Fall is a wonderful time for children to explore nature. Leaves and weather are changing, and cooler temperatures mean being outside is more enjoyable! Fall is a time of colorful art projects, science experiments using pumpkins and apples, and delicious baking projects. We have five fabulous fall books to read and suggested activities to match to reinforce fall learning with your little one!
1. I Spy Autumn by Florence A. Bauer Press
This simple I Spy book is designed for children ages 2-5. Arranged alphabetically, it reinforces letter learning and helps children associate objects with their starting letters. The pictures are drawn so kids can color them, so it doubles as an activity book!
Extend the play by going on an I Spy walk around your neighborhood or local park! Then, have your little one play one of our ABC games to reinforce letter recognition! Try our ABC Train game for free; no subscription is needed!
2. The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry
The Scarecrow is a fall book and a story of friendship, kindness, and helping those in need. Beautiful watercolor-style illustrations help tell the story of the unlikely friendship between a baby crow and the scarecrow that saves him.
Use old clothing to create a scarecrow at home! You can also paint scarecrow faces on paper plates or pumpkins. Creating scarecrow faces is an excellent way to explore shapes and spatial relations! Faces are also a way to teach young children about emotions and feelings.
3. The Magical Forest by Lauren Kimberly
See the world through a young child’s imagination in The Magical Forest. Charlie discovers all the magic the forest offers, and you will, too, as you view the woods through his eyes! The book also contains a fun seek-and-find at the end.
After reading the book, have your child imagine what they might find in the forest. Head out for a nature walk and see what magic you discover together! Provide drawing materials and have your child create magical forest images!
4. Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
Apples and Pumpkins is the perfect story to read before or after a trip to the farm! Adorable, fall-themed illustrations by Lizzy Rockwell help tell the story of a little girl and her family who visit the local farm to pick apples and choose the perfect fall pumpkin to create a Halloween Jack-o-lantern!
Try baking with apples or pumpkins, or purchase a variety of apples and do an apple-tasting test. Which apples are the sweetest? How about the juiciest? Pick a pumpkin, design a fun or spooky face, and carve it as a family. Learn about seeds and how plants grow by dissecting a pumpkin or apple.
5. We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt is a take on the classic poem “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” This fun adventure tale and its rhyming text are perfect for young learners. It introduces colors, shapes, and various language concepts through sound effects and the sing-song pattern.
After reading, hunt outside for leaves; how many different leaves can you find? What colors do you see? Ask your child why they think the leaves change color. Then try this leaf color-changing experiment from Grow NYC. Your child can also collect leaves to make art and leaf rubbings.
September 1, 2023, by L. Elizabeth Forry