18 Exciting Fall Activities for Kids Using Leaves!

It is getting a bit colder out, but it is still great to get the little ones out for some learning in the fresh air while there isn’t too much snow on the ground.
We’ve shared some fun autumn activities that are perfect for the changing colors that make Fall so special and beautiful.


Activity 1: Outdoor color match

Equip your young adventurers with color cards and let them embark on an outdoor quest to discover the hues of autumn.

Begin by discussing the unique autumn color palette, showcasing the vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges adorning the trees. Select paint cards that mirror these natural shades found outdoors. Challenge the children to identify as many natural treasures (leaves, twigs, flowers) that harmonize with the colors on their cards. Teach them how to compare an object to the colors on their paint cards. With this exciting mission, children will eagerly explore the outdoors in search of autumn’s vibrant hues.

Activity 2: Make a Rainbow of Leaves

While blue and indigo leaves might be rare, crafting a rainbow from autumn leaves is an enjoyable nature project for kids. It’s a wonderful autumn activity for preschoolers that helps them understand how leaves transform their colors as the seasons shift.

Activity 3: Fall photo scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are a fantastic way to keep kids engaged and entertained while exploring the outdoors. To make it even more exciting, equip them with a child-friendly camera and provide a list of items to find and capture. You can opt for specific objects like a flower or a pine cone, or you can let their creativity run wild by suggesting items based on sensory qualities, like something fragrant, prickly, or yellow. Instead of merely checking items off a list, they’ll need to take photos of each discovery with themselves. Kids will relish the independence and responsibility that comes with having their camera, and you’ll cherish the funny and intriguing snapshots they capture, creating lasting memories.

Activity 4: Find the tree that matches the leaf

It’s like a treasure hunt, the clues are in the leaves. “Matching the Leaf to the Tree” is an outdoor adventure that beckons children to explore the world around them by solving the puzzle of which leaf belongs to which tree.

Before you dive into this exciting activity, gather a collection of leaves from various trees. Ensure that you have enough leaves for each child, allowing them to have a leaf corresponding to each tree. Distribute these leafy treasures to the eager explorers, instructing them to search meticulously on the ground and among the branches to uncover the trees that share a connection with their leaves. As they uncover the mysteries of the forest, their observational skills will sharpen, and their curiosity will flourish.

Activity 5: make animals using leaves

Unleash your child’s creativity by crafting whimsical creatures using the vibrant canvas of autumn leaves. Armed with paint pens or markers, they can give life to these natural canvases by adding eyes, noses, and mouths, transforming them into a menagerie of wild and colorful critters.

Here’s a helpful tip: With a little imagination, a tuliptree leaf can morph into an elegant feline, an upside-down maple leaf might become a cunning fox, the graceful silhouette of a chick can emerge from an elm leaf, and a birch leaf can take flight as a charming bird. (For inspiration and visual examples, you can explore this fantastic resource. Encourage your child to let their imagination run wild as they create their leafy menagerie.

Activity 6: make a leaf mandala

Using leaves as your loose parts, create a leaf mandala using concentric circles. Add in a few other items such as rocks, acorns or pinecones for variety! The result? A mesmerizing and unique creation that celebrates the beauty of nature and your child’s artistic flair.

Activity 7: make leaf rubbings

Position a leaf, bottom side up, under a sheet of paper. With the crayon held sideways, gently rub it across the paper’s surface directly above the leaf. Ensure the leaf stays securely in place as you continue. Watch in amazement as the intricate details of the leaf’s texture magically appear on the page, unveiling nature’s hidden artistry. It’s a delightful way to connect with the great outdoors and inspire your child’s creativity.

Activity 8: make a leaf crown

Leaf crowns are a colorful and beautiful autumn craft for your kids. You can teach your kids glue different colors and shapes of leaves onto the paper and then wrap them around and paste them together to make a crown of leaves, or if you have clever hands, you can weave the leaves together to make an even more beautiful crown!

Activity 9: make an ephemeral self-portrait

Encourage your child’s artistic flair with an ephemeral self-portrait using natural elements found in your yard – leaves for a face, sticks for hair, acorns for eyes. Get creative!

Extend the fun to wildlife art. Craft intricate animal portraits the same way. Capture their beauty in photos, then return the materials to nature.

Activity 10: Acorn hunt

Gaze up at magnificent oak trees and ponder their humble beginnings as tiny acorns. Kids are often entranced by these small treasures. Spark their curiosity by embarking on an acorn-hunting expedition. Challenge them to seek out various acorn types, exploring differences in size and color. Encourage them to identify the oak trees from which these acorns fell.

Activity 11: create acorn art

Fall brings a bounty of acorns, perfect for fun and creativity. Paint them, craft ornaments, or transform them into adorable animals or magical fairies. Combine them with chestnuts, hazelnuts, and pinecones for even more imaginative possibilities. You can even fashion them into charming pendants, necklaces, or quirky nut robots. For inspiration and more craft ideas, check out at davidmbird Get ready for some super cute creations!

Activity 12: Preserve leaves with beeswax

Extend the life of your vibrant fall leaves for craft projects with this awesome kids’ activity. The secret? Pure beeswax! It’s affordable and easy to find in pellets (we recommend these over blocks for convenience). Start by collecting fresh leaves and letting them dry between sheets of newspaper for a day (any longer and they might lose color). Melt the beeswax in a double-boiler or crockpot (not too hot), then gently dip the leaves to coat them. Let excess wax drip back into the bowl and place each leaf on wax paper to dry (it won’t take long). For a thicker coating, you can re-dip them, but test one first to ensure you like the look. Use your preserved leaves for mobiles or window suncatchers. Enjoy the leafy magic!

Activity 13: Salt dough leaf impressions

Don’t let those beautiful fall leaves go to waste! Create leaf impressions in salt dough or clay. Whip up a quick salt dough mix (1 cup salt, 2 cups flour, ¾ cup water), then press various leaves into the dough for unique imprints. Bake on low heat for a few hours, and once they’re cool, let your creativity run wild with pencils, paints, markers, or oil pastels. Your leafy masterpieces await!

Activity 13: practice leaf threading

Leaf threading is a great way for kids to engage with Nature, get creative and develop their motor skills. Get the kids involved from the beginning by letting them choose and collect sticks and leaves. Once you’ve got a nice selection of leaves of different sizes, shapes and colors and a few sticks, take them home and give them a quick rinse and dry. To get threading, fashion simple “needles” by tying jute twine between two sticks. This clever setup prevents leaves from slipping off and even lets two kids team up, each holding an end. Watch as they navigate their natural needles through the leaves and thread them onto the jute. This activity enhances hand-eye coordination and gives those hand and arm muscles a great workout!

Activity 14: Leaf and land art

To create the leaf art illustrated here, ask the children to choose an assortment of colorful 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!

Activity 15: Look for frost flower

Don’t be fooled by the name—frost flowers aren’t your typical blossoms! These delicate wonders are intricate petal-shaped ribbons of ice, a rare and fleeting marvel. Discovering them on a crisp autumn day while hiking with your kids is an unforgettable experience.
Searching for frost flowers isn’t just a fun nature adventure; it’s also a fantastic science lesson on their formation.

Activity 16: Make a leaf slide

Gather the kids around and chat about how trees transform in the cooler autumn season, shedding their leaves. Then, it’s time to create a huge pile of dry leaves at the bottom of a slide. As the children work together to build a colossal leaf stack, their anticipation will grow. The bigger the pile, the more satisfying the slide will be. They know the exhilarating slide down is the grand finale!

Activity 17: Clean out garden & flowerbeds

As summer bids farewell, many garden plants also come to an end. While some will endure through winter, now is the perfect moment to involve the kids in tidying up your garden. Let them lend a hand in removing dead plants, leaves, and weeds. It might sound counterintuitive, but leaving your garden bare during winter can lead to soil erosion from rain and freeze-thaw cycles, which can deplete nutrients. Protect your topsoil by adding compost, mulch, or planting cover crops.

Activity 18: Use Leaves Build a compost bin

Speaking of composting, if you haven’t already, now is the ideal moment to begin! Composting might sound complex, but it’s surprisingly straightforward! Starting a compost bin not only reduces the waste your family sends to landfills but also provides a natural boost to your garden. If you have some outdoor space, you can establish a layered compost pile. If not, especially in urban or suburban areas, you can opt for an enclosed compost tumbler to keep critters at bay. Get your kids involved in learning what food scraps can be composted—it’s an enthralling and eco-friendly process!

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