10 Fun Fall Activities to keep your little ones busy

By Contributor Kristen LaValley

How is it fall already? This has been such a crazy year for our family. In March, when I was 20 weeks pregnant, we resigned our youth pastoring position in New York and moved to Tennessee. It was so crazy. My two year old son did not do well with the transition so we basically spent all summer trying to get him on a schedule again and sleeping through the night again.

After a crazy experience trying to find health care and a place to have my baby, our second little boy was born in July.  Since then, time has just FLOWN. I don’t even know how it’s possible that summer is over. But now here we are. FALL. It’s a good thing I love everything about this season. The leggings, the scarves, the colors, the boots, and can we just pumpkin spice all the things?? Cause seriously, though. The only thing that gets me down is that when the  temperature starts dropping, I run out of ways to entertain my extremely hyper active two year old. You can only do so many coloring pages and folder games, am I right? So, for your sanity and mine, I’ve put together a list of ways to keep your crazy kids entertained and enjoying this beautiful and chilly season.

1. Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt.

I made a simple guide on my computer using pictures of a pinecone, an acorn, a flower, a tree, a rock, grass, etc. and printed it out for my son. He loves looking at the pictures, finding the item, and then putting it in his basket. If you’re not computer savvy that way, you can find free printables online, but you don’t need one. Just take your kids outside and say “Go find a acorn!” It works the same way.

2. Take a trip to the library. 

It’s free and it’s easy. That’s a perfect date to me. Find out when your library has events, or just take the kids on a chilly day to get some books and movies.

3.  Make leaf art. 

Did you collect leaves on your scavenger hunt? Bring them inside and set up a table with paint, paper and paper plates. Put a little paint on the paper plate and show your little ones how to dip the leaf in the paint and use it as a stamp to paint all over the paper.

4. Paint a pumpkin.

I love buying little toddler sized pumpkins for my son to paint. We’ve done it two years in a row now. Sometimes I’ll paint the pumpkin white first, to make it an easier canvas, but whatever way you want to do it will be fun.

5. Obstacle course

The only limit to what you can do is your imagination! Cater to your children’s ages and motor skill sets. For the little ones, set up a stool for them to jump off of into a big pile of leaves, or have them zig zag through a stick path. If you have older kids, make things a little more complicated, but always end with a pile of leaves!

6. Fossil dig

Get a package of dog bones from the dollar store and bury them all over your yard. Get a couple shovels and tell your kids they have to go find the dinosaur fossils! You can give them clues or a map or just them find them on their own.

7.  Fall sensory box

This is something you can do will kids of all ages, but is really great with babies that have started to experiment with touch. Take a box or plastic container and fill it with corn kernels, dry beans, apples, pine cones, mini pumpkins and acorns. Put a few utensils in the box so they can scoop and pour and mix.

8. Make handprint turkeys

Remember doing this in pre-school? You can find all kinds of different tutorials online on how to make the turkeys, but basic requirements are hands, paint, and paper!

9. Treasure Hunt

On days that are just too chilly to go outside, try this keep ’em busy activity. Take a streamer and tie one end to your child’s favorite toy and wind the streamer out all over the house, then give your child the other end. He has to follow the streamer up and  over and down and across all kinds of things to get to the other end where his “treasure” is.

10. Couch slide

Here’s another “Oh no way am I going outside today” activity. This has got to be the SIMPLEST activity ever. Take a leaf out of your dining room table (if you don’t have a table with leaves, a book shelf will work too) and lean it up against the couch. Cushion the bottom with blankets and put something behind the leaf to keep it from sliding onto the floor. And now you have a couch slide! Seriously, this thing keeps my kid entertained for a LONG time.

I hope these help you entertain your kids this season. Or at least this week! What fun fall activities do you like to do with your kids? Do you have any family traditions?

Kristen is a stay at home mom to one deliciously chunky baby boy and one hilariously clever two year old living in East Tennessee. She chronicles her adventures in cloth diapering, parenting, faith, and insane toddler antics at www.whenathome.com