Fall is a great time to take learning outside. Whether you are looking for educational activities for the classroom or simply looking for hands-on, screen free activities for kids, this collection of 33 Fun Fall Outdoor Learning Activities will give you lots of ideas!
For several years I taught outdoor education to over a hundred kindergarten children. I loved that I spent most of my day outside and valued how beneficial the time outside was for my students.
Sometimes it was tricky to come up with inexpensive, engaging activities for groups of children to fill the program and learning needs. However, there is so much that fall has to offer and the changing environment provides new materials to build activities from.
To save you some time, I have complied some of my favorite and creative ideas from an assortment of sources for you to encourage a love of nature and fall.
Some of the ideas below include a link to a full activity description. Click the link to view details and more pictures explaining the activity in detail.
However, some of the other activities are simply ideas. These are quick and easy activities that don’t really require extra details or explanations of how to do the activity. However, if you are looking for clarification on how to do the activity, leave me a comment at the bottom and I’ll share further how I did the activity, in detail.
Fall Outdoor Learning Activities – Art
Planning an art class outside doesn’t have to be tricky. Use nature and all that fall has to offer this season with this nature art project.
All you need is clay and time outside. These clay prints create beautiful prints that can be painted or simply left natural.
We love to make these leaf crowns whilst at the park. The best bit? Only leaves needed! No string or tape or staples.
Fall would be a great time to make a nature mandala. This can also be a great activity for math and sorting. Encourage children to sort their nature items and then create a mandala pattern all with items from nature.
Aren’t these leaf prints beautiful? Your preschooler will love painting leaves and can easily do this!
There is a lot of learning that happens with this leaf painting activity, from the leaf colors and shapes to looking for, and identifying the leaves painted during their time outside.
Create a Fall Leaves Bookmark Craft for Kids at home or in the classroom. Make a fun and easy fall craft for kids while getting them outdoors!
Bird feeders are a classic outside learning activity. Add another layer to this hands-on activity with this seed mosaic creation that includes art and patterns as children create.
Autumn Outdoor Learning Activities – Sensory
Sensory activities are common in summer because the weather is warm and beautiful, but fall weather is beautiful and still allows for lots hands-on sensory play.
This Fall Sensory Walk is an activity I love to do every year with my students. Fill a few bins with different items that are easily found in the fall. Let children walk, barefoot, through the bins to feel the materials with their toes and feet.
Kids love to make snow angels in the winter, how about a leaf angel in the fall? This is a really simple and straightforward idea. Have a child lay on a bare spot in the grass and surround them with leaves to create a leaf outline.
Try different prints and actions with your hands and feet to create a line of lots of outlines. This could easily be done with a whole classful of children!
Outdoor Activities – Scavenger Hunts
Fall is a great time to try a scavenger hunt. Throw on a scarf and head outside while the weather is still beautiful. Search, explore and enjoy the time outside with these outdoor scavenger hunts.
The first scavenger hunt is ideal for even young children. Use your pumpkins from Halloween and hide them around the yard or any outdoor area.
We used a bunch of really colorful and fun pumpkin designs for this pumpkin hunt. A free printable is available. If you don’t have pumpkins you could print the pumpkin images and hide them around the area.
Escape rooms are very popular right now. Create one in your own backyard with this Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. The puzzles follow an outdoor theme and can be set up in virtually any outdoor space very quickly and no special materials are required.
Have children create their sensory hunt as they walk and explore nature. This sensory hunt is great for young children to create their own nature hunt cards.
This was so much fun! Before raking them up, use your leaves for some extra fun by creating a leaf maze. Kids will love creating, and then walking through their maze. Challenge children to see how fast they can run and find their way through the maze.
We added a leaf pile at the end for kids to jump in when they finished!
Leaf Scavenger Hunt
I love noticing the way the outdoors change as we head into Autumn. I ooh and ahh over the changing leaves, the delicious fruits and vegetables at the Farmer’s Market, and even the stormy weather.
Help your kids to appreciate the beauty of Fall with this free printable fall scavenger hunt.
Make your next walk a fall scavenger hunt with this gorgeous hand illustrated free printable.
Kids will have a blast enjoying nature with this free printable scavenger hunt.
Spread a little kindness this fall as you drop off these kindness notes to the neighbors. Spend time outside enjoying the fresh air, but spread kindness in your neighborhood with these printable notes.
Color and identify lots of the beautiful leaves in fall with this free printable leaf activity sheet.
Depending when you do this scavenger hunt, the colors on the leaves will change. From brown to red and orange, there is a rainbow of colors.
Fall Outdoor Learning Activities – Science
The cards include orbiculate, ovate, elliptical, cordate, lanceolate, spatulate, reinform, deltoid, sagitate, hastate, acerose, linear, and obcordate leaf shapes. Once the leaf shapes are known, it will be hard not to find them everywhere!
First, start off by reading Leaves in Fall by Mari Schuh. Then go a nature walk to collect brightly colored leaves to make a fall collage!
Fall Outdoor Learning Activities – Math
Sorting is a key math concept for young children to learn. Make it a hands-on lesson this fall by having children sort a collection of fall items. From pumpkins to leaves, can children identify all of the differences and similarities between the items?
Take old bird nests that have been abandoned and build an old school balance scale using found materials from nature. Then start exploring the concepts of heavier and lighter.
Use this clever technique to find out how tall a tree is!
Free Outdoor Learning Activities Choice Board
Join Hands-On Teaching Ideas and receive access to the Free Resource Library. The library is always growing with new, exciting, printable resources. From free printable escape room games to worksheets and choice boards, there is lots to use with your kids today.
By joining Hands-On Teaching Ideas you will not only gain access to the library, but also be the first to learn about latest resources and promotions.
Join today to download a free outdoor learning choice board. Children can choose an activity that interests them and enjoy some screen free time outdoors.
More Outdoor Learning Activities
Take learning outside all year round with this huge collection of outdoor learning activities. Activities are grouped by subject area so it’s easy to plan a math based activity outdoors or even social studies.
More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
Make learning fun with more Hands-On Teaching Ideas. Below are some of my favorite and most popular outdoor learning activities for year round outdoor fun!
From more outdoor learning activities for all the seasons to nature based art, math and science experiences, you can keep kids busy and learning for months!