Fall provides a great opportunity for all kinds of natural learning activities. With the change of season, you can incorporate all kinds of autumn-related activities into your homeschooling lessons. Here are nine ideas for fall activities, but you can use them as a springboard to doing all kinds of additional activities as well!
- Explore the reason why leaves change color in the fall, and do an experiment separating the colors in leaves. You can find out how at sciencemadesimple.com/leaves.html.
- Read about different kinds of seeds that trees make and how they are made so they can spread. Helicopter seeds get carried away in the wind due to their “wings”, for example.
- I am having each of the kids make their own nature guides this season. We’ll start with a blank drawing notebook and take regular nature walks/hikes around our neighborhood as well as in the mountains. When they see an interesting bird, insect, flower, tree leaf, tree, etc., they can draw it in their nature guide. Then once back home, they can look up the name and characteristics and fill in the info on the page with the drawing in their own books.
- Fun fall manipulatives can be found everywhere, from acorns and leaves you collect to candy corn pumpkins or fall-themed stickers you buy at the store. Use them for counting, sorting, graphing, patterns, even playing with weight.
- Planting a cool-weather garden lends to all kinds of math, from measuring the garden plot and plant growth to counting and spacing seeds. This also provides language skills in reading and following planting instructions and perhaps keeping a gardening log.
- Fall is harvest season and there are lots of verses about the harvest found in the Bible. Maybe make a booklet of all the ones you can find, or just look them all up and discuss what they mean.
- Read about how people in other cultures and times celebrate fall and the harvest season.
- Have your child write an acrostic with the word “fall”, or a fall poem.
- Have your child keep a gardening log or a nature log with what changes (s)he sees in nature as fall progresses.
Other Awesome Fall Ideas:
1. September 19 – International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Ahoy Matey! It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day!
Pirates are very popular these days thanks to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Make a treasure chest, have a scavenger hunt, dress up like pirates, eat pirate food and watch pirate movies, like Hook or Peter Pan. Silly Jokes has some great pirate party ideas, too.
2. October is the Month of the Holy Rosary
The Feast Day of the Holy Rosary is October 7 and the whole month is devoted to it. There are lots of things you can do as a family. If your children are older, you could make cord rosaries and donate them. Catholic Culture has a great article about starting a family rosary no matter how old your children are and how to bring the mysteries home to their hearts.
3. Apples, apples, apples
You can do anything with apples! Visit an orchard (go here to find one near you). Make some cider. Buy a few bags and put up applesauce. Cook with apples–apple butter, apple crunch, apple pie, apple muffins, spiced cider, caramel apples…the list goes on and on! Don’t forget to wash well–they are on the dirty dozen list.
If you are really on top of things, find a farm before they harvest all the pumpkins and get kids pictures in the pumpkin patch. Go pick out pumpkins for carving–I found some great prolife pumpkins on the web last year. After you carve your pumpkin, try your hand at making pumpkin seeds.
By now I sound like a farmer. I’m not–I just like food :). Besides, by the time fall comes, the corn is harvested anyway. But, for you lucky folks some corn wasn’t harvested and you can go through a corn maze. Check out this site to see if there is one in your area. No corn maze near you? Make these cool Tissue Paper Indian Corn Cobs or this cute Indian Corn Pony Bead project.
6. Donuts & cider
We LOVE donuts & cider. During cider season we buy gallon of it and if you know where to go, you might even find it unpasturized which is out of this world. And for the perfect paring try a cake donut–my hubby’s favorite is a sour cream donut with glaze. If you know of a great recipe for that, my husband would be eternally grateful!
Going on a hayride is something you can do no matter how old your kids are. If you can’t find a hayride, you might be able to find a regular wagon ride at a farm or orchard. Many areas even have a fall festival and they often include a wagon ride of some sort.
8. Walk through the woods
Walk through the woods at the peak of the colors. See who can find the biggest leaves or the best yellow, orange, or red leaves. Observe the trees that are turning or bare first.
9. View the stars & full moon.
With all the leaves gone & it getting dark sooner, it’s a great time to study the heavens with a cup of hot chocolate. If there is an observatory near you, see if they have public viewing times. If not, find a telescope or get a book about constellations and see what you can find in the night sky. Keep looking up!
10. Family night.
Soup or pizza. Movies or games. Popcorn & hot chocolate. If you already have a family night, change it up. If you don’t, start one! Cozy up with your family for some fun when the dark comes calling early.
The greatest part about all of these ideas? None of them have to break the bank and very little has to be on a schedule. That’s my kind of fun!
What fun things do you do to make fall special?
Jen can be found writing at Happy Little Homemaker.
Tanya is a homeschooling mother to three, and has been homeschooling for over a decade. She is thrilled to enter into the fall season, and is incorporating the season into her homeschooling days. You can find her blogging about it all at Homeschooling x3. She is also the food writer for the Knoxville Examiner.