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Easy Preschool Science: 5 Five minute Fall Activities

Fall is finally upon us!  Okay, it’s still stupid hot here.  But school has started and it is acceptable to start thinking of changing leaves, pumpkins, and Halloween.  So I’ll say fall is here.  This is an awesome time of year to add in some STEM projects.  I know, I know.  You’re busy.  School just started!  But these don’t take long, and they don’t require a ton of stuff.  Here are 5 five minutes fall activities to do with your kids.

Fall is a great time for science! Halloween provides spooky opportunities to explore STEM. Here are 5 fast and easy STEM activities for toddlers and preschoolers. #Halloween #science #STEM #learning #activity #toddler #preschool


Fall Science Activities

Fall is a great time to implement some science.  Halloween gives plenty of chances to explore some fun concepts too!  Here is what we are going to do:

  1. Leaf Observation
  2. Mummy Measurements
  3. Sticky Spider Investigations
  4. Floating Fall Fruit
  5. Make Ghosts Fly

Leaf Observation

Fall is a great time to observe nature.  The changing leaves alone are beautiful.  Observe them with your child.  That’s it.  No really, just look at the leaves and talk about what is happening.  So why do leaves change color?  It’s okay if you don’t remember the details.  Basically, trees need air, sun, water, and chlorophyll to live.  Chlorophyll is the green stuff in leaves.  As the seasons change there is less sunlight.  Leaves start making less food, which means the green color is less dominant.  This allows the other colors in the leaves to shine through.

If you want to take it a step further try observing the same tree several times.  Pick one in your backyard or on your path to school.  Take a moment to describe what you are seeing every day.  Compare that to what you have already seen.  What you are practicing here is long-term observation and the ability to compare and contrast over time.

This is also an amazing sensory activity.  What do you hear on your walk?  What do you see?  What can you smell?  Work your way through all the senses and really enjoy the outdoors.  (Learn why sensory activities are so valuable for kids —> The Big Benefits of Sensory Activities)

Mummy Measurement

Fall means Halloween is close.  Mummies are a classic Halloween character.  For this activity, you need a roll of toilet paper.  Have your child try to pull off enough squares of toilet paper to wrap around his waist.  Did he pull off too many?  Not enough?  You try it too.  Then try predicting how much you will need to wrap around your waist.  Then check to see who’s is bigger.  Keep going, try measuring your arms or your legs.  If it ends with your wrapping each other up like mummies, well, that happens.

Measurement gives us a standardized way to compare properties of things.  We measure weights, heights, temperatures, and more.  This tells us if something is bigger, heavier, or hotter than something else.  We need a consistent method to do this, hence standardized scales.  Toilet paper isn’t exactly a recognized scale for a lot of scientific methods (probably not for any actually.) But it is consistent for our purposes, as opposed to measuring your child’s waist with toilet paper and yours with dental floss.   It is much easier to compare using the same medium.  The definitive squares also make counting and numerical comparisons easier.

Why Don’t Spiders Stick to Their Webs?

Ever touch a spider web?  They can be quite sticky.  They need to be in order to trap prey.  Yet spiders themselves don’t stick.  For this activity, you will need tape and some sort of oil.  I recommend packing tape or duct tape.  The bigger surface area is easier to work with.  Any oil will do.  I used vegetable oil because that was handy for us.  Roll up the tape so the sticky part is on the outside.  Stick it to a paper towel or paper plate.  Have your child touch the tape.  Pretty sticky.  Then have them dip their finger into the oil and touch the tape.  Not so sticky.  Spiders produce an oil that allows them to glide along their own webs without sticking.

If you want to add a little creativity to this project, have your child draw or color a picture of a spider and a couple of other bugs.  You can cover the spider with clear tape on both sides and trim down.  Make the bugs dance across the tape.  They stick.  Then dip your spider in a little oil and watch it slide along from bug to bug.

Do Apples Float?

I know I’ve hit on the sink or float activity before, but really it never gets old.  It is important to help children learn about physical properties in the world, and how to predict them.  Density isn’t always an intuitive property.  Plus this one involves water, and that is always a win with kids.  Fall means apples to me.  Ask your child if they think an apple will float or sink.  If you have been doing this sort of activity before they might predict sink.  Apples are kind of heavy.  But if you have ever bobbed for apples you know they are mainly water themselves, so they float.

Fill a large bowl or pot with water and let your child put the apple in.  What happened?  Was it what they thought would happen?  Try some other fall vegetables.  There are a lot that can be used that you can still cook with if you want too.  Carrots, zucchini, pumpkins- give them a whirl.  Pumpkins are a fun one to demonstrate how size can counteract the effect of density.  In a large enough body of water pumpkins will float. But a small bowl of water won’t be enough to keep one afloat.  This is a really good activity if it is still quite warm where you are in the fall.

Make Ghosts Fly

What is a Halloween season without ghosts?  You can help your child make some ghosts fly.  For this one you need the toilet paper again (or tissues) and a balloon.  I said these activities use things in your house, but we always have balloons around.  I get bags of fifty from the dollar store.  You will be happy you got them.  They are an easy go to activity anytime.  I blow up a balloon and the kids hit it around.  Tons of easy fun.

Take a square of toilet paper, and if you are feeling creative cut it into the shape of a ghost and add some eyes.  Rub the balloon on a sweater or someone’s hair.  (This is my preferred method for maximum giggles.)  Then use it to pick up a ghost and make it fly!  This is an example of static electricity.  What is happening is when you rub the balloon on your child’s head it pulls the electrons from the hair.  This negatively charged surface then attracts the positively charged ghosts.  If you are doing this with preschoolers or toddlers, I think just saying it is called static electricity can be explanation enough.  Keep rubbing and making your ghosts fly!  (If you have actual colored tissue paper, try cutting out more fun Halloween shapes like bats or spiders!)

5 Five minute fall science activities to do with preschoolers.

I love a good theme.  And I have found my kids get really into activities if they follow a theme, which makes the Fall/Halloween twist on these projects just that much more fun.  Plus, these activities can be done quickly during the busy fall season, but they still pack in some great science learning.  Wins all around!  Happy sciencing!


Want more easy preschool science?  Check out these options:

Easy Preschool Science: Volume 1 {Marshmallow experiments, color mixing, dying celery}

Easy Preschool Science: Volume 2 {Make milk and vinegar plastic, an easy volcano, and lava lamp bottles}

Easy Preschool Science: The Goal {Why it is important to work on STEM with preschoolers.}

The Babywise Friendly Blog Network (BFBN) is talking all things fall today.  Check out these great posts!

Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: 6 Things To Do With Your Kids This Fall

The Journey of Parenthood: Halloween Costume Round Up

Rogers, Party of 5: An Easy Fall Craft For Kids


Easy and fun science activities perfect for Halloween! Explore STEM concepts and enjoy holiday fun with these simple low-prep activities. #Halloween #science #learning #activities #STEM #toddlers #preschool #fall #autumn #kids

Why don't spiders stick to their webs but we do?  Learn how spiders can walk across webs and try a real life activity that demonstrates it!  This is a perfect Halloween STEM project for kids. #halloween #STEM #science #spiders #learning #activity #experiment #preschool #toddler #kids

Halloween STEM and Learning Activities

Easy and fun STEM and learning activities perfect for Halloween!

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