Are you looking for hands-on and engaging fall preschool activities for math & literacy? Keep reading to see our favorites!
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FALL PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Fall is my favorite time of year! I just love the cooler weather, fall-themed arts & crafts, hands-on sensory bins, and of course all of the delicious treats!
Whether you’re celebrating fall at home with your little ones, in your homeschool, or in your early childhood classroom, I’ve got you covered with lots of amazing fall preschool activities!
Keep reading for over 30 fall activities for your preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students. These ideas include printables for math & literacy, fine motor, gross motor, sensory play, art, and more! Oh, and there’s a freebie, too!
If you want a copy of my yearly themes (including an editable version where you can type in your own themes), check out this freebie. (*Please note: You will need to download this file to your computer and then open it with Adobe in order to add your own themes. You cannot add your themes from your web browser.)
FALL PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES: LITERACY
Before you get started with your fall activities, make sure you have your books all ready to go! You can check out our favorite books for this theme in this post. There are over 20 books for you to choose from! Make sure to request these from your local library (or order them from Amazon) a few weeks before you start your theme.
Phonological awareness skills are the key building block to reading success, which is why they should be practiced a little bit every day. In order to keep things fresh & engaging, I like to use phonological awareness games that go along with my current theme. Click here to check out these fall phonological awareness games that will help your little ones become strong readers in less than 10 minutes a day (and with zero supplies!)
You’re definitely going to want to start your fall activities with these vocabulary cards! These are the perfect way to introduce your little learners to the vocabulary they’ll need for the different activities in this unit. You can use these words in your writing center, as a Write the Room activity, as a Color the Room activity, or as a picture match.
Fine motor skills are so important for preschoolers, and this activity is a great way to strengthen those little hands! There is one card for each letter of the alphabet. Little ones will punch a hole in all of the letters that correspond to the letter in the middle of the card.
If you don’t have hole punchers, no worries! They can cover the letters with a small manipulative, squish of play dough, or mark them off with markers. Or you could use candy pumpkins to make it even more festive.
When the weather cools down, so many people get excited for football season. If you’re a football fan, this activity is perfect for you! Your little one will match up the footballs to create compound words. Then they can find those compound words on the printable and color them in. What a fun way to practice this challenging skill!
I love to get my preschoolers up and moving, and a scavenger hunt is a great way to do that! Hide these ABC cards all around the room (or outside) and have your littles search for them. This activity includes uppercase and lowercase letters on fall-themed cards, so you can choose which level is appropriate for your littles. It also includes a recording sheet for them to mark off the letters as they find them.
The old-school method of teaching students to memorize “sight words” is outdated and ineffective. Studies show that students learn best when they can pull apart the sounds in high-frequency words and match those sounds to letters (even if the letter-sound correspondence is a bit unexpected). This game helps students listen for and count the sounds in high-frequency words (not the letters but the sounds, which are called phonemes). It’s definitely a challenge but I know they can do it!
When you work on rhyming words with your little ones, you’re helping them develop their phonological awareness skills, which they need to be strong readers. In this activity, your little one will choose a word card and sort it onto the correct side of the mat (Rhymes with Fall OR Doesn’t Rhyme with Fall). They can also come up with their own words that either do or don’t rhyme with fall.
In my class, we did this as a whole-group activity. I taped the mat up on the wall and covered it with clear contact paper (sticky side out). Then I hid the word cards all around the room. My students found the word cards and stuck them on the contact paper to the correct side of the mat. They had such a fun time working on their rhyming skills all through play!
One of my favorite things to do in the fall is go to the Pumpkin Patch, so this activity is one of my favorites! Put these pumpkin picture cards in a sensory bin of black beans (soil), and watch your littles have a great time “picking” the pumpkins while working on beginning sounds! They can color in the correct letter that corresponds with the sound if they’re ready for that step, otherwise just focus on isolating the beginning sound orally.
This is a simple activity that works on letter identification and formation. Have your little ones use unpopped corn kernels to form each letter. (We used the letters from this post, but you can draw or print your own). *Please be very careful when using corn kernels with little ones. This activity requires close adult supervision.
When I think about fall, I think about farms, and one of my favorite farm books is Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin. Click here to see all the activities I like to do with this book, which includes this “Decode Duck’s Message” literacy activity.
Another one of my favorite fall books is Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper. I like to do a book project based on this book, which includes the following:
- Comprehension Questions
- Poem: Five Little Pumpkins
- Song: Have You Ever Seen a Pumpkin?
- Art Project: Pumpkin Suncatcher
- Snack: Pumpkin Pretzels
FALL PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES: MATH
Here’s a simple but effective way to work on sorting. Your little one will put the cards in order from largest to smallest (or smallest to largest!) I’ve included 6 different sets of cards to put in order (pumpkins, scarecrows, corn, apples, sunflowers, and leaves). You could also have them find all of the largest cards from all the sets, or all of the smallest cards from all the sets. You can change it up to challenge them at their level, but it will all help reinforce their visual discrimination skills.
This activity would go along great with your apple theme! Have little ones match the shapes on the apples to the shapes on the apple tree! This activity reviews 9 basic 2D shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, rhombus, star, oval, pentagon, and trapezoid. It also includes a recording sheet for students to mark off each shape they find.
This is one of my favorite fall activities: Feed the Squirrel! Your little one will choose a “recipe” card, then count out the correct amount of food to feed the squirrel. You can feed the squirrel the food cards, or you could use any manipulatives you have in place of the food cards, such as red pom poms for the apples or brown legos for the acorns. Great for practicing one-to-one correspondence!
One of the Pre-K Exit Goals is “Uses and responds to spatial language.” This game is perfect to target that goal! I created it to go along with one of my favorite books, Scaredy Squirrel. You can read more about this game and download it from this post.
This activity is super fun for helping students practice color recognition and tally/graph making. This activity includes 3 different dice games:
- 1) Roll and Cover: Your little one will cover the correct owl, which helps them work on color recognition.
- 2) Roll and Graph: Your little one will roll and graph the answer, and they’ll end up with a bar graph at the end.
- 3) Roll and Tally: Your little one will roll and make a tally chart showing their answers.
Sunflowers have always been my sister’s favorite flower, so I made this game in honor of her! Students will choose a sunflower number and add that many sunflower seeds (or any other manipulative you have) to the sunflower mat. Great for practicing one-to-one correspondence, counting, and fine motor skills (working with those small sunflower seeds works the small muscles in your hands).
In this activity, your little one will duplicate, extend, and create patterns using colorful acorn cards. There are 10 patterns to duplicate/extend and 10 patterns to fill in the missing pictures. Another great activity to build foundational math skills!
My little guy had a blast with this! We taped the sheep mat to the wall, and then put a piece of clear contact paper over it (sticky side out). Then he chose an addition or subtraction problem, figured out the answer, and stuck the correct number of cotton balls onto the sheep. This is another activity from my Giggle, Giggle, Quack pack!
Comparing numbers is a great way to work on number sense with your little one. This activity asks them to choose two numbers, count out the correct amount of acorns for each, and determine which one is bigger. You can read more about this activity in this post.
I love these number mats because they work on so many skills! One-to-one correspondence, subitizing, number words, handwriting, and counting…all super important math foundational skills! This set includes number mats for numbers 1-10 that come in color and black/white. Download them for FREE in this post (scroll to the bottom for downloading directions).
FALL PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES: FINE MOTOR, SENSORY, ART, & SNACKS
Play dough is such an engaging way to work on the small muscles in your little one’s hands, fingers, and wrists. These fall play dough mats are perfect for this, and they also include a traceable vocabulary word at the top of the card.
Before your little one will be able to write letters independently, they need lots of practice forming different kinds of lines. These pre-writing tracing lines are perfect for this! You can read more about these cards in this post.
Here’s another activity based on the book Scaredy Squirrel that also develops fine motor skills. Your little one will cut and glue items into Scaredy Squirrel’s emergency kit, which will help develop those small muscles in their hands, wrists, and fingers…plus they’ll be working on comprehension, too! Click here to read more about this activity.
How cute is this duck mask? It would be perfect for your fall theme! You can read more about this craft in this post.
I always change up our sensory bin to match our theme, and this time I tried a corn kernels sensory bin. It was a blast! I just added the unpopped corn kernels into a plastic bin, and then I added fall leaves and scoopers. Easy peasy! *Like I mentioned earlier, using corn kernels requires close adult supervision.
Hands-down this is my favorite fall sensory bin! To create an Apple Pie sensory bin, simply add rolled oats into a plastic bin. Then add in red and green pom poms, and don’t forget real cinnamon sticks (they smell amazing!) I also added mini pie tins as well as scoopers and measuring cups. This was a blast for my students!
These are almost too cute to eat! To make these Pig Bagels, I used mini-bagels and covered them with strawberry cream cheese. Then I used strawberries for the ears, raisins for the eyes, and a banana slice for the snout. My little guy LOVED making and eating these!
This is a great project to help your little one work on their cutting and gluing skills, plus it turns out super adorable! You can download a free template by checking out this post.
This gross motor game was a hit! We blew up balloons and drew farm animal faces on them. Then we took them outside and tried to “corral” the animals. This led to lots of laughing and giggling!
FALL PRESCHOOL & PRE-K FUN
I hope these ideas helped you fill-in your fall lesson plans for your preschool classroom or homeschool! The printables for this unit can be found in my Littles Love Fall Math & Literacy Centers.
What are your favorite fall preschool activities? Do you have any fun activities that would be great to add to this list? Comment below or find me on Instagram [@littleslovelearningblog] and let me know!