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Amazing autumnal activities for children 5 and under



With the colder weather and the seasons’ amazing changing colours, your little one can enjoy some fantastic outdoor activities this Autumn.


There are adventures all around, hosting learning opportunities to develop physical, personal and communication skills!


The best part is none of these activities feel like learning, they’re just super fun and engaging.


Remember - it’s important to dress for the cooler weather – we recommend wellies and raincoats!


A lot of these activities include heading out to a local park or forest to spend time in nature. If you’re unsure where to go, you can click here to find local parks or click here to find local woodlands.



Activity 1: Crafting with natural materials


The activity: Head out to the forest for a scavenger hunt! Collect natural materials like conkers, leaves, twigs and more for a variety of arts & crafts activities. This is a great way to develop confidence and fine motor skills.


What you’ll need:

  • A bag or basket to collect natural materials

  • Crafting supplies - dependent on craft but typically paint, paper, paintbrushes, and glue.

How to do it:

  • Head out to the local forest or park to collect natural materials – this can be anything from twigs and leaves to acorns, pinecones and more.

  • Choose your craft. This can be stamp painting, collage making and so much more! If the weather is nice why not do this outdoors? We’ve included some links to crafting inspiration below!



Activity 2: Searching for wildlife


The activity: Planning outdoor activities doesn’t have to be complex, just heading out to spend time in nature can be amazing.


Hunting for birds, squirrels, bugs and even mushrooms can be a great learning opportunity, helping your little one better understand the world around them.


What you’ll need:

  • Optional printout of local wildlife to look for.

  • Water and snacks.

How to do it:

  • Firstly, but optionally, do some research on what kind of wildlife you can find in your local area – any interesting birds for instance? You can even print out a worksheet to make it into a scavenger hunt. Click here for Wild London’s guide to local wildlife.

  • Once you have your info, head out into your local forest or park and explore!



Activity 3: Den building


The activity:

Den building is a fantastic activity for all ages. You can do it at any time of year, but autumn is an ideal time to try it as there are lots of fallen leaves and branches to use.


What you’ll need:

  • Long, straight branches and sticks.

  • Lots of thin, bendy sticks.

  • Materials to cover your den, such as dried leaves, twigs, and grass.

How to do it:

  • Find a tree with a fork in the branches that's quite low down.

  • Make a frame by propping some long, straight sticks in the fork and fanning them out. Make sure all the branches are secure – you don't want them slipping.

  • Weave bendy sticks in and out of the upright sticks to make the walls. Leave a gap at head height for a window.

  • Cover your den with natural materials so it's camouflaged and weatherproof. You could use mud to stick them on.

  • Scatter a carpet of dried leaves on the floor to make your den extra cosy.

  • Before you head home, please remember to take your den down. On your next visit, you can have fun building it all over again, or you can experiment with a different design!



Activity 4: Stargazing


The activity: There are so many different ways to get your little one interested in science and nature. Astronomy is a great entry point as all you need to do is head outdoors and look at the sky!


What you’ll need:

  • Warm clothes

  • Water and snacks

  • A clear night/day

Activities to try:

  • Sky-watch

Start by exploring all the things you can see in the sky both day and night. Clouds, airplanes, rainbows, the sun, the moon, and stars. Discuss the different things you can see and what these mean.


In the morning look out the window and make a prediction about the weather that day – will you need boots, bring an umbrella, or put on sunscreen?

  • Day vs. Night

Another fun way to explore the sky is by looking at the difference between day and night. What does the sky look like in the day? What can your little one spot? What about at night? What are the differences?

  • Moon watch

In the evening or early morning, try to find the moon in the sky with your little one. Talk about the shape together and introduce simple vocabulary such as ‘new moon’, ‘crescent moon’ and ‘full moon’.



Activity 5: Playing with mud


The activity: You may view mud as a mess but to children, it’s an abundant medium for creation, exploration and adventure!


Mud play has been associated with a range of benefits not just for your little one but also for you! This includes increased happiness, improved well-being, stronger immunity, and a deeper connection with nature.


What you’ll need:

  • Clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

  • Mud!

  • Activity supplies – spoons, old mugs, pans, containers etc.

How to do it:

  • Your little one can play with mud in any way they want, it’s a great material for sensory free-play. If you’d like some direction then you can make sculptures, soup, pies and paint with mud!

In order to make these, all you’ll need is some old kitchen equipment like pots and tins, bowls, optionally paper and plenty of mud. Let your little one’s creativity go wild! They can use sticks, flowers, leaves and anything else to decorate their crafts!

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