15 Outdoor Fall Activities for Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers

by Kellie
Published: Last Updated on

Fall has arrived! Though, the chillier weather doesn’t mean you have to start spending more time indoors. Here is a look at 15 fun outdoor fall activities for babies & toddlers, and even your preschooler!

Fall Color Hunt

Your littlest ones may not be able to do any searching, but by simply identifying the colors as you see them, you can help build the foundations for language development. Toddlers can start hunting for leaves that are red, yellow, or orange and you can challenge them to name the colors they see. Preschoolers may also enjoy finding leaves, but try looking for 5 yellow ones or 3 red ones. You can also ask them to find a leaf that matches your orange one.

Fall Soup

Gather up some acorns, pine cones, and leaves and toss them in a bowl. On warmer fall days, add a bit of water. Let your baby explore the fall textures! Older children can forage for ingredients and concoct their own soup. For even more fun, create recipe cards to follow. Bon appetit!

Outdoor fall activities for babies toddlers and preschoolers

Bring a Book

Bring your child’s favorite book outside for a read. Perhaps watching nature while listening to a book can spark some imaginative play. You can also check out this list of great fall and Halloween books for babies and toddlers.

Crunchy or Smooth

Similar to color hunting, find leaves that vary in texture. Children of any age can listen to the crunch of leaves. Perhaps you can find one that is bumpy or smooth. What makes better leaf confetti – dry or wet? How do they differ in sound beneath your feet?

outdoor fall activities for babies toddlers and preschoolers

Pumpkin Exploring

This one is super simple. All you have to do is provide pumpkins of varying sizes (minis, pie pumpkins, full size) and let the children lead the way. The tiny orange pumpkins are perfect for the chubby little hands of infants to pick up. They will likely want to taste it, so be sure they are clean. Bigger children will want to see how heavy they are and show off their mighty muscles. See what their imagination comes up with and go along with it, as long as it is safe!

Eating Alfresco

Whether you breastfeed, bottle feed, are starting solids, finger foods, or sandwiches, eating outside is one for the senses. Listen to the wind, feel the crisp air, watch the falling leaves, smell the earth as it prepares for hibernation. All while tasting any deliciousness before you. A change in scenery can also spark conversation and strengthen vocabulary. This is one of my favorite outdoor fall activities for babies and toddlers.

Ribbons and Scarves

Fall tends to be a rather windy season. Why not use it to have some fun? Hang some colorful ribbons just within reach of your infant and let the wind blow them around. This can help strengthen tracking skills and hand-eye coordination. Play some music and let older children dance around with ribbons or colorful scarves. They can pretend they are leaves floating through the air. The movement will also help to keep them warm on a brisk day!

Leaf Play

Leaves can be a lot of fun on their own, but here are some ideas to get you started. Babies will be quite content just hanging out in a pile of leaves and feeling all the textures. Just be sure to make sure the pile is clear of pointy sticks or rocks. Raking the leaves into piles for toddler jumping is always a blast. Preschoolers might enjoy having them raked into a house shape with doorways and rooms for pretend play.

Nature Walk

This doesn’t have to be done at a park or nature preserve. You can simply take a walk around your neighborhood. While out for a walk, you or your littles can gather up cool looking leaves, acorn tops, seeds, or pine needles. Watch the squirrels do the same. Listen to the birds sing. Enjoy nature! Note: If you do choose to do your walk in a preserve, be sure to follow park rules and do not pick or remove items from the area. Bonus activity: If you do manage to collect some items from your neighborhood, attach them to some clear contact paper. Infants can spend tummy time checking out your finds and toddlers can work on fine motor skills sticking and unsticking nature.


For babies?! Yes! Footballs are an interesting shape and a new one for most to explore. They also come in a variety of sizes, colors, and even textures. Toddlers and preschoolers can practice tossing, throwing, kicking, and running. Just stay away from the tackling for now!

Corn Maze

A field maze might be a bit advanced for young kids. Instead, purchase a bundle or two of corn stalks from your local market (or use your own harvest if you garden). Lay each individual stalk down in a maze pattern. Let the children find their way out without stepping over the stalks. Even crawlers can play along with this one! Older children can try building their own maze or path.

outdoor fall activities for babies toddlers and preschoolers

Apple Gathering

Going apple picking is one of the most popular outdoor fall activities for babies and toddlers. Even if you can’t make it to the orchard, you can still make this activity work for you with a bag or two of apples from the store. The smell, shape, color, and taste of apples make them great from baby exploration. Toddlers might notice their roundness in comparison to a ball, so rolling them might be fun. Setting them out and providing buckets to put them in can also be a fun activity. If you are able to get apples of various colors, this would make a great sorting activity.

Mud Paint

It is bound to rain during the fall. Don’t let it stop the fun! All children can use their fingers to squish in the mud and spread it on the sidewalk, patio, or even paper. Put on some old play clothes and head out for some dirty mud painting.

Forest Putty

This natural play dough is perfect for making imprints of just about anything you find outside. Press it against a tree and peel it back to see how the bark makes it look. Or press acorns, leaves, and bits of grass to make silly faces. This putty is made with ingredients you probably already have at home and is safe for even the littlest ones. You can find the recipe (as well as a gluten free version!) here.

outdoor fall activities for babies toddlers and preschoolers

Stick Gathering

Don’t think of this one as just picking up branches. Sticks can be so much more than just a piece of wood! Perhaps a fishing pole? Or a magic wand! You can count or sort by length. Find curved or straight ones. Find just one stick and most children will be busy for the rest of the afternoon. Be careful while your baby explores sticks. Thicker, branch-like pieces may be a better option for them.

Scarecrow Play

Fall tea party with a special guest anyone? Let the children pretend with their new friend. Take the opportunity to name body parts. Scarecrows are available in just about any size. I suggest a 24in. one for infants who will love exploring the many textures scarecrows have to offer. You may even see them smile back its friendly face!

I hope this list gets you started so you can spend more time outside with your babies, toddlers, and preschoolers – even in the fall!

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