With Fall getting closer and closer, the wet and colder weather will make us spend more time indoors that we might want. While you and your toddler can still go out and play even if it’s colder and even if it’s raining, sometimes you just have to stay inside. And for those moments, I am here to share the 10 best indoor fall activities for toddlers.
I am writing this based on my own experience. We live in an apartment, so we don’t have a ton of space (nor a yard that can be easily accessed) so things tend to get difficult. My toddler often gets bored, even if he has tons of toys around and even though he can watch cartoons on TV. But whenever I come up with some fun, new activities we can do together he’s more than excited, which makes me happy too.
The defining elements for these awesome fall activities for toddlers to try at home is picking up colorful whole, or nicely shaped, leaves, acorns, chestnuts, maybe a few pumpkins, pine cones and corn grains, whenever you go outside with your toddler (or choosing the easy way – shopping).
Make sure you have plenty of paint and crayons that go well with the natural colors of the Fall. You’ll also need paper, the rolls from toilet papers, scissors, glue and cardboard. Some homemade playdough never hurts either – the more variety you have, the better.
In my opinion, you should do one activity per day, whenever you’re stuck inside. This way, you will always have something new to keep your toddler entertained and they will get bored less often. Don’t forget – this season is just beginning, so you have a looot of days to cover before winter comes.
Here are the best indoor fall activities to try right now:
1. Funny Little Trees
For the “amazing” piece of art above where my son did most of the work, I used a toilet paper roll, a cardboard for the base, scissors, a bit of glue, some paper, and paper tape. You also need crayons or any sort of water color for the painting. It could get a bit messy, but it will be fun for the little ones.
Supervise your toddler while he or she colors the trunk and ground, ideally before gluing some leaves on the tree. Start with the toilet paper roll in order to allow it to dry completely before gluing the leaves.
We glued the leaves on the trunk with paper tape and when we finished we painted the trunk in brown colors (when I realized it’s best to do the painting before). Let your child’s creativity roam free when painting the base and adding some extra leaves as they see fit.
This was an activity my son really enjoyed and we also had to keep the piece of art on display for a very long time. Which is cute!
2. “Color” using leaves
Get some papers and draw some shapes: animal, flowers, trees, whatever you want. If you are not good at drawing you can easily find some online and print them instead.
You can fill the shapes with some glue and he can take leaf fragments and glue them inside of the shape. Make sure the glue does not cross over the lines, maybe you can protect the lines with some paper tape and take it off after everything is dry.
This will get extremely messy, which is exactly how kids love it. Fun is guaranteed: just make sure you keep an eye on them at all times to make sure they don’t put the glue in their tiny mouths or do anything that could put them in danger.
3. Paint on leaves
Put some fall-related watercolors in a few trays. Brown, orange, yellow, green… or anything you want, really and let your toddler use those to paint on some large leaves. Maple leaves are usually the easiest to come buy, but anything works as long as the leaf is large and clean.
He can paint on the leaves or just dip the leaves into various colors and let his creativity take charge: your toddler can just press them on paper to copy their shapes, which will look really neat, or maybe even draw a tree so it appears that the leaves fall down from it.
4. Decorate leaves
Get the biggest leaves you can find and glue, draw or paint funny faces on them. You can even glue a few funny looking eyes on it for added laughs.
5. Acorn and chestnut counting and sorting
You can fill 2 bowls with at least 10 of each. My 3-year-old knows how to count till 12, so it depends what number you want to reach (or teach)
These acorns and chestnuts are great for roleplaying too. So when you’re done counting and transferring them from one bowl to another, you can use them for “cooking”.
If your kid is a bit older, you can even try some adding up. Add a few chestnuts in a bowl, a few others in another, make him count them separately, then ask him how many there are in total. Or just mix them up and let him sort them out.
Either way, the little ones will have tons of fun and they will learn something in the process too!
6. The “Feel” Game
You need a box or a bowl and a scarf. Make a hole in the box, large enough for your toddler’s tiny fists to enter through.
Inside the box, put corns, leaves, chestnuts and all sort of toys, cover them opening with a scarf and have your child put their hand in and ask for various objects they can find inside. For them, it will be interesting to feel through them all and find the required one.
You can play this game as a memory game as well. Put a few objects in: start small, with no more than 4-5 and tell your child to remember them all. Then remove one item and have them tell you what’s missing. You can increase the number of objects you are using based on their skill and capacity to memorize them.
7. Carving pumpkins
Pumpkin carving is one of the most fun activities for toddlers and it doesn’t really have to be Halloween to do it! Practice makes perfect, in the end, right?
So have your child help you empty the pumpkin with a spoon, then draw the model on the pumpkin. Don’t let your children use knives or anything sharp, but let them draw and carve yourself if needed.
8. Bake a pumpkin pie
I have a few pie recipes I like, but if you love fall, you probably have your own. If not, this one should do the trick.
Next, let your kid help: let them pour the ingredients and stir them in, play with the dough, stir in the filling and, well, ask you a ton of questions in the process. It’s a fun activity that will result in something they can eat (and enjoy) and they will also learn a lot in the process, as well as develop some new skills.
9. Corn grain accuracy
This game should be fun, played with more kids at a time. Get some corn grains and a spoon. Everybody has their own bowl and they try to get as many corn grains as they can, from a larger bowl, with their spoon only.
Set a time limit – like 60 seconds and whoever has more at the end, wins.
10. Decorate a pine cone
I would use all kind of colored sparkles, and sprinkle them on top of pine cones after I smudge with a brush some glue. Then use some paint to paint the rest. My toddler loves doing this and you’ll soon start coming up with all sort of creative designs.
I hope these 10 awesome fall activities for toddlers will help you when you need to stay inside, but don’t forget to stash the leaves and everything you need before getting stuck inside.
Also, if you’re more of the outdoorsy type, we have already shared some awesome outdoor fall activities for toddlers: make sure to check them out as well!