The air is chilly. The leaves are crispy. Pumpkins are appearing on front porches. Take some time to celebrate the scents and scenery of fall before the holiday season hustle and bustle begins. Seasons are an excellent theme to incorporate into your homeschool curriculum, as they provide ideas for fun and festive learning activities that children are guaranteed to love!
For grades PK–2:
- Acorns, leaves, pumpkins, apples, or anything found in nature, can be used as math manipulatives, resources for letter recognition, or to practice phonics blends and families. For a fun sensory activity, try counting and sorting acorns and different colored leaves.
- If the weather isn’t great and you are looking for a fun indoor activity, have your kids practice their writing, counting, and drawing skills with some free fall printable activities!
- Create manipulatives for base ten or place value using pebbles and rocks instead of typical items. Ask the kids to sort them by size or texture. This activity is especially great for helping younger kids visualize simple operations or adding and subtracting.
- Get crafty by having children draw tree trunks on paper using fall-colored ink pads and adding fingerprints to make leaves.
- Have children collect outdoor items that fascinate them, like an acorn or leaf. Using different classroom science tools, have students study their item and write down anything interesting that they observe.
- Create fun memory games by using fall-colored construction paper, scrapbooking paper, or brown paper bags. For game pieces, letters and numbers can be written on the cut-outs. Children can flip over these cut-outs to learn numbers and letters while reinforcing memorization skills.
- Classrooms or teaching areas can be decorated with student-made decorations. Children will have fun tracing their hands or drawing leaf shapes. They can then cut the shapes out and string them onto yarn to make garland—or glue the shapes in a circular pattern to make fall-themed wreaths!
- Use fall as an opportunity to teach students about the seasons and why they change. Incorporate science lessons like what happens to plants during these changes, animal life cycles, and why the leaves change color.
For grades 3–5:
- Fall is a great time to review plant life. You can incorporate botany into a science lesson plan by teaching the parts of a plant and how they grow. Fall plants such as mums, snapdragons, ornamental kale, and cabbage can be planted in small pots to bring color to your home or classroom.
- Give a lesson on how the fallen leaves provide nutrients to the soil and plants as they decompose to teach students more about changing seasons and plant life.
- Embrace math and science with baking projects that students will love. Use more advanced recipes for students at these grade levels, like a homemade pie with a lattice crust or cookie cut-outs for fall.
- Scavenger hunt are great for third, fourth, and fifth graders. These clue-filled hunts can be tailored to meet both simple or difficult directions. For a simpler path, have kids try to find easily hidden objects, like a pumpkin or a special autumn decoration. For a more difficult course, add in clues and puzzles for students to solve along the way.
- To add a lesson on the life cycles of different animals, have kids keep journals and logs about the types of animals they see. You can then assign simple reports to be written based on each animal, and even decorate your classroom to help teach students about different animal life cycles.
- Integrate STEM learning into your fall lesson plans, by using learning cards that include autumn-based activities like building a pumpkin catapult.
For children of all ages and grades:
- Take a trip to a local farm or apple orchard—but remember to maintain a safe social distance while in line or browsing for the best pumpkins and apples!
- Apples are great for learning about the varieties of a particular species. Create a chart of texture, flavor, and crispiness for a handful of different apples to help students identify each type. The Seasonal STEM Challenges Learning Card Pack mentioned above includes in-depth instruction for this activity, plus a fun way to teach young students physics by using apples.
- Teach students the science behind what makes food taste a certain way. Create a fall foods taste test that lets kids explore their taste buds and chart which foods are sweet, spicy, sour, or salty, and explore why.
- Go on a nature walk and let children explore anything outdoors that intrigues them.
It’s exciting to immerse children into the beauty of autumn, as they often learn best when teachers, instructors, and parents take a break from traditional curriculum by including hands-on activities. These learning activities not only are a fun way to excite children about the upcoming fall season, but they also provide lessons that are guaranteed to help them with their education.