Fall offers some of the most beautiful changes in nature and engaging learning opportunities for children. From leaves changing color to decomposing pumpkins and apples, the possibilities are endless for hands-on, fall themed activities for kids of all ages. This collection of 39 Fun Fall STEM Activities for kids will give you lots of ideas to try with your children at home, for parties or in the classroom.
If you haven’t heard of STEM activities before, they are activities, challenges and experiments that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math. The more of these subject areas that you can combine into the activity, the better.
STEM activities are typically hands-on, low prep, and open ended. They focus on skills and subject areas that are growing in focus and importance in many schools and careers.
As a teacher, I can’t emphasize enough how beneficial STEM activities are. I have done STEM activities with children in preschool and into the intermediate grades. Children develop strong problem solving and team work skills as well as an incredible growth mindset from STEM activities.
Take a look through this collection of Fall STEM activities below to give you inspiration to bring to your own children or students. Choose activities that use materials that you already have on hand, or can easily access. Keep it simple and fun!
Pumpkin STEM Activities – Science Experiments
Science experiments are always a great learning experience for kids. Teaching children about the science behind the experiments is valuable and a great way to spark an interest in science.
By using a fall theme, and pumpkins, for these science experiments, you can easily engage children and use materials that are available in nature at the time.
Exploding Pumpkin Science Experiment
This is one of my all time favorite fall STEM activities. It always creates a lot of excitement in the classroom and my own kids create their own now every year.
If you are looking for a fall themed experiment that is going to be memorable and create a lot of science talk, this is the one!
Petri Dish Science Experiment
How long does it take for pumpkin guts to rot? Does it make a difference where the guts are placed? If they are in the sunshine versus a closed drawer will they decompose differently?
Give kids the chance to feel like real scientist by using petri dishes, or you can simply use a plastic bag, either way it is interesting to see how the seeds and pumpkin guts break down. You may even get a few seeds to sprout.
Melting Pumpkin Science and Art Activity
Coloring a pumpkin is lots of fun, but what happens if the pumpkin is warm and you’re drawing with wax crayons? Find out with this Fall STEM activity with warm pumpkins!
Rotting Pumpkin STEM Activity
It’s fun to carve pumpkins, but it’s not fun when they start to rot. Try out these experiments to see if there is anything you can do to prevent pumpkin rot!
Pumpkin Diffusion Science Experiment
This quick and easy science experiment for kids is a great way to show kids how concentrated colour dissolves in water and spreads, a process known as diffusion.
Decomposing Pumpkin Fall STEM Activity #1
What happened to Pumpkin Jack? Explore the concept of decomposition and what happens to a pumpkin once it is carved.
Decomposing Pumpkin Fall STEM Activity #2
Watching a pumpkin decompose over time is interesting and educational. Extend your experiment by letting your rotten pumpkin full decompose and create a new pumpkin. From rotten to new pumpkin, this activity has it all.
Fizzing Pumpkins Fall STEM Activity
Combine a recipe, chemical reaction and sensory play into one activity with this fizzing pumpkin science experiment. Watch the pumpkins bubble and dissolve before your eyes.
Fall Pumpkin Lava Lamp
Fun pumpkin lava lamps, a great alternative to a traditional pumpkin and a fun science activity too.
Levitating Pumpkin Experiment
Simple and quick experiment with inertia and a pumpkin! Discover how inertia works while trying to make a pumpkin fall.
Pumpkin STEM Building Challenges
Many STEM activities include building challenges and hands-on engineering projects. The collection below include all fall themed challenges. You can choose to give children a time limit, material restrictions or other restrictions, if you are working with older children.
For more ideas and detailed descriptions of how to do STEM challenges, check out my collection of 45+ STEM Challenges for kids any time of year.
Pumpkin Bridge Fall STEM Activity
Grab some tongue depressors, play dough and mini plastic pumpkins for this pumpkin bridge STEM challenge.
Can you get your pumpkin back to the pumpkin patch? This activity is part of a collection of Halloween STEM challenges.
Fall STEM Activities – Pumpkin Boats
Testing if something will sink or float is a great activity for kids. Add a fall theme with this pumpkin boat building activity. With limited supplies create a structure that floats, and can hold a mini pumpkin.
This pumpkin catapult stem challenge incorporates science, technology, engineering, math, and history into one fun activity.
Pumpkin Balance and Building
This is an easy fall STEM activity that requires patience, hand eye coordination and trial and error. The best part of the activity for kids is knocking all of the tubes down once they complete the challenge!
Fall Building Challenge Printable
Get creative this fall season with Lego, use this fall Lego challenge printable for inspiration and ideas to get your creative juice flowing.
Recycled Pumpkin Science + Art Activity
As children learn a little bit about how paper is made, and recycled, they also create something beautiful. Find out what happens when recycled paper mulch dries and the new material is formed.
Apple STEM Activities
Another sure sign of fall are apples. From apple pie to apple picking there tends to be an abundance of apples and apple items in our home in the fall. Stick with this symbol of autumn during your fall STEM activities.
Fizzing Apples Fall STEM Activity
With just 2 main ingredients you can easily create these fizzing apples. Kids will think they have caused an explosion, but they will also learn about the chemical reaction they created.
Apple Browning Science Experiment
Why do apples turn brown after you slice them? Will lemon juice slow the process? Kids can get a taste of practical fall science with this edible experiment!
Recycled Apple Sensory Art
Children will love creating something from old paper. This activity is a great sensory activity as children learn about how paper is made and what happens when paper pulp dries.
Fizzing Paint Apple
Create a fizzing, colorful apple that starts fizzing with one simple ingredient. Kids will love watching and listening to their experiment.
Apple Boats Fall STEM Activities
Do apples float? Use toothpicks to create a boat from apple pieces so that a small figure can stand on the apple boat.
Apple Mummification STEM Activity
This science experiment uses apples and salt to recreate the process Ancient Egyptians used to make mummies. Fun activity for Halloween season and to integrate into your social studies lessons.
Leaf STEM Activities
The cooler weather and leaves changing color are one of the first signs of fall. Integrate leaves into your learning activities with these hands-on fall STEM activities.
Why do Leaves Change Color?
Children can see that the leaves change color, and fall to the ground as the weather turns colder. Teach kids a little bit about the science behind the changing colors with this fall science experiment.
Leaf STEM Building Challenge
Focus on engineering with this fall STEM activity. Provide children with a few simple materials and challenge them to create a free standing tree. How tall can they make their tree? How many leaves can they make their tree have?
Oobleck is a very interesting material and a unique substance to touch and play with. It’s not quite a solid, or a liquid, but it is fun to play with and explore its properties. Add some leaves and other fall items for a unique experience.
Color Changing Leaves STEM Activity
Try out a few hands-on experiments that help explain why fall leaves change color.
Fall Leaves STEM Activities
Kids can observe differences in leaves indoor and outdoors with this simple leaf experiment.
Science Fall STEM Activities
You can find a lot of pumpkin and apple science experiments above, below are a few more hands-on science experiments that follow a fall theme.
Fall Paintball STEM Activity
Test different materials to see what happens when paintballs explode on them. Does the feel and make up of the material make a difference for how the paint ‘sticks’? This is a great outdoor activity to enjoy the fall weather.
Growing Ghost Fall STEM Activity
Although this STEM activity has a Halloween theme, it is a really cool experiment that kids would love! Blow up a balloon without blowing any air into it! The balloon can be a ghost, pumpkin or even simply colorful leaves to celebrate the season.
Fall STEM Math Activities
If you have young children you are teaching or planning activities for, keeping with a fall theme can make the activities even more engaging. You can also do the same activity over and over, but with different themes throughout the year.
Math, counting and numbers are core skills for children to learn. Great STEM activities may include a bit of math mixed in. Below are a few simple, and fun fall math activities for kids.
Fall Math Tray
A simple math tray for kids of all ages that’s perfect for fall.
Measuring Fall Math Activity
Head outside to measure leaves with this super simple math activity!
Fall Math Worksheets
Looking for a fun way to help your little ones practice counting and number recognition? These apple-themed fall number worksheets are perfect for preschoolers and kindergarteners!
Preschoolers can strengthen math skills with these engaging fall math worksheets. They’ll practice counting, writing numbers, and number recognition to ten.
Hands-On Counting Snake
Use these for counting to 10 and number bonds (adding/ subbing to 0 10).
Fall Math Scavenger Hunt
Grab this ‘Counting Fall’ printable scavenger hunt and have littles enjoy some number sense play with fall treasures.
Fall Sensory and Science
Sometimes STEM activities are not just a science experiment or a math activity, sometimes it integrates a few ideas and experiences together. Some STEM activities can include sensory activities that use a combination of our senses as children explore and experiment with the world around them.
A great thing about STEM activities is that they often touch on several of the senses. This “Walk through Fall” uses a combination of several of the senses, especially in bare feet.
Exploding Mud Monster
Although you end up with a super cute mud monster, it is actually science that makes these pieces of art. Make mud monsters by exploding mud and adding nature elements to make cute faces! Kids will love this!
Melting Play Dough
If you are searching for a fun Fall Sensory Activity that will keep your kids entertained long enough to enjoy your hot cup of coffee, this Melting Halloween Play Dough is it!
Fizzing Sensory Pumpkins
This makes a fun Autumn activity to use up your pumpkins when you’re finished with them! Kids will love the fizzy sensory experience!
I hope that this collection of fun Fall STEM Activities have given you some ideas of how to bring STEM learning into your classroom or home. Fall is a great time to start exploring nature and doing hands-on experiments and activities.
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Fall + Halloween Escape Room Game
Add something unique and creative to your fall celebrations with this print and play Fall + Halloween Escape Room game. Simple print, set up and play. No additional materials required and perfect for family game nights and classroom use.
Free STEAM Choice Board
Keep your STEM learning going with this FREE STEAM Choice Board. Join Hands-On Teaching Ideas today and gain access to the Free Resource Library, filled with printable, educational resources. From escape room games to printable worksheets, you’ll find lots to use in your classroom or home.
More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
Looking for more exciting activities to do this fall? Check out the collection below. From outdoor learning activities and fall math coding activities to Halloween STEM challenges and fall crafts, there is lots to keep kids busy and learning.