In-Home Preschool Fall Activities
And just like that summer is over and parents everywhere are gearing up for fall. For many families this means getting the kids out of the summer slump and back into the school routine. Even for homeschooling parents, this change in season comes with a change in their daily lives as they begin to lesson plan, integrate curriculums, and scour the Internet for activities that everyone can enjoy. In order to help with the arduous task of searching Pinterest and Google for fun things to do for your preschooler, Daily Mom has come up with some fall-inspired activities for your homeschooling days.
Below are a list of some math activities to complete at home with your toddler and/or preschooler:
This activity is a favorite among kids because it uses something all kids love – candy! Children will follow the pattern on their sheets using a bag of Fall Harvest Candy Corn. You can modify this for both toddlers and preschoolers. For toddlers, you can use it simply as a matching game where they must match the candy pieces to the picture. If your preschooler has already gotten the hang of finishing a given pattern, you can extend the activity by having them make their own pattern without the guide!
This activity is a great way to reuse some of the things you may use for other activities, like exploring the inside of pumpkins. Simply write different numbers on cutouts of pumpkins and let your child count the correct number of pumpkin seeds using one-to-one correspondence. You can modify this activity by using it simply as a number recognition tool.
“Ten Apples Up On Top” is a classic Dr. Seuss book that kids love. You can open this activity by reading this story to your child, therefore garnering their attention in the task. There are a few different ways to do this activity. One way is to use your refrigerator or a cookie sheet for a fun magnetic activity. Take a full-body picture of your child, laminate it, and add a magnet to the back. Do the same for small apple cutouts. Have your child add ten apples to the top of their head on their pictures. To extend this activity you could write the numbers on the apples and have your child put them in order as they place them on their picture.
This activity is great for younger children. Simply print out (and laminate for durability) the shape of a ghost. Draw different shapes on the belly of each one. Then, using either shapes made from paper or these wooden patterning blocks, have your child match the shape on the ghost’s belly. You can also modify this activity by creating a second set of ghosts, coloring them, and having your child match colored pom poms to the correct ghost.
This activity is simply an extension of what you might do when you carve pumpkins for the Halloween season. First, start off the discussion by talking about your five senses: sight, touch, smell, hearing, and tasting. Describe the outside of the pumpkin using your senses. If they have never seen the inside of a pumpkin, ask them to predict what it might look like. Once you get it cut open, describe the insides. For an extension you can have them draw a picture of the outside and the inside of the pumpkin in their science journals.
Pumpkins and apples are staples during the fall season. Talk about these wonderful fruits by discussing their lifecycle – from seed to sprout to plant to fruit. There are several different activity books you can use to help supplement this activity that can be found and printed off Pinterest. In addition, there are many different literacy resources you can use to spawn interest in this topic:
A fan favorite among kids! Here you take an empty 2-liter soda bottle and place some vinegar inside (you can use any color soda bottle but green ones are usually pretty fun!). Then, draw a monster face on a deflated balloon – Frankenstein usually does the trick – and spoon some baking soda inside. When the baking soda spills into the bottle and reacts with the vinegar it will blow up the balloon, revealing the Frankenstein face! If it doesn’t blow up big enough, keep adding more baking soda.
Another fun experiment using baking soda and vinegar is the Exploding Pumpkin. Carve a pumpkin to your heart’s content. Place it on a cookie sheet and place a small bowl inside. Add some baking soda, glitter (optional), and dish soap (optional). When you’re ready, pour some vinegar on top. This will cause a neat chemical reaction that is sure to make your preschooler squeal with joy!
This activity is similar to the math activity found above, but instead of using numbers on each apple you will use the letters of your child’s name. It is recommended that you have them spell their name down (e.g., the first letter of their name will not be directly on top of the head but rather some space above) since that is how things are read in other situations. Again, using a magnetic surface makes this activity quite a bit of fun for your preschooler!
This activity is wonderful once you have it made because it can be used in a variety of ways! Draw a large pumpkin, preferably on a piece of cardboard, and cut a space in the middle. Color or paint the pumpkin (or have your kids do it for added fun!). Then let your kids “feed” the pumpkin using cards of different categories – names (their names and family member’s names work great!), shapes, and letters. To extend this activity you can have your child make the letter sounds instead of using the letter names.
Write your child’s name in large print on a piece of paper. Give them pumpkin seeds and have them trace their name using the seeds. This is great for name recognition as well as fine motor skills!
A large part of literacy are the books you keep in your literacy center. Here are some great books for the fall that you can add to keep your child interested in the topic!
Cut out some different sized pumpkin shapes from white paper. Rip up some orange colored tissue paper and let your child glue the pieces onto their pumpkin. For an added extension to this activity you could let your child rip the tissue paper for work on their fine motor skills, or practice cutting with scissors.
Although it seems simple, gluing things can be a difficult task for many preschoolers. Glue sticks often dry out easily and simply do not have the adhesion necessary for most art projects. White glue, however, can be messy. With younger children, sometimes pouring a little glue into a small cup or bowl and letting them “paint” it onto their paper is easiest. For older kids who are using the squeeze bottles remind them that all they need is “just a dot, not a lot.”
Place a sheet of white paper onto a tray or shallow box. Add a few globs of paint of your child’s choice along with some marbles. Have them tilt the tray or box to spread the paint. Allow the picture to dry. Then cut out some bat shapes from black paper, or buy these ones, and have your child glue the bats onto their picture!
Fold a piece of white heavy construction paper in half “hamburger style.” Place a glob of paint on one half of the sheet. Have your child fold the paper together and spread out the paint any way they want. Open it up and see the symmetry in their artwork! Once the paint has dried, add googly eyes, arms, legs, and other shapes to create a fun monster.
Here is a list of possible tools for your art center that will help you make an ‘Invitation to Create’ space for your child:
- Fall colored tissue paper
- Monster Faces – different shaped construction paper, googly eyes
- Corks and fall color paint
- Jack O’ Lantern Faces – coffee filters, different shapes to create faces
Sensory activities are a great independent activity for preschoolers. There are so many different ways to create a sensory bin from pasta, rice, beans, and even water! There is no need to get fancy – simply coloring some pasta or rice and adding a few toys makes it exciting enough for your little one. Just be sure to keep an eye on them so as to make sure they don’t swallow any uncooked food items or small toys.
If you’re feeling in the spooky spirit you can create a simple sensory bin with orange dyed pasta, cotton balls (for ghosts), and plastic spiders!
For a little bit more whimsical of a sensory bin you can use fake leaves, miniature pumpkins, gourds, and acorns. Add some tools like spoons and measuring cups for play.
Playdough is always a fan favorite for preschoolers, and pumpkin playdough is simple to make at home. Just follow this recipe using flour, oil, water, and cream of tartar and add in some pumpkin spice for the scent. Dye it orange using food coloring and voila! You have pumpkin playdough. Add dried pumpkins seeds for some extra texture and use Fall or Halloween themed cookie cutters for added fun!
Dye some rice using green and/or red food coloring (be sure to dye them separately so the colors don’t run together). Once the rice is dry add some apple essential oil for scent. Place some fun apple-themed toys like a miniature basket and small plastic apples inside for play!
There are so many activities for the fall and Halloween season for your preschooler to enjoy. A quick search on Pinterest will generate thousands of different games and lessons. Whether you are a homeschooling parent or you are just looking for some fun, educational activities to do at home with your little one, Daily Mom has you covered. These fall inspired activities are sure to bring bunches of smiles into your home this season!
Photo credits: Lauren Lomsdale
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