Fall is a great time to engage in lots of creative and educational activities for young children. Here are seven indoor and outdoor activities that can be done using just a few supplies you probably already have!
- Copy paper
- Small glue bottles
- Small colored pom poms
- Small standard-size chalk
- Squirt bottles
- Construction paper
- Colored tissue paper
- Plastic store bags
- Nature Walk
Take a small group of children per adult on a nature walk in a safe area. Use this time to gather leaves and pinecones for future craft activities. Use this time to discuss similarities and differences between leaves on various trees. You can also discuss experiences from the different senses when exploring for leaves and pinecones.
Use small chalk to draw letters and shapes on the sidewalk of school. Watch the grasp of the child when holding chalk, and encourage a tripod grasp. Draw shapes and capital letters, and have the child trace over yours, then try to copy. Children can also practice drawing Mat Man, adding hair or other fall-themed objects, like hats or pumpkins.
- Clean Up
After chalk activity is completed, have children use small water bottles to squirt on chalk to erase. This works on hand strengthening and coordination. This will be helpful to improve scissor skills and writing skills.
- Crayon Rubbing
Have each child pick out a leaf from their bag on the nature walk that they would like to use for a crayon rubbing. Have the child place a piece of copy paper over the leaf. Select a small crayon to color over the leaf that is under the copy paper. Children can change colors as they prefer. If using flip crayons, children can flip the crayons over to add a different color. Focus on the grasp the child is using for the crayon rubbing and the use of the helper hand to hold the copy paper still.
- Pom-Pom Sort
Place a pile of mixed color small pom-poms on the table. Have individual or small groups of children use tweezers or tongs to pick up colored pom poms and separate them by size (if size differs). Then, have them use tweezers or tongs again to separate pom poms by color. This helps with strengthening and coordination of the side of the hand used to hold a crayon and pencil.
- Pinecone Art
Once pom poms are separated by color, assist students to use small glue bottles to squeeze a small dot of glue on a few branches of the pinecone at a time. Squeezing of the small bottle of glue will be great for hand strengthening and pressure regulation. The child will then use thumb and pointer finger to pick up the pom poms and place on the glue dot. Repeat with as many pom poms as desired. This will create a decorative pinecone tree and will work on strengthening the pincer grasp of the dominant hand (use of thumb and pointer finger) which is important for crayon and pencil grasp.
- Pumpkin Pictures (or other fall designs)
Give each student a piece of construction paper with a fall image drawn on it. The student will then place small glue dots on the paper followed by small colored pom poms. This will address the same skills as the pinecone art activity above. An alternative to this activity is using small two-by-two inch squares of colored tissue paper. The child would place their finger in the center of the two-by-two tissue paper square and squeeze the paper around their finger, then place the tissue paper piece on a glue dot. This will help improve the ability to isolate the fingers.
Engage Your Little Learners All Year Long
With Get Set for School from Learning Without Tears, you can engage Pre-K students all year long. It brings Pre-K to life through active, cross-curricular lessons, manipulatives designed to challenge children’s fine and gross motor skills, and technology. Get Set for School is a complete, developmentally appropriate Pre-K program that is expert-backed, research-based, and proven to be a success.