Autumn outdoor activities for kids
Autumn is the perfect time for kids to enjoy the wonders of nature. The crisp autumn air, colourful crunchy leaves and weird and wonderful fungi mean it’s an exciting season to go out and explore all that the natural world has to offer.
Take a walk around a wood
Pull on your wellies, grab a cosy scarf and head out to your local wood with your family. During the autumn the woods come alive with colour, thanks to beautiful autumn leaves. So, why not venture out and enjoy a gentle stroll among the rich reds, warm oranges and bright yellows of the trees around you?
We care for more than 1,000 woods across the UK. They are free to visit, but please remember to enjoy them responsibly and follow the Government’s social distancing advice.
Spot signs of autumn
When you’re out in your local wood or even your garden, take a look around and see if you can spot any signs of autumn. Are the leaves changing colour, and falling to the ground? Can you see fascinating fungi popping up out of the forest floor? Also keep an eye out for falling seeds, flowering ivy and flocks of birds high above as they migrate to warmer climates for the winter.
Credit: iStockPhoto.com / monkeybusinessimages
Hunt for natural materials
At this time of year, the ground is full of natural materials to create some natural masterpieces with. The forest floor is filled with brightly-coloured fallen leaves, twigs, seeds and conkers, so grab a few bits to get crafty with on those rainy days. Just make sure you don’t take anything directly from the tree - only collect any fallen natural items.
Take a look at our autumn leaf crafts
Build a den
Autumn is perhaps the best time for building dens as there are so many fallen branches and leaves readily available. It’s the perfect activity to do as a whole family, whether you choose to make a den in a teepee shape, a tent shape or even a mini den! Before you start, read our den building guide for some useful advice.
Remember, woods are home to shy animals and fragile plants, so please be considerate with your den making. If you’re in an ancient woodland, leave den building to the badgers and foxes. Look out for on-site guidance if you're not sure.
Look for wildlife
Although the world of wildlife starts to slow down during the autumn months, there are still some fantastic wildlife spectacles to see at this time of year. Keep an eye out for squirrels foraging for yummy nuts, deers rutting, starling murmurations in the sky above and other birds flying overhead as they migrate for the winter.
Credit: Michael Heffernan / WTML
Use your senses
Why not have a go at exploring nature using your senses? Whether it’s the texture of autumn leaves or the sound they make when crunching underfoot, autumn is ideal for a sensory adventure. Feel the shiny conkers, smell the crisp autumn air and see what wildlife you can spot. You could even turn a visit to the woods into a sensory game, and see how many different sights, sounds, scents and textures you can discover on your woodland visit!
Jump in leaves
Leaves not only look beautiful when falling from the trees at this time of year, but the piles they make when raked up are great fun to jump in, too! Whether it’s in your garden, at the woods or your local park, why not have some fun and jump in those colourful piles of leaves? Better still, get your grown-up to capture your leaf-jumping on camera, for memories you can treasure forever.
Want to know which trees the leaves belong to? Take a look at our tree ID for kids.