to reach — an upside-down box with a white tablecloth over it is perfect. Explain the Autumn theme to your children, tell them about the colours and the cooler weather.

Then, encourage children to find natural items outdoors that reflect this – beautiful leaves, feathers, brown grasses and any other treasures. Once you’ve been out collecting, display your treasures on the table together with your children, making a colourful leafy display. Now, you have a beautiful decoration that the children can reflect on for the whole season, and you can always keep coming back to add more.

Image source: Happy hooligans

Activity 5: Find the tree that matches the leaf

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
It’s like a treasure hunt, the clues are in the leaves. Match the leaf to the tree invites children outdoors to find the tree the leaf came from

Ideal for ages: 3 – 7 years

What you’ll need:

  • Some leaves
  • The trees the leaves came from (in a safe outdoor area)

How to do it:
You will need to collect the leaves before you start the activity. Choose as many leaves from each tree as there are children so that each child can have a leaf to match to each tree. Hand each child their own handful of leaves and ask them to look on the ground and in the trees’ branches to find the tree that belongs to each leaf. Just like that, you’re working on their observation skills, and encouraging their sense of curiosity.

Image source: Confidence meets parenting

Activity 6: Spot the season’s birds

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
Bird watching is a great activity at any time of the year. Especially as Autumn takes the stage, you can look for the birds that will be around during the colder season, and those that are passing through on their way south.

Ideal for ages: 4 – 7 years

What you’ll need:

  • Internet access to research the birds in your area
  • A bird book (not essential but it helps)
  • Binoculars
  • A notebook to record which birds you have spotted

How to do it:
Start by talking to the children about migratory birds that leave during the colder months in search of warmer regions. Research together and find out which birds will be in your area during the colder months. Choose a sunny day to head outdoors with binoculars, and search for those birds.

Image source: Moms.com

Activity 7: Leaf and land art

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
The big idea here is to beautify an outdoor space using natural materials. You could pile pebbles, stack stones, or make these lovely leaf totems — it’s all up to you to explore what’s in your environment.

Ideal for ages: 4 and up

What you’ll need:

  • A long thin twig with leaves pulled off
  • Beautiful leaves

How to do it:
First, decide what sort of nature or leaf art you want to create. To create the leaf art illustrated here, ask the children to choose an assortment of colourful leaves. Using tall and smooth twigs, have the children string the leaves on, one at a time. They’ll have to be careful not to break the leaves, so it’s a great way to practice using gentle hands and exercise those fine motor skills. When a child’s stick is full, show them how to plant the bottom end in the ground. Then, explore your area for more opportunities to make nature sculptures — children can use whatever else is within reach!

Image source: Artful parent

Activity 8: Build a bonfire and make some s’mores

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
The cooler weather calls for a warm fire and delicious comfort foods. While s’mores aren’t the most nutritious snack, we all could use a treat now and then! Plus, the memories children will have of these occasions will stay with them a long time.

Ideal for ages: 2 – 7 years

What you’ll need:

  • Pretzels
  • Marshmallows
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Campfire essential (firelighters, wood, a safe place for a fire)

How to do it:
Either in your backyard or a local park with a fire pit, have your children help to gather firewood. Teach them how to stack it and use firelighters to get a happy fire crackling away — remember to tell children to maintain a safe distance when you light the fire. Make the s’more together: toast the marshmallows, place a peanut butter cup on top of a pretzel and cover this with your toasted marshmallow. Finish it off with another pretzel on top. Of course, there’s no one right way to make a s’more, so you can use whatever you find in your local shop.

Image source: Redtri

Activity 9: Build a fort

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
This is a wonderful activity to try out after you’ve talked with children about the changes in nature that we see during the Autumn. Many of the little animals (and even the bigger animals) are looking for a safe place for their wintertime nap — and you can make a cosy little burrow too.

Ideal for ages: 2 to 7 years

What you’ll need:

  • Some tall trees
  • Rope
  • A large sheet

How to do it:
Talk to the children about the animals that hibernate, and then head out into the garden or your local woods. Ask the children to remember which animals like to hibernate and talk to them about their favourite ones. They’re going to pretend to be that animal and build a hibernation burrow — or a little fort.

This could be as simple as a hanging tent — simply string a rope between two trees, and hang a sheet across it, pinning the corners down into the ground. Now all the little animals can move in and out of the hibernation fort.

Image source: Redtri

Activity 10: Science and observation: The rotting pumpkin experiment

The outdoor children’s activity, in a nutshell:
You can easily boost children’s observation skills with this rotting pumpkin experiment — it’s both icky and interesting. Plus, it’s a great use for your leftover squash, especially after Halloween.

Ideal for ages: 4-7 years

What you’ll need:

  • A pumpkin (any type of pumpkin will work)
  • An area where you can leave the pumpkin without it becoming lunch for some wildlife
  • A diary or notebook to record your observations

How to do it:
Place a cut pumpkin outside, in a place where you can easily see it or walk to it. Then, each day, go check it out with your children to watch the way it decays. Use scientific words like hypothesis, data, and observation and teach the children how to use these terms correctly. Record the children’s observations of the slow decay of your pumpkin. You might want to read to them what they observed the day before, and ask them if they see anything different. You could also record their observations and play that back to them each day before they look for any changes. The idea is to hypothesise what you think will happen and watch to see if that actually is what happens — it’s a big part of our observation skills.

Image source: Confidence meets parenting

Official Danish Government Reopening Advice

Guidance from the Danish Health Ministry, translated in full to English.

UK Nursery Covid-19 Response Group Recommendations

The full recommendations from a working group of over 70 nursery chains in the UK.

Learn more about Famly

Find out below how Famly saved the Beau Peeps team time in managing their nursery, and see what we can do for you in a personal demo.

“I would definitely recommend Famly, it’s very easy to use and quick to access for staff and parents alike. Things change constantly in a nursery and Famly makes it easier to manage." - Enrica, Manager, Beau Peeps Nursery








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Find out below how Famly saved the Beau Peeps team time in managing their nursery, and see what we can do for you in a personal demo.

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