Crisp leaves and cooler weather sure excite the senses…and make for a perfect preschool theme! These fall activities for preschool are perfect for the change of the season and inviting new experiences into the classroom.
These are free fall lesson plans for preschoolers and are filled with arts and crafts, literacy, and math options, plus fun playful learning activities that engage and excite. Find all this and more bundled up in a free preschool lesson plans download at the end of this post!
I’m not sure who loves fall more…kids or adults? I can only speak for myself, but with the air feeling lighter and more refreshing, fall certainly begins the magical time of year as you head into the holidays. Now, I like pumpkin just as much as the next person, but I wouldn’t consider myself pumpkin-crazed. I do have to admit that when pumpkin-flavored items return, it’s more symbolic than delicious; it signifies that it’s time for family memories and outside adventures.
Kids sure love pumpkins, but they’re not waiting outside their local coffee shop for the first pumpkin coffee or donut of the season. They see pumpkins and their eyes light up because they know that a very special holiday is just around the corner: Halloween! Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, Halloween models sharing and being a good neighbor, which is certainly a valuable preschool theme.
No matter how you celebrate the fall season, there’s so much importance in developing your own classroom traditions and affirming the importance of being a caring and thoughtful friend. As a preschool teacher, I love teaching a fall theme!
FAQ ABOUT A FALL PRESCHOOL THEME
So much learning can happen within a fall theme! Here are some frequently asked questions about how to teach your preschoolers about the season of fall.
Teaching preschoolers about fall (or autumn) is such a fun time of the year. Share with them that fall is one of the four seasons of the year, and during the fall season we transition from the hot days of summer to cooler fall days. We begin the transition into winter! In many parts of the world, the leaves on the trees will begin to change color and the temperature begins to grow colder. During the fall, animals will start to prepare themselves for winter.
Fall is full of themes galore! From apples to pumpkins, leaves to life cycles, this is the perfect time of year to focus on the wonder and beauty of nature and gardening. Consider a life cycles unit of an apple, pumpkin, or tree, perfect for including exciting science experiments with these natural elements. Since many areas may experience the leaves changing color or falling to the ground, learning about leaves provides another fun element in preschool. Remember to use your five senses as you experience your fall-themed activities!
Fall is known for pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and apple picking. Bring some of these fun events into the classroom by taking a field trip to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. If a field trip isn’t in the cards, bring the apples and pumpkins into the classroom! Carve jack-o-lanterns, plant pumpkin seeds, and enjoy a lovely picnic outside tasting different apple varieties. Explore nature and take your preschoolers out to find evidence of fall and create a fall nature collage (think acorns, pinecones, leaves, twigs, sticks, etc.) Taste apple and pumpkin-flavored items like pumpkin pie and apple cider and invite children to graph their favorites. The fall season is loaded with perfect activities for preschoolers!
HANDS-ON FALL PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Learning about the seasons can be challenging for preschoolers since the passing of time is still a tricky concept. That’s why my Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans are filled with hands-on opportunities in our arts and crafts, literacy, and math options, plus fun hands-on activities and playful learning activities that engage and excite.
And that’s exactly what you will get with these free fall lesson plans for preschoolers! They’re packed full of great ideas for teaching a fall preschool theme.
Literacy Activities for a Fall Preschool Theme
Alphabet Leaves – Head outside and search for leaves that have fallen from trees in all shapes and sizes. Once you have a large collection, invite your preschooler to create letters of the alphabet by arranging the leaves in different ways. Or write the letters with sidewalk chalk first and then lay leaves over the letter form. Spell names, words, or do the whole alphabet! For round two, bring those leaves back inside and rip them up and lay them on top of letter forms to create new letters. Ripping the leaves is great fine motor practice, too!
Pre-writing and Fine Motor Practice – Help your little ones build the muscles and coordination needed to write the alphabet and numbers with these fall pre-writing practice pages. Assist your preschooler with a pencil grasp or use these pages with a truck or car to ”drive” over the road to get to the other side. You can also use pom-poms, buttons, or other small objects to slide over the lines. All these ways build fine motor skills and writing confidence!
ADD IN THESE PERFECT FALL PICTURE BOOKS!
Reading books for preschoolers is essential and a great way to introduce new topics. Choose books that have fluid storylines and exceptional pictures. Here’s a fall book list I created for you! These are my recommendations based on the picture books I use with my own preschoolers.
MATH AND SCIENCE ACTIVITIES FOR A FALL PRESCHOOL THEME
Pinecone Sequence – Head outside and hunt for some pinecones and sequence them in order from largest to smallest. After sequencing by size, count and see how many you’ve collected. Lay them in different directions and see if you can form pinecone art. Then move on to the interesting pine cone experiment below.
Pine Cone Science Experiment – Learn more about why pinecones open and close with this easy but interactive experiment.
Number Memory Game – Write the numbers 1-10 on a sheet of paper. Cover each number with a silk or real leaf. Play memory and invite your preschooler to try and remember where each number is.
Pumpkin Measurement – Talk about their size and ask preschoolers how much they might weigh. Which one is heaviest and why? Use any scale available to measure. Compare other items and encourage your preschoolers to predict which one is heavier or lighter.
PLAYFUL LEARNING ACTIVITIES FOR A FALL PRESCHOOL THEME
Nature Seed Hunt – Go on a nature walk and find seeds from various trees. Bring them home and sort them. Talk about their differences and how they might be transferred. Research how seeds get from one place to another. Go to YouTube and read Flip, Float, Fly by JoAnn Early Macken and learn about how seeds travel in the most interesting of ways.
All About Pumpkins – Use pumpkins in a variety of ways! Use a string to measure around the outside to see which pumpkin is the fattest. Cut them open and explore the pulp and seeds. Cook the seeds for a tasting or make pumpkin baked goods. Save a few seeds to plant!
Fall Dance Party – Put on some lively music and show off your moves. “Rake” the leaves on the ground, ”blow” the leaves all around. Shake your bushy squirrel tail, crack open some acorns, and hide in your cozy den! Get creative!
AMP UP YOUR FALL THEME FOR PRESCHOOL
Consider adding some fall-themed manipulatives or puppets to enhance the learning! Themed materials always make the learning so much more inviting.
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR A FALL PRESCHOOL THEME
Raking Leaves for Someone Special – Being helpful in the community is a great way to teach young children social skills and to develop an awareness of others. Perhaps your preschooler can help rake an elderly neighbor’s leaves. If raking real leaves is not an option, pretending to rake silk leaves around the house is a great way to talk about other ways to help community members during this fall season.
Leaf Trouble – Go to YouTube and listen to the book Leaf Trouble by Johnathan Emmitt. In this story, Pip the Squirrel is distraught that his favorite tree is losing all of its leaves, so he rushes to help the tree and tries to put all the leaves back on. When the leaves don’t stay, he learns from his mom that trees lose their leaves so they can rest. Invite your preschooler to share why they think trees need time to rest. How are trees and humans alike? Why is rest important for people too? What does taking a rest or a break look like and how can it help us feel our very best? Learning to rest and be calm is a valuable skill for young children to learn.
JUST PLAIN FUN ACTIVITIES FOR A FALL PRESCHOOL THEME
Straw Painting – Bind together a few pieces of straw to make a new paintbrush. Now use it to paint a fall scene on a sheet of paper. Get creative with the materials you have available; tape together grass or leaves to a twig for a natural paintbrush or use pumpkin seeds in playdough as stamps.
Leaf Rubbings – Lay a leaf under a piece of white paper. Unwrap the paper of one or two crayons and roll the crayon back and forth over the top of the paper. You’ll start to see the veins and pattern of the leaf! Invite your preschoolers to make predictions: “Why does the leaf have veins? What might they use those veins for?”
Find the Acorn Game – Play find the acorn, similar to the old-fashioned game “Find the Thimble.” One person hides an acorn somewhere in the room, while all the other players wait outside. When everyone comes back in, they compete to find the hidden acorn. Infuse this game with literacy or math by adding a number or a letter to the acorn.
GET ONLINE ACTIVITIES FOR A FALL PRESCHOOL THEME
Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the book Goodbye Summer Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak. After reading this story, invite your preschooler to share some things that they learned about the animals. Are some animals looking for food or heading south? Are they making cozy nests to prepare for the cold? Chat more about animals that hibernate.
Autumn Leaves are Falling Down Song – This catchy song is toe-tapping fun and your preschooler will want to listen over and over!
Grey Squirrel Song – A fun sing-along with a family of squirrels and their very bushy tails!
Get Your FREE Fall Preschool Lesson Plans Here
Want to include these fall activities in your lesson plans? No problem. I’ve made a printable for you. Just click the image below!
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I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.