The seasons are changing and summer is letting go as autumn or fall arrives. The days are getting shorter and the nights longer. Autumn is on its way. Getting outside with our toddlers and preschoolers has always been a family goal. But, when there are more rainy days it’s even more important to use up as much of that energy that the little ones have so we’ve put together some easy, free, and fun outdoor activities for toddlers and preschoolers plus you to do together this autumn season.

Outdoor Autumn Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Dig out the warmer clothes and waterproofs and prepare yourself for some autumn fun with the kids. There is so much that you and they can get up to outside this time of year and we’ve got some fun nature ideas that you and your toddlers (or preschoolers) can do.

Before we get to the activities here’s some of our top tips for getting out and about with your toddlers and preschoolers this fall.

Tips for Outdoor Play this Autumn

  1. Invest in a pair of Wellington Boots for the kids – and for yourself, when the kids are splashing in the puddles and squelching in the mud there is no better thing than to join them as well.
  2. Dress the kids in layers, Autumn mornings are very chilly but by mid-day sometimes just a long-sleeved top and lightweight jacket are needed. If you go to the Park or for a walk in the woods the layers will keep them warm from the start and it’s much easier to strip layers off than carry extra layers if the weather gets colder.
  3.  Buy a good quality puddle suit – this will help them stay dry through puddles, rain and the keep the mud off of their clothes.
  4. Get a couple of sets of Hats and Gloves – as the weather is so unpredictable and kids love to put their hands in water/mud it’s great to have a spare set so one set can dry and the play needn’t stop.
  5. Arrange your outdoor clothes by the exit – putting the wellies, coats and puddle suits where kids and you can see them will remind you and invite them to go out and play
  6. Get kids involved in your gardening activities – it’s the time of the year to clear up the garden for winter, plant some bulbs for Spring colour and Make compost they love helping and it will get you spending family time together outdoors regularly with some little helpers to boot.
  7. ake a bag with you when you go out – it’s perfect for putting in your nature finds and also you can pop in wet clothes, wellies if you are in the car to stop them getting mud everywhere
  8. Collect Nature finds – Autumn produces some wonderful natural elements to include in your crafting when you get home or even in your play
  9. Need some inspiration then check out this list of fabulous Outdoor blogs that Kitchen Counter Chronicles put together each and everyone of them will inspire you with ideas to get out and about.
  10. Enjoy yourself – you don’t need to stay outside for hours, even 15 minutes of outdoor play is great for the kids and is what we aim for as a minimum every single day, jumping in puddles and making mud pies you may discover your inner child as well.gardening with kids

Foraging

One of our all-time favourite fall activities is to head out foraging. We love heading out from late summer through to mid-autumn hunting for blackberries, wild plums, elderberries as well as a few hidden gems off the beaten track like sweet chestnuts.

Outdoor fall activities for kids and you to enjoy for free at the park
T picking blackberries off the bush in early autumn

Picking the fruits from the trees often more ends up in our stomachs than coming home but it is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon together as a family.

And if some do make it home then either make some blackberry playdough (especially good for those blackberries that have been squashed by little hands) or our favourite recipe to cook with kids blackberry cakes.

Outdoor fall activities for kids and you to enjoy for free at the park

Playing & Rolling

It’s a classic but so worth doing whatever the season and a favourite of ours – one of the town parks has a great hill and we go and roll down the hill – yes even me.

A natural childhood - good old fashioned fun and the importance of these activities for children's physical development

What’s more, it’s really good for helping your toddler and preschooler develop their core stability (and to work on your own).

Go on, embrace your own childhood and join them in the fun!

Why not add some of these fantastic autumn books to your book basket to read when you get back inside.

Catch a falling leaf

Ever walked down a path lined with trees in the fall and watched the leaves fall around you – nothing better for you and the kids than trying to catch those leaves before they touch the ground.

Outdoor fall activities for kids and you to enjoy for free at the park

Once caught why not bring them home and make leaf rubbings or use the leaves to work on creating some artwork like leaf symmetry drawings.

Play Conkers

Ok so I can see the faces from here – what on earth are conkers – full name “Horse Chesnuts”, otherwise known in the UK and Canada as Conkers and in the US as buckeyes. Conkers is a game you play with them for 2 people. First off pierce a hole in the conker all the way through and then tie a shoe lace and thread it through – each person will need their own conker threaded like this. Holding onto the string let the conker dangle from one players hand and then the other player winds the string around and prepares to hit the other conker by letting go of it. Each person takes turns and the winner is the person that breaks the others conker.

Outdoor fall activities for kids and you to enjoy for free at the park

Fungi Fun!

With the damp and cold weather now is the time to hunt for fungus with your toddlers and preschoolers. Admire them from afar and tell tales of fairies and elves that may live amongst them.

Fall STEM activity for early years - Investigating Fungus and where they can be found including FREE Printable to support the activity

Why not read some books about fungi or conduct a Fungus investigation (yes even with your preschoolers) on the environments fungi like.

More Ideas for Autumn Fun with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.

2 Comments

  1. There’s so much learning to be had exploring the great outdoors. Simple but awesome ideas! I always have to remember to stop and look at the little things too! Conkers looks like a fun fall game we might like and of course roasting chestnuts is yummy fall fun too!

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