Apples to Zoos: Fall Fun with Toddlers

By Christine Knight

Shared by Heather
It’s always sad when summer ends and we say farewell to long, hot days for another year. As the weather cools, there are lots of fun activities to try with kids of all ages to enjoy fall. While it’s easy to choose activities for older kids, it can be harder to think of seasonal fun that toddlers can participate in. Here are some fall activities I love doing with my little one.

Apple picking. Toddlers love to help out. They also love to explore and run around outside, so apple picking is the perfect family activity with a toddler. I give mine clear jobs (“Go get that apple and put it in the bucket”) and use the experience to teach her about nature.

Pumpkin decorating. Even toddlers can get into the gourd spirit with pumpkin decorating. I pick up mini decorative pumpkins and gourds from the supermarket or local farmer’s market, as well as some permanent markers or stickers, and watch my little girl go to town. Toddlers can create their own special pumpkin -- no carving required.

Fall festivals. The crisp weather and harvest season makes for the perfect time to explore outdoor festivals. Hayrides, petting zoos, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes are just some of the many amazing activities happening at these autumn fairs. The fun can be endless for you and your little one!

Finger painting. Fall colors are truly magical, and a great opportunity to bring a new craft into your toddler’s repertoire. I like to grab some red and yellow paint, spread it into a tray and blend it to make brown and orange to demonstrate the change of the leaves. We then dip our hands into the colors and place them onto paper to create “leaves.” It’s perfect to stick on the refrigerator to embrace the season.

Fun with leaves. That giant pile of leaves gathering on the footpath means simple fun for toddlers. I like to show my daughter how to jump on leaves and crumple them in her hands. It’s a fun activity and a lesson in texture -- and a chance to talk to her about seasons. We also love to collect leaves and use them in art projects.

Christine Knight is an Australian expat and mother of one enthusiastic toddler. Now living in Brooklyn, NY, she is co-founder of, a site dedicated to helping parents navigate the NYC and Sydney food scenes with their offspring.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.