Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year! There are so many things to do and enjoy during autumn. However, enjoying each season to its fullest can be difficult when you have an ornery and energetic toddler to keep up with.
Although you can’t do absolutely anything with a toddler, there are still so many fun things that you can do together to celebrate the fall season. Here is a list of 20 ideas to get you started so that you can fully enjoy pumpkin season with your little one!
One of my favorite activities to do with my 3 year old is to go on walks, either around town or just wandering in the back yard, and see how many different colors of leaves we can collect. It’s a great way to explore nature, learn colors, a good science lesson, and a great way to observe the beautiful changes of the season.
Visit an Orchard
Orchards are almost always kid friendly! A lot of them have small petting zoos, park equipment, and the opportunities to pick apples and pumpkins. There are also many options for treats to eat. An orchard trip will make any toddlers day.
Make Crockpot Applesauce
Most toddlers love applesauce. It’s a simply and nutritious food that even picky eaters will eat. Just think how much more your toddler will love it if they see how it’s made! They can watch you peel apples, help dump things into the crockpot, stir, and check on the apples progress as they slowly cook into a delicious sauce! Here’s a great recipe to try.
If you can’t find a local orchard to pick apples at, ask around to see who has apple trees locally that you could visit and let your child pick a few. Seeing how fruit grows is so educational for toddlers! They will love picking out their own apples to eat at home.
I have special memories of my own childhood of leaf rubbing with my mom and brothers in the fall. All you have to do is grab some cool leaves from the yard, press them against paper, and roll a crayon on top of them over and over while pushing down firmly. It leaves you with gorgeous leaf prints all over your papers! Your kids will love seeing how the intricate and unique designs on the leaves transfers onto a paper that will last much longer than the dying fall leaves.
Make Caramel Apples
This might be a messy project, but it’s one that will be worth it for the whole family. The kids will absolutely love dipping the apples in the warm caramel and watching it harden. Try out this delicious recipe with your kids and enjoy them outside in the fall breeze.
Have an Apple Cider Tea Party
Apple cider is a cinch to make in the crockpot, or you can just heat up store bought cider. Set up a little tea party with fall themed paper/plastic dishes and napkins. Put a vase of fall flowers or leaves in the middle and enjoy your apple cider with some pieces of caramel or apple slices!
Have a Picnic at the Park
Fall is the perfect season to have a picnic. Spring is too unpredictable and muddy while summer is too hot and buggy. The crisp breeze of autumn will be the perfect opportunity to get out of the house and eat lunch in the grass at your local park. Let your kids soak up all the fresh air before winter comes to keep them inside.
Visit a Farmer’s Market
Depending on where you live, you’re bound to have at least one farmers market nearby. Ask around to see where your nearest one is and take the kids to pick out fresh fruits and veggies. They can help make dinner later with the fresh produce they picked out!
Make Owls Out Of Paper Sacks
This craft is so cute and easy, even for you mamas that aren’t generally crafty! While you’re making your owls, talk to your children about owls. It’s a great opportunity for a science lesson and a seasonal activity.
Visit A Children’s Museum
Of course, this is a great idea at any time of the year, but I just had to add it because museums are always a fabulous choice for great learning opportunities, entertainment, and an easy day for you mama!
Whether you pick your pumpkins right from the patch, or get them at your local market, let your toddler pick out his favorite pumpkin and then decorate it with paint, stickers, glue, glitter, string, etc. There’s no better classic autumn activity than making beautiful pumpkins for your front porch!
Paint a Handprint Turkey
Once again, for a not so crafty mom, this activity is simple and easy to make work. Your kids will love making little turkeys with their tiny hands and the thrill of getting their hands messy.
Make Homemade Halloween Costumes
There’s no costume that’s more fun to wear than one that you DIY’d! Take to the internet for cute ideas and get your creative juices flowing with your toddler.
Collect & Decorate Acorns
One thing that is definitely not in short supply in the autumn is acorns. It seems like they are littering our yards and sidewalks just as much as the fall leaves! Send your toddler outside with a container to collect acorns, then use paint and glitter to decorate them in fall hues.
Go to the Zoo
We love going to the zoo at any time of year, but autumn is the optimal season because kids are in school and the weather is mild. Take a special day with your toddler and enjoy having the animals to yourself and not getting soaked in sweat while you do it!
Read Seasonal Kid’s Books
Head to your local library and search for kid’s books about fall. Kids love to learn about things through books, and to see the characters in their books experiencing the same things they are. It may even inspire some curiosity in them to ask new questions and explore the outdoors.
Create a Paper Plate Apple, Pumpkin or Owl
Easy crafts are just my jam, if you couldn’t already tell. There’s nothing better than a cheap and easy craft to make you feel like a stellar Pinterest mom without trying too hard. You can make pretty much anything out of paper plate, but these pumpkin plates are so easy and cute.
Jump in Leaf Piles
There’s no easier fun than using what nature gives us for play. Make it a game to see how quickly you and your kids can rake a pile of leaves and then let them jump in it till their hearts content. Nothing can compare to good old fashioned fun like that!
If you’re feeling really brave, make some s’mores with your toddler! You can make them in the oven or the microwave with any size marshmallow and any flavor or assortment of chocolate. They’re so versatile and easy and your child will think you’re the bomb.