17 Fall Activities for Toddlers That Don't Require Much Planning

Updated 05/17/19
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a mother and toddler
@chrisellelim

Many of us have already felt autumn’s chill for a few days, which has given us just a sneak peek of what’s to come this season. In case you forgot, it’s time for apple cider, candy corn, hayrides, and jackets, plus tons of fall activities for toddlers that will delight your little one (and you). Now that your child is at the age where they’re interacting with what’s around them, it’s a great season to introduce them to outdoor play before temperatures drop too low.

So where do you start? The first thing is to always make sure you have extra layers on hand for when temperatures rise and fall unexpectedly (as you know, a cold or hot child is not a happy one). The second is to remember that whatever the activity, you should be taking tons of photos and videos to capture these fun fall moments. In case you need a little playtime inspo, here are the top 17 fall activities for toddlers that require almost zero planning and are fun for everyone.

Play With Sidewalk Chalk

Did your parents ever give you a bucket of rainbow-hued chalk and let you draw whatever your heart desired on the sidewalk? It’s one of the best fall activities for toddlers. They may need a little help, and it may get a little messy, but it’s worth it.

Go on a Hayrack Ride

Take a calm, relaxing ride around a farm with your little one on a tractor topped with barrels of hay. Be sure to point out any scarecrows or pumpkin patches so they don’t miss a thing. (End your visit with some warm apple cider.)

Try Out a Corn Maze

All the twists and turns will be exciting for your toddler. We strongly suggest opting for one of the beginner routes so they don’t get discouraged. (PS: If you see a tiny corn stalk, blow on it, and let your child watch it move back and forth in the breeze.)

Pick a Pumpkin, and Then Carve It

Let your child choose their favorite pumpkin (or pumpkins) at the patch. Once at home, carve it together to make a jack-o’-lantern that will glow in the night sky. (Bake the leftover pumpkin seeds for a tasty snack.)

Jump in the Leaves

Dress your toddler in play clothes that you won’t mind getting dirty or ripped. Rake the leaves into a pile, and then let your little one jump into them and throw them into the air. 

Head to a Petting Zoo

Show your toddler how to feed the animals and pet them. Cradle your hand under theirs so they feel comfortable giving the animals some treats. Don’t forget to bring cash since most of the animal feed machines won’t take credit cards.

Attend a Food Festival

Fall is a key season for food festivals and cooking competitions, so be sure to attend with your little one in tow. Plan lunch or dinner around the outing so you can make a day of it. Your child will love trying new food (and dessert). 

Make S'mores

S’mores are the perfect ooey-gooey fall dessert. Plus, they can be whipped up in the microwave in minutes, or you can make one of these yummy s’more brownie recipes together instead.

Enjoy a Picnic in the Park

Lay out a pretty picnic blanket, and enjoy lunch as a family alfresco (if it’s a warmer day, cozy up under a tree). Bring some toys like a ball or some bubbles to play with post-meal. 

Prep for Trick-or-Treating

Waiting in line at the party store to try on costumes may be a bit too much at this age, but a short trip to let your toddler pick out accessories will be a blast. A tiara? Check. Face paint? Check. And don’t forget a fun pumpkin or bag to hold candy. 

Play With Remote-Controlled Boats

Kids just seem to be entranced by remote-controlled boats. Some local parks will let you rent them, but you can also purchase one to take to a nearby pond (or your pool). If your child is old enough, show them how to navigate the boat.

Make a Hot Chocolate Bar

Chillier temps call for warm, sweet treats like hot chocolate. Set up a hot cocoa bar so your little one can select from their favorite toppings like rainbow sprinkles, whipped cream, and mini marshmallows.

Go Crazy With Pinwheels

Get an assortment of colorful metallic pinwheels, and head outside. Show your child how to hold the toy so the wheel spins in the fall breeze. 

Fly a Kite

Pick a windy day to head to an open spot in your backyard or the park (try to avoid trees). Your child will be delighted by all the dips and loops as your kite soars through the air. 

Get Artistic, and Make a Leaf Painting

Gather as many beautiful leaves as you can, and bring them inside. Help your child use a foam paintbrush to douse one side of the leaf in the paint. Then, press the leaf paint-side down on a piece of paper, and slowly pick it up as you would a stamp. The result will be a gorgeous leaf. If you want to go all-out, sprinkle some glitter on the wet paint to fancy it up. 

Go Camping in Your Backyard

Set up a tent in your backyard, and pretend you’re going camping. Sing campfire songs, and pretend to spot animals outside the tent with your flashlight. 

Head to the Playground

The playground never disappoints, and it gives your child the chance to make some friends. Push your little one on the swings, or take a ride down the slide together. A game of tag never hurts either. 

Do you have any other fun fall activities for toddlers to add to our list? Share your favorites with us in the comments.

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