Celebrate Autumn at Playgroup

Autumn is such a wonderful time of year. There are many activities we can do with our children that celebrate the season.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Songs and Rhymes

The Leaves on the Tree (collect some red and yellow leaves for this activity)

(Tune to The Wheels on the Bus)
The leaves on the trees turn
orange and red, (Raise each
colour leaf).
Orange and red,
Orange and red.
The leaves on the trees turn
orange and red
All around the town.

The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish, (Swish leaves on floor.)
Swish, swish, swish,
Swish, swish, swish.
The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish
All around the ground.

The leaves on the trees tumble down, ( Make leaves tumble to the floor.)
Tumble down,
Tumble down.
The leaves on the trees tumble down
Down to the ground.

We’ll rake the leaves in a pile and jump right in! (drop leaves and jump)
Jump right in,
Jump right in!
We’ll rake the leaves in a pile
All around the town

Five Red Leaves Finger Play

Five red leaves, five and no more .(Hold up 5 fingers)
The caterpillar ate one, now there are four. (Thumb down)
Four red leaves, that’s easy to see.
Along came a rainstorm, now there are three. (Index finger down)
Three red leaves, nothing much to do.
A big wind blew, now there are only two! (Middle finger down)
Two red leaves, that’s not much fun.
I glued one on my paper. (Ring finger down)
Now there is one. (Hold up pinky)
Hang on, pretty red leaf!
Your branches won’t break.
You’re the last leaf for me to rake.

Music Activities 

  • Dance like a leaf: Children dance like leaves to music. Show children how to move gracefully, twirling and blowing around until everyone falls down on the ground.
  • Parachute Leaf Toss: Place autumn leaves in the centre of the parachute. Move the parachute slowly at first, then faster until all of the leaves have flipped up and floated to the ground.
  • Falling Leaves: Let children spread out on the floor pretending to be a leaf on a tree. Walk around and blow at a leaf, pretending to be the wind that blows the leaf off the tree. Let the children (leaves) fall, dancing and whirling, to the ground.

Games and Physical

Play Activities

  • Leaf Hop: Trace large leaf shapes onto autumn-coloured craft paper, laminate, and cut out. Place leaf shapes on the floor and ask children to hop, jump, leap etc from one leaf to another.
  • Leaf Blowing: Have children blow leaves across a table with a straw. Have a leaf race. See who can blow their leaf across the table first.
  • Squirrel and Nut: One child is “it” and is given a nut or seed pod to hold. The other children sit in a circle on the floor and put their arms to the back, hands making a cup. “It” tiptoes around the outside of the circle and puts the nut into one of the outstretched hands. The child who receives the nut stands up and chases “it”. “It” runs around the circle and sits down on the empty seat.
  • Fun with Leaves: Place a bag of leaves into a big pile. Let children run around and jump over or in the leaf pile. Let children throw the leaves into the air as if they are raining on them. Ask children how the leaves feel, how they sound, and how they look.



Autumn Leaf Sun Catcher

What you need:

  • Leaf shape pattern (you can draw this).
  • Clear contact paper
  • Tissue paper (yellow, orange, or red)
  • Tape
  • Scissors

What to do:

  1. Print leaf pattern on heavy printing paper, laminate for extra strength, cut out and put aside.
  2. Cut piece of contact paper.
  3. Put tape on the dull side of the contact paper and tape it to the table.
  4. Peel off the backing of the contact paper so that the sticky side is facing up.
  5. Have child tear small pieces of tissue paper and have them completely cover the piece of contact paper.
  6. Cover the contact paper with another piece of contact paper.
  7. Trace leaf shape onto contact paper and cut out.

Dried Leaf Art

What you need:

  • Dried leaves
  • Construction paper
  • Brown paint or crayons
  • White glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors

What to do:

  1. Collect a variety of Autumn-coloured leaves and let them dry.
  2. In a bowl, let children crumble up the leaves into small pieces.
  3. Paint a tree trunk and branches on the construction paper.
  4. With a brush spread glue all over the branches.
  5. Let children sprinkle a small amount of the dried leaves on the glue.
  6. Shake excess leaves back into the bowl.


Sensory Play

  • Collect leaves: Pour leaves into empty bowl/basin. Allow children to scrunch up the leaves with their hands.
  • Apple Play Dough: Use red,
    yellow, and green coloured play dough, adding cinnamon spice to it. Show the children how to create a play dough ball to resemble an apple. Add a pipe cleaner for a worm.
  • Nature Walk Cornflour Impressions: Collect leaves, twigs, dried flowers etc…   To make cornflour impressions:  In a saucepan, mix together 1 cup cornflour, 2 cups baking soda, and 1.25 cups water. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Cool, then flatten mixture between sheets of waxed paper. Let children lay items on top of cornflour mixture and press down firmly. Remove and see impressions.
  • Autumn Foil Pressing: Set out pieces of aluminium foil and a variety of
    autumn leaves. Let each child select a leaf, place it under a piece of foil, and gently press and rub the foil with his or her finger/hand to get a leaf print.
  • Autumn Feeling Box: Put leaves, acorns, apples etc. in a box.
    Children take turns feeling inside the box. Without looking, ask each child
    to describe what he or she feels and what they think it is.
  • Playdough Leaf Impressions:
    Children press leaves into the playdough to make leaf impressions.
  • Finger paint: Mix cornflour and cold water to a paste. Add boiling water continuously and keep stirring until it thickens to required consistency. Add  food colouring to make autumn