Fall is a wonderful time to get outdoors with the kids. The air turns crisp, the trees change colors, and nature offers a whole host of new and exciting things to find in the outdoors. Here’s a fun treasure-seeking game to play with your kids outside: I Spy Fall.
The premise is easy: Bundle up your child and head outside—either to a local park, a nearby walking trail, or even your own backyard. Take a look around and help your child “spy” the 12 fall items below.
Mums are the fall flower of choice, so they may be easy to spot, perhaps even on your own front steps. Mums come in a few different colors—ask your child to identify a few different colored flowers.
Changing leaves are everywhere in fall. Have your child pick up a few different colored leaves in a variety of shapes and colors. You can rake them into a fun pile for jumping, collect them for leaf rubbings, or even make a colorful crown out of them.
Chances are you might have a pumpkin right on your front step. Have you carved yours? Ask your child to pick out shapes in the carving. If you haven’t, consider painting the pumpkins.
Whitetail deer are very common, and can often be found traipsing through backyards, across vacant ball fields, or through wooded parks. If deer aren’t particularly common in your neighborhood, take a road trip with your child and go explore the local nature preserve. Try being still for a while to see if deer cross your path.
Chances are your child might be familiar with this wee bitty animal from the Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon, so they’ll delight in trying to find these little guys in the outdoors. Chipmunks can often be spotted rustling under bushes and along the tops of stone walls or woodpiles, so keep your eyes peeled for them—they can be fast!
Fall is the time when many geese start to migrate south, so you’ll often hear them by their loud honks and see them by their distinctive flying V formation overhead. If you’re lucky enough to live near a lake or pond, geese often will land and take refuge there, so you’re likely to spot them. For a good laugh, have your child try to mimic the goose honk!
Woodpeckers can commonly be found in wooded areas, and are easily identifiable by their fiery red head. Woodpeckers live up to their names, and they leave behind circular holes in trees, as shown in the picture below.
Fall is the perfect time for apple picking, and many orchards offer pick-your-own adventures that your kids will love. Apples come in all sorts of varieties and colors—but all are delicious. After you’re done picking apples, have your child help you bake a pie for the holidays.
Apple cider is the perfect break-time drink. You can enjoy it cold or warm. Bottle it up with you as you continue your “I Spy” adventure, and enjoy as a sweet treat during a break, maybe while sitting still waiting for those deer to show up!
Decorative Indian Corn Husks
Many houses decorate their front porches with decorative Indian corn husks. Can your child point out the different colors in them?
Chickadees are common songbirds that can be found throughout North America. If you find them in your backyard (or local park or trail way), ask your child to point out the different color on the bird. If you cannot find chickadees, ask your child to point out any birds he sees—who knows? You may just discover a new species.
Thanks to daylight savings time, the sun sets a little earlier these days. But that means it’s just perfect to explore with your child. If you live in a relatively wooded area, consider taking a drive to a local beach or meadow, so you can fully enjoy watching the sky change colors as the sun dips below the horizon. Don’t forget your camera—take pictures, and then use them as inspiration for your kids’ next colored masterpiece.
Try your hand at “I Spy” in your neighborhood. Download the PDF below, and turn your own backyard into a fall “I Spy” adventure waiting to happen.