5 Autumn Activities for Pre-Schoolers

baby stacking balls of play-doh

With the days getting shorter and the weather on the turn, it can be difficult to keep little ones entertained all day. I don’t know about you but I sometimes really struggle to come up with exciting ideas. It can be tempted to turn to the TV if it’s wet outside. When my eldest was a toddler, we had a few go-to ideas which I’d often turn to if it was raining. Of course, if you’re one of these parents that’s happy to embrace the rain then go for it! But I am not! It’s no lie. I bloody hate all the mud and mess. I’d much rather be curled up at home win the warmth. Here are a few really simple ideas you can do with your child this autumn!

Autumn-Themed Sensory Play Ideas

Sensory play is always fun with little ones. And you don’t need to buy an expensive tuff tray for sensory activities. Simply fill a basket with autumn finds – pine cones, conkers and acorns work well. Or perhaps colour some rice for a fun-filled afternoon. I use old boxes or seed trays to make mini-sensory trays. This forest sensory tray comprises oats, some cereal, a few stalks of broccoli, leaves we found outside and some plastic play animals. This kept my son entertained for ages!

forest mini-sensory tray

Leaf Cutting

This is such a simple activity that ticks many boxes. Just grab a few leaves from your garden and let your little ones cut away. Of course, supervision is needed. I found my son used to love cutting up bits of paper with his little toddler scissors.

Autumn Baking

So think cupcakes, perhaps some pumpkin-inspired recipes or gingerbread biscuits. Baking is always handy if you’re stuck for things to do on a dreary day.

Autumn Rock Painting

I absolutely love painting and decorating rocks. Pick up a bag in your local garden centre, (yep, it’s illegal to take them from the beach!), and get painting. Make sure to seal them with a spray varnish or even clear nail varnish. And tag them with your local Facebook rock group if there is one. The kids will love making them and hiding them. My son is always so happy when he sees that another child found his rocks! And you never know, you might find some too!

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Themed Play-Doh

You can’t go wrong with Play-Doh. Well, unless it gets in the carpet, in your hair or on the cat. Oops! I personally love Play-Doh though and I love making themed trays. One of my favourites is for Halloween. So think about choosing some Halloween colours – go for oranges, greens, purples and black. Then use whatever props you have to hand. We had a Halloween insect pack that worked well when pressed into the dough.

play-doh sensory tray

If you air-dry your creations, they last forever as hard little Play-Doh fossils! What activities do you like doing with little ones? It can be hard to keep them entertained inside if the weather is non-stop wind and rain. But with a little forward planning and some bits and bobs, you can turn some tired plastic animals into an exciting new adventure!

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