Are you looking for inspiration on activities for kids outdoors this autumn? These simple, low-cost ideas for outdoor play in autumn will make it easier for you to get outside and have fun. There’s also a free printable autumn bucket list to grab – scroll down for more details!
There’s so much to enjoy outdoors in autumn. The weather is still mild, the sunlight is at a fabulous angle, and nature is visibly changing everywhere you look. Kids absolutely love autumn too; it’s such a tactile time of year with all those crisp leaves, changing colours, and of course the conkers!
Easy activities for kids outdoors in autumn
If you’d like to make the most of playing outdoors with the kids this season, I’ve got you covered. I’ve rounded up lots of ideas and tips for kids outdoor activities to help you embrace nature play and explore all that nature has to offer in autumn. Enjoy!
Nature crafts for autumn
Nature is the most fantastic resource when it comes to craft materials, and in autumn we’re spoilt for choice. Leaves, feathers, berries, nuts, flowers… there’s so much nature treasure to collect and craft with.
My nature book for kids *A Year of Nature Craft & Play has a whole section on autumn crafts and nature play ideas you can try. There’s an activity for every week of the year, all using materials you can easily find in nature.
Nature crafts are a great way to keep costs down, and because you’re using natural materials they’re eco-friendly too. Just make sure you only collect items that have already fallen from trees and plants, and encourage kids to wash their hands after collecting nature treasure.
Make a nature display
All that lovely nature treasure doesn’t have to be turned into a specific craft either. A nature table or tray is a nice way to contain an ever-growing collection, and it also allows kids to explore and add to their finds easily.
Autumn gardening projects for kids
There are lots of fun gardening projects for kids to try in autumn. It’s the perfect time to sow wildflower seeds, this is an easy outdoor activity for children and a fun way to make your garden more wildlife-friendly. Another gardening project my kids love is planting a bulb lasagne in a pot; this is a clever way of layering *spring bulbs for months of colour in one container. In early autumn you can still grow salad outdoors, or you could take the gardening indoors and grow microgreens or start a windowsill herb garden.
You can of course also get the kids involved with your own gardening projects too! For example, they can help with raking leaves, weeding, digging and planting, or make homemade bird feeders to help garden wildlife in the colder months.
It’s harvest time, and there are lots of edible nuts and berries to be foraged for this season. Blackberries are usually very easy to find in hedgerows, and elderberries and sloe berries are also in plentiful supply. You could also hunt for sweet chestnuts to roast. Foraging is a lovely simple outdoor activity for the whole family; just make sure you take *gloves with you to protect from thorns, and always stick to public land.
It’s not just edible crops that you can harvest at this time of year. Autumn is a fabulous time to harvest seeds from your garden to grow into free plants, and kids can get involved in this outdoor activity too. My saving seeds post shows you how to do it.
Go on a tree or leaf trail
Leaves are in plentiful supply on the ground in autumn, making it a perfect time to take the kids on a leaf trail. You’ll need an identification guide, find one here. For trees, you might like to get hold of a *tree ID book or download a tree ID app. The Woodland Trust has a free app, here’s some more info:
One of my favourite things about growing our own food is being able to share it with others. Sharing your harvest or plants with a local food bank, friends or neighbours is a wonderful way to make a positive difference in your local community, it’s a great life skills experience for kids too.
Just go outdoors!
When it comes to fun outdoor activities for kids, you don’t have to make it complicated. Sometimes all you need is a pair of wellies and a coat to get out and enjoy nature activities with kids. It can be as simple as going for a walk, or visiting your local park or nature reserve. In my experience, nature will always provide you with something interesting. The added bonus of this approach is you need less time in the way of prep!
Free printable autumn bucket list ideas for kids
Would you like even more ideas for simple outdoor activities for kids in autumn?
My autumn bucket list is packed with 40 kids outdoor activities to keep you all busy this season. And it’s free and easy to download!
I’ve included ideas for crafts, nature exploration, gardening projects and outdoor games, all of which are perfect for some low-cost family fun outdoors.
All you need to do is click on the link to download the autumn family bucket list, then print it off and pop it on your noticeboard or fridge. Don’t forget to tick off each activity as you do them!
Even more activities for kids outdoors
You might like to take a look at my free printable winter bucket list, free printable spring bucket list and free printable summer bucket list posts. Both are jam packed with seasonal ideas for outdoor activities with kids.
I’ve also got plenty more blog posts on fun things for kids to do outside:
- 60 fun garden activities for kids outside
- How to help kids benefit from outdoor time
- 10 brilliant garden projects to do with children
- Easy nature crafts for kids to try
- 50 fun ideas to get kids gardening
- Great nature books for kids
You can also join my Nature Crafts & Play Facebook group here where we share lots of great tips and ideas for exploring and enjoying nature with children.
And finally, if you share your outdoor fun on social media, check out my post on the best nature hashtags which has a handy list of hashtags for nature craft and play.
Have these activities for kids outdoors inspired you to get out there and make the most of autumn? I’d love to hear what you get up to, let me know in the comments.
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