Get outside to study nature as you hunt for signs of the fall (autumn) with your kids!
Search for autumn’s arrival with this “signs of Autumn” fall scavenger hunt idea! Teach your children about the fall and the changing seasons with this fun and educational nature science activity. As the long days of summer slowly change to the crisp, cool, and colorful days of autumn 🍂 pay attention to the changes occurring all around you.
As the hot days of summer give way to cooler temperatures, you can begin to see the tell-tale signs of fall appearing all around. Autumn is a great time to get outside and enjoy nature’s seasonal sights. You may also enjoy these Fall Autumnal Equinox Celebration Ideas.
Related: Fall Bucket List for the Best Autumn EVER!
Search for the signs of Fall Scavenger Hunt
As the fall approaches, my daughter and I like to point out the signs we see, hear, smell, and feel, like it’s a scavenger hunt on our daily walks. It is an educational game that we like to play whenever the seasons begin to turn.
Enjoying a fall scavenger hunt about the changing seasons is a great way to study nature and teach your children all about the seasons and their differences. Learn more about the fall autumnal equinox and why the seasons change; just click on the link!
Related: Forest School: Outdoor Learning and Nature Activities for Kids
Educational Autumn Scavenger Hunt Activity
Searching for the signs of fall is also an educational activity. While learning about the leaves of trees changing colors in the fall, children will learn about the differences in trees.
Most trees lose their leaves while evergreen trees don’t. Children’s curiosity will lead them to wonder why, and this opens the door to more learning opportunities. Some animals migrate or hibernate, while others don’t. Some crops begin to ripen while others go fallow. Each of these observations will turn your child into a scientist discovering new things about the big world around them.
Related: Heart Shape Nature Scavenger Hunt
Printable Fall Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Look for the signs that the fall is on its way with the following lists of ideas, or download our printable fall scavenger hunt!
Get the printable HERE–> Signs of Autumn Scavenger Hunt
Below we have listed some of the common signs that the fall is approaching that are included on our printable scavenger hunt. Of course, different areas can have other characteristics based on where you live. We’d love to hear all about the seasonal sights you notice appearing around you in the comments.
Psst… We also have a printable fall scavenger hunt with pictures that is better for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners HERE–>Fall Scavenger Hunt
Weather and Sun Signs that Fall is on its Way:
- The air begins to feel crisper, especially in the morning.
- Temperatures begin to drop.
- The air begins to smell a bit different.
- Morning dew begins to appear.
- The angle of the sun in the sky changes.
- The light of day begins to soften – the strength and quality of light changes.
- The days get noticeably shorter as it gets darker earlier each night. The reason for this can be found HERE.
- The direction of the wind changes and windy days become more common.
- Hurricanes and tropical storms begin to happen.
Related: Nature Scavenger Hunt with Sensory Card
Related: The Best Fall Art Projects for Kids
Plant Life Signals that Autumn is Approaching:
- The leaves of trees begin to change colors and fall to the ground. (except evergreen trees)
- Autumn colors begin to appear everywhere. Reds, oranges, yellows, and browns begin to make the world a lovely place.
- Acorns, pinecones, and Sycamore “helicopters” fall to the ground.
- Grass doesn’t grow as fast.
- Fall flowers such as Aster, Margarets, Goldenrods and Spider Lilies begin to bloom.
- Fall harvest plants become ripe for the picking (pumpkins, apples, winter squash, almonds, walnuts, pecans) while the rest of the garden goes fallow.
- Mushrooms and other fungi pop up everywhere in nature.
Related: Homemade Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Recipe
Wildlife Signs that Autumn is Approaching: Animals in the fall
- Our pets begin to shed less and grow thicker fur to prepare for the cold months of winter. By the end of the fall, animals in colder climates often have an entirely different winter coat than the one they have in the warmer summer months.
- Squirrels, birds, and many other animals collect, gather, and stash their winter food stores.
- Birds begin to migrate south for the winter (geese, swallows, hawks, etc.)
- Invertebrates such as butterflies and ladybugs begin to seek shelter for the cooler months.
- Mammals that hibernate for the winter such as bears and hedgehogs are found gorging to build up their fat stores.
- Animals such as bats, deer, elk, and wild boar looking for mates and mating.
- You might hear the bugling of the bull elk looking for a mate.
- Bats sing for their mates around the entrances to caves and tunnels.
- Male deer and wild boar fight other males for a mate.
Related: Nature Sensory Bin Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Other Random Signs that Fall is on its Way:
- Your energy bill is lower as the air conditioner is needed less and less.
- Football season begins.
- There are fewer people on beaches and at pools.
- Fall decor begins to appear.
- Halloween costumes are for sale in stores.
More Seasonal Scavenger Hunts for Kids
Search for the signs of each season throughout the year with your children.
- Search for Signs of Winter Scavenger Hunt for Kids
- Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt for Kids
- Search for Signs of Summer Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Signs of Fall Scavenger Hunt for Kids
As the summer comes to an end, get outside and look for the seasonal changes occurring all around. So tell me… what signs have you noticed?
Share what you have noticed with your children in the comments below!
You may also like this amazing collection of outdoor learning ideas and nature activities for kids, and don’t forget to pop over to look at fall equinox celebration ideas and our Fall bucket list for the best Autumn EVER!
This post is a part of the Get Outside & Connect series. For more information, click on the link.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
MORE SCAVENGER HUNT IDEAS FOR KIDS
- Fall Scavenger Hunt for Kids
- Nature Sensory Bin Scavenger Hunt
- Seasonal Nature Scavenger Hunt Ideas
- Sensory Card Nature Scavenger Hunt
- Bird Scavenger Hunt Ideas (Included in Birding for Kids)
- Signs of Summer Scavenger Hunt
- Signs of Winter Nature Scavenger Hunt
- Search for the Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt
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