Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year! The weather is perfect, the air is crisp, and the world is changing into a beautiful array of color… We are finally out of the miserable, humid, sauna-esque Southern summer and I am ready to get outside with the kiddos! The first outdoor activity on my list is a fall nature walk! A nature walk is such a simple activity to do with children. You just need to go out into the backyard and see what you can see, hear what you can hear, and smell what you can smell. Get down in the dirt to see what creepy crawlies hang out there. Try to identify birds that you see and hear. Simply enjoy the wonder and tranquility of nature with your children. If you don’t live in an area that is conducive to nature walks, a local park would work just as well. I also enjoy love adding extra fun activities and tasks to make our nature walks more hands-on and interactive. You can do these 9 activities on nature walks with your children as well.
12 Fall Nature Walk Activities
1. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
My kids LOVE a good scavenger hunt! Nature scavenger hunts in the fall provide fun, engaging, hands on learning for kids. Search for insects, nuts, leaves, and other things that can easily be found outside in the fall.
2. Make Journey Sticks
Use items from the scavenger hunt or general items found on your fall nature walk to make journey sticks. Tape, glue, or tie these items (leaves, berries, nuts, flowers, seeds, etc) to a stick or a piece of cardboard for a fun keepsake!
3. Create Leaf and Bark Rubbings
Colorful leaf rubbings are a favorite fall activity at our house. Just place a leaf vein side up under a sheet of paper. Have the children use a crayon or a coloring pencil to color in one direction over the leaf. The kids think that it is so cool to see an image of their leaf *magically* transferred onto their paper.
4. Start a Leaf Journal
Create a leaf journal where your kids can keep the different leaves found on their nature walk. Each page can hold a different leaf, information about that specific leaf, and a rubbing of the leaf. Use these Leaf Identification Cards to determine which tree each leaf belongs to.
5. Play a Leaf Matching Game
Have your children pick any leaf off of the ground. Ask them to study it and then find another leaf that is similar to the one that they picked. Continue this matching game as long as they are interested.
6. Write About Your Walk
Find a place to sit and pull out a notebook. You can your children can work together to write a poem or a short story about your fall nature walk. Help them to include descriptive words and phrases as they go. If your children aren’t old enough to write, ask them to tell you about the things that they saw, heard, felt, and smelled during their walk.
7. Identify Insects
Discover what insects live in your neck of the woods this time of year. Use What is My Bug? to keep track of all of the creepy-crawlies that you find! An insect field guide can help you quickly determine what insects you might find living around your yard or park.
8. Identify Trees
Discover what types of trees are hanging out on your nature walk path! Do this by collecting leaves, seeds, and bark found along the path and use a tree field guide to research your findings. I LOVE the idea of playing “Name that Tree” to help kids engage in this activity!
9. Track and Identify Animals
Do your kids know how to identify animals simply by studying their tracks? Teach them how with these Animal Track ID Cards and see how many animals you can ID on your next nature walk. Take an animal track pocket guide along for extra guidance and information.
If you see track like these ^^^^, then you might want to keep an extra eye out :/
10. Pack a Nature Backpack
Help your children pack a nature backpack with a Field Guide, pencil and paper for sketching and leaf rubbing, containers to collect insects, a magnifying glass, a camera, a pair of binoculars, the Outdoor Book and other fun items for your nature walk!
11. Watch and Identify Birds
Bring some binoculars along (you can even make your own) so your kiddos can check out the birds along your nature walk path. They will love seeing the different colors and listening to the different songs of each bird in your area! Use a bird field guide to help them identify the birds that they see. They can also keep up with the birds that they watch with a Bird Watch Tally Sheet!
12. Illustrate Nature
Have your children draw a picture of their favorite part of the fall nature walk. Maybe they will draw a bird or a tree with burnt orange leaves…or maybe they will draw a bug that they found crawling by. Whatever they choose, use this activity as an art and a research project.
Use the form below to gain access to a FREE Fall Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt printable checklist!
14 Fall Nature Walk Books
Grab a few of these books to read with your children before, during, or after your fall nature walk.
1. Leaf Man
14. The Outdoor Book
This is a wonderful book by Usborne that is filled with activities to do outdoors with your children.