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 | Child's Play Home | Preschool Themes | Autumn
Autumn Theme 

Crafts & Activities
Songs, Finger Plays & Nursery Rhymes

Also See: 
Back to School Theme
Happy Thanksgiving Day Theme
Halloween Theme

Crafts & Activities

Falling Leaves
leaves cut from construction paper (fall colors)
Circles (9" in diameter) cut from brown construction paper
tape or glue for each child

Draw a spiral on the brown circles and have the children cut along the spiral line of the circle.    When they are finished ask them to lift the cut circle to see the results!!   Provide pre-cut leaves (or materials for them to cut them).  Glue or tape the leaves along the spiral.  Hang the decorated spirals from the ceiling of the room.

Corncob Painting for Fall 
Wash corncobs and allow to dry for several days. Make paint pads by placing folded paper towels in shallow containers and pouring on yellow tempera paint. The children can roll their cobs on the paint pads and then onto their paper. 

Variation: Cut the corn cobs in half and the children can use the end as a stamp to make corncob flowers! 

Nature Walk Cornstarch Impressions
While on a nature walk with the children in the fall, encourage them to pick up leaves, twigs, dried flowers or other nature objects. 

To make Cornstarch Impressions: 
In a saucepan, mix together 1 cup cornstarch; 2 cups baking soda; and 1 1/4 cups water. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Cool, then flatten mixture between sheets of waxed paper. Let the children lay their found items on top of the cornstarch mixture and press them down firmly. Then they can remove their objects and see the detailed impressions they made!

Mr. Pumpkin Head 
Place a small pumpkin on a table, with washable markers, a damp sponge, and accessories - hats, eyeglasses, scarves, wigs, etc. Let the children draw faces with the markers, and dress up Mr. Pumpkin Head. They can erase their work and start again, by using the damp sponge!

Autumn Window Paint
Paint an autumn scene on your windows with the following recipe. It is easily removed with a solution of water and vinegar. 

Window Paint: 
2 tablespoons powdered tempera paint 
1 tablespoon warm water 
1 teaspoon liquid dish soap

Measure powdered tempera paint into a container. Mix in water thoroughly to achieve a smooth paste. Add liquid dish soap, mixing completely, but gently to avoid making suds (if too many suds form place paint in the freezer for a few minutes). This paint dries on the window in about 5-10 minutes. 

Apple Board Game 
Cut out an apple tree shape from brown and green construction paper; laminate for durability. Cut out apple shapes from red construction paper. Make small cards and number from 1 - 5. The children can take turns choosing a card and placing the correct number of apples on the tree.

Apple Lacing 
Construction paper or foam, hole punch, yarn, scissors and tape. 

Make an apple for each child. Have red, green and yellow apples with leaves on them and put holes all around the apple. Give each child some yarn and ask them to lace around the apple (put tape on each end of the string to make it easier for them to lace the apple). 

Fall Wreath
Take the kids for a nature walk and collect things like: pine cones, fall leaves in many colors, nuts, acorns, etc.  You will also need: cardboard or large paper plate and glue. 

Cut a wreath shape out of cardboard. Ask children to decorate their wreath with their own findings. Add a ribbon, if they wish. 

Autumn Leaf Sun Catchers
Decorate your windows with these wonderful Leaf Sun Catchers!   You will need contact paper, tissue paper in fall colors, permanent marker, leaf shape patterns. 

Cut a 5 x5 inch square of contact paper, put tape on the dull side and tape it to the table for each child. Peel of the backing so that the sticky side is facing the child. Have the children cut or tear small pieces of tissue paper and completely cover the piece of contact paper. Cover the first 5 x5 piece with another piece so that the tissue is now between the two pieces of contact paper. Trace a leaf shape onto the contact paper and cut out the leaf shape. Use a couple of pieces of clear tape to adhere the leaves to a window where the sun will shine through them. 

Variation: You can sprinkle the tissue with water to make the colors bleed into each other. Let it dry before putting on the second piece of contact paper. 

Apple Play Dough
Use red, yellow, and green colored play dough, adding cinnamon spice to it. Lay out apple cookie cutters and tools. Show the children how to create a play dough ball to resemble an apple. Add a pipecleaner for a worm!

Shiny Apple Sun Catchers 
Draw a large apple onto wax paper with a black marker, cut out. Let the children use colored glue (red, yellow, green) to paint the inside of the apple. While still wet, use colored yarn to outline the shape and then let dry. Once dry, peel the glue apple away, if thick enough,from the wax paper and hang! 

Musical Apple Tambourines 
2 Small or large paper plates per child, tempera paint, green leaf, brown pipe cleaner or twig, apple seeds or dried beans, masking tape, and stapler. 

Have the children paint the plates red, yellow or green. Allow to dry. They can then make faces on their "apples" with felt markers, felt pieces, or other items. When done, help them staple the two plates together, leaving an opening at the top to insert your sound makers (beans or seeds) then tape on the stem and leaves; staple the opening closed. 

Songs, Finger Plays, Nursery Rhymes

Way Up High in the Apple Tree
Way up high in the apple tree,
   Hold arms up high.
Two red apples looked down on me.
   Make fists for apples.
I shook that tree as hard as I could,
   Shake the tree.
And down fell the apples
  Hands fall to the ground.
Mmmm were they good!
   Take a bite, and rub your tummy.

The Apple Tree
   Sing to the tune of :Rock-a-bye Baby"

Here is a tree with leaves so green.
   Forearms together, elbows to wrists, hands spread.
Here are the apples that hang between.
   Clench fists for apples.
When the wind blows the apples will fall.
   Wave arms in the wind and let apples fall suddenly.
Here is a basket to gather them all.
   Make a basket with both hands, fingers interlocked.


How to Preserve Fall Leaves
To preserve real leaves for leaf rubbing....Brush the leaves on each side with vegetable oil.  Place the oiled leaves between layers of newspaper.  Place a heavy object on the newspaper for about three days.  You will have beautifully preserved leaves for leaf rubbing!

*Beary* special thanks to
for the wonderful graphics for this page.

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