10 Outdoor Activities – Keep Your Kids Busy This Autumn

As nature begins to wind down, the leaves change colour, and the days become crisp and bright, it’s the ideal time to get out and about. With half-term happening, there are lots of activities that you can do to keep your kids busy this Autumn half-term and enjoy the changing seasons together outdoors. Read on to hear some of our favourites…

1. Welly Walk

A simple outdoor activity to keep the kids busy this Autumn half-term is to go on a Welly Walk.

Autumn is the perfect time to whack out those welly boots, pop on a coat and go for a walk as a family. Jump in the puddles, splosh in the mud or search for pinecones and vibrant autumn leaves. It’s all part of the fun of a welly walk!

Why not see who can find the most pinecones, see how many birds you can spot or count the puddles as you go to immerse yourself and your little ones in the beauty of the season?

2. Scavenger Hunt

What will you find? Take your Autumn exploration a step further by going on a scavenger hunt. This is an excellent activity for children of all ages to get involved in. You can keep this activity simple by looking out for the signs of Autumn and scavenging for seasonal treasures.

Why not make a list of things to look out for:

🌰 Conkers

🌲 Pinecones

🪵 Twigs

🪶 Feathers

🍁 Red leaves

🍂 Yellow leaves

🍃 Green leaves

🐿️ Acorns

🌸 Flowers

Need a chest to keep your Autumn treasure safe? Egg boxes are a great way to look after all your finds. Use the egg box to keep things together as you go. Little ones can even decorate the box with pens and paper or stick some of their treasures to the box itself when they get home.

3. Wild Work of Art

Another great use of your little one’s nature treasures would be to create a wild work of art.

Use leaves, twigs, feathers and more to make a natural artwork. You can get your little ones to create their artwork straight onto the garden patio or grass, then take a picture to remember their masterpiece. Or why not use a sheet of paper as the base for their design, so they have something to create and keep?

Add an extra autumnal touch to this fun activity by creating a leaf wax rubbing on the paper by placing leaves under the paper and using wax crayons over the top to create a fantastic leaf-rubbing backdrop for their picture.

4. Pooh Sticks

This is a classic Autumn activity, made famous by a certain bear, and will be a fun way to pass the time together this Autumn half-term.

You need two or more players, each with a stick. Find a bridge that sits over a flow of moving water, like over a stream or river.

Once everyone has chosen their favourite stick, everyone needs to stand on the bridge.

On your marks, get set, go! Everyone throws their sticks into the water at the same time.

The stick that floats under the bridge and emerges first on the other side wins, hooray!

Top Tip: Double-check how the water flows so that your sticks go the right way!

5. Bug Buddy

Insects and bugs thrive in the Autumn, living under cosy moss or in big hollows in tree bark, so this is the perfect time of year to make a bug buddy.

Go on a bug hunt around the garden and look for the marvellous minibeasts hiding out.

When your child finds their bug buddy remind them to be kind and gentle. To the bugs, your child is a giant. The bugs are minibeasts, after all! Encourage your child to scoop them up carefully in their hands and place them down gently once they have finished meeting their bug buddy.

You could even get children to write out the names of the bugs they see, count how many they find or draw their bug buddies too.

6. Bug Hotel

So, you’ve found some bug buddies. What about making a bug hotel so that they have a cosy place to stay in your garden this Autumn?

This activity is a great way to encourage your kids to help look after nature and will keep them occupied this October half-term.

Use those leaves and sticks you collected on your scavenger hunt to construct a tiny house for the insects that call your garden home.

When your child is creating their bug hotel, ask them to consider whether their bug visitors need leaves and whether they like their hotel to be wet or dry, in the shade or the sun – so it really can be the perfect retreat for garden creatures.

Things like cardboard tubes and boxes can help to create ‘rooms’ for minibeast guests in your bug hotel.

7. Conker Painting

Conkers are the glossy brown staples of Autumn time.

They are robust and relatively large, meaning they are great for painting!

This activity can be mindful and an excellent way for your kids to wind down after a busy Autumn day.

Gather some paint and paint brushes, along with your conkers and get painting.

This is a great activity to do in the garden. For one, your children can take inspiration from the outdoors around them for their painting- they’ll spot wildlife, flowers, and colours. Painting in the garden also means no mess indoors, and the rain can wash any spills away afterwards!

8. Make a Mud Masterpiece

For this one, prepare to get messy, but that’s really what half-term exploring is all about!

Encourage little ones to grab a big handful of mud and mould it like clay into mud masterpieces. Why not develop mud into a mud creature or perhaps a mud pie?

This is a great idea to encourage children to engage their senses outdoors. When creating their mud masterpiece, encourage your kids to fully immerse themselves in the sensory play by asking them questions such as, what does the mud feel like? What does it sound like when you squish it?

Encourage them to mould it in different ways, such as rolling, squashing, mixing and patting. This will help them create their mud masterpieces and aid the development of fine and gross motor skills.

9. Autumn Obstacle Course

This a fun way to encourage healthy, active play this half-term.

Your children can make an outdoor nature obstacle course for their friends by gathering sticks to jump over or create a hopscotch. Why not collect a big pile of leaves to jump into at the finish line?

If you have a climbing frame, why not use this as a challenge within the obstacle course? Kids can climb up the ladder, swoop down the slide, and go to the finish line!

If your garden has a small footprint, children can take turns to complete the route and see who can complete it in the fastest time, so everyone safely gets a go with plenty of space.

10. Pumpkin Patch

A visit to the pumpkin patch is an October half-term must!

Explore the pumpkin patch together and enjoy the outdoors.

Bask in the senses of the Autumn season, marvel at the Autumn colours and enjoy family time together in nature.

When you get home, carving or decorating pumpkins is a great way to keep the kids busy this Autumn holiday. Whilst you can get pumpkin carving kits that are safe for small hands, painting or drawing on your pumpkin is an excellent alternative to traditional pumpkin carving.

Top nature tip: Don’t throw away the inside of your pumpkin once you have scooped it out. The incredible wildlife that roams in the garden during the Autumn time, like squirrels and birds, love to snack on the pumpkin, so pop it in the garden and serve it up as a snack for them to enjoy.

This October half-term is the perfect time to get outdoors, so pop on a coat, get the kids together and get out there! We hope these seasonal half-term ideas give you lots of inspiration to keep your kids busy this Autumn.

If you try out any of these activities for kids, share your adventures with us @PlumPlay UK #LifeatPlay.

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