Go Back to Basics this Fall with 21 Fun Toddler Activities

It’s easy to get caught up in everything going on this time of year. After all, we don’t want to miss out on anything, from pumpkin patches to trunk or treats and fall festivals, and we certainly don’t want our children to miss out on all the fun. So, how can we make the most of picking and choosing which activities to do, instead of overwhelming ourselves trying to do EVERYTHING?


As a general rule, we only do one event per day. So, no running to the pumpkin patch in the morning, squeezing in a nap on the drive to a fall festival before going to a trunk or treat. Sounds like a recipe for meltdowns and disaster with toddlers and preschoolers!


Instead, we maximize the events we go to. We take our time, and, as much as possible, let our children lead the way. Literally. If I’m fortunate enough to go with my husband, this works quite well. One parent per kid. But, if not, the kids take turns deciding what to look at next, which is also good practice for them. How do we maximize our time at each event? Well, we’re there for the kids, right? So we make it as much about them as we can. We go at their pace and we notice all the details.

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Here are ideas for maximizing your fun and learning potential at typical “fall” events, plus a few other things to do this fall:

Visiting a pumpkin patch?

  • Compare the sizes and colors of the pumpkins.
  • Count the pumpkins.
  • Talk about how the pumpkins grew and about the parts of the plant.
  • Look at the gourds, Indian corn, squash, and other fall harvest. Talk about the colors, sizes, shapes, etc.


Walking through a corn maze?

  • Talk about the companion plants.
  • Look for bugs.
  • Talk about the parts of the corn plants and how tall they are.
  • Count pieces of corn you see.
  • Make predictions about going left or right next.
  • Compare your child’s height to the corn stalks.


Nature walks

  • Talk about the signs of fall- leaves, animals, trees, etc.
  • Collect leaves, acorns, etc.
  • Find fall colors
  • Talk about the change in temperature and what you’re wearing


Halloween Section of the Store

  • Play “I spy”
  • Look for certain colors and count how many items you find of each color.
  • Find certain shapes
  • Look for bats, witches, skulls, skeletons, etc.


Other ideas:

  • Take a walk around the neighborhood. Look for signs of fall. Talk about the decorations. Play “I spy…”
  • Baking- pumpkins, apples, oh what fun!
  • Crafts- leaves, corn, pumpkins, apples, and more
  • Take fall pictures. Get out your own props and have fun taking selfies or using the timer mode and running into the picture at the last second (or, hire a pro. That works too!).

You might also like The Thankfulness Project.

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What’s at the top of your list this season?

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