Fall Science Activities for Preschoolers

By Hollie Barattolo


Fall is a fabulous time to take a closer look at the plants and animals around your students. Running through crispy leaves, dunking pumpkins in the water table, and making delicious applesauce are all wonderful ways for you students to use their powers of observation during the season, but if you’re looking for something new to (pumpkin) spice up your fall STEAM curriculum, we have some activities and resources to help.


Fall Activities for Preschoolers:


Why do leaves change color in the fall?


Fall Engineering


Autumn Animal Antics


Books About Fall for Preschoolers:



Fall Leaves by Erika L. Shores

Harvest Time by Erika L. Shores

Apples by Erika L. Shores

Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum

Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell

How Do Apples Grow by Jill McDonald

Pumpkin Circle: The Story of  a Garden by George Levinson

Fall Leaves: Colorful and Crunchy by Martha E. H. Rustad



Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Leaves by David Ezra Stein

The Very Last Leaf by Stef Wade

Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak

Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

Fall Mixed Up by Robert Raczka

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson

The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright

Because of an Acorn by Lola Schaeffer

The Golden Acorn by Katy Hudson

In the Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes

Wonderfall by Michael Hall

Acorns Everywhere by Kevin Sherry

Leaf Trouble by Jonathan Emmet


Fall Science Classroom Products:


Find a list of recommended fall science classroom products here.


Autumn Resources:


Scientific American: Leaf Chromatography


Science Bob: Why do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?


NatGeo Kids: Autumn Animals


SciShow Kids: Science of Fall Compilation


Fall Science Webinar Recording


Fall Webinar Presentation


Download the Seasonal Science Fall Webinar here.


Standards & Alignments


The activities and resources outlined here align with many early learning standards.




  1. Children have a natural desire to explore, to build, and to question. Through open-ended exploration, children interact with materials in nature and scientific materials/tools to explore and learn about their world.


PA Early Learning Standards


  1. Children have an innate desire to experiment and investigate while gathering data to make conclusions.

  2. Children’s immediate environment and daily surroundings provide the best context for science learning. Some ways they do this include observing, measuring, investigating, sorting, and comparing. 

  3. Adults scaffold children’s thinking by asking open-ended questions that encourage problem-solving and critical thinking.


Head Start


  1. Children first construct scientific knowledge by using their five senses to interact with the environment.  That is how they make sense of their world.

  2. Young children’s incli­nation to be curious, explore, experiment, ask questions, and develop their own theories about the world makes science an important domain for enhancing learning.

  3. Problem-solving skills, children’s reasoning, and their representation of their learning becomes more complex as they gain new abilities to ask questions, gather information, and think critically.   




  1. Adults facilitate activities to promote students’ higher-order thinking skills, such as problem-solving, predicting, comparing, and classifying.




  1. Adults facilitate children’s development of those skills that support discovery and inquiry while promoting their natural curiosity.

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Hollie Barattolo Head ShotHollie is certified K-8 teacher who has been educating in the informal education field since 2005. She has developed and implemented countless exciting STEAM programs for families, classrooms, and teachers focused on the natural world, the scientific process, and ancient life. Her professional passions are inquiry, whole family learning, experiential learning starting in early childhood, and the intersection of literacy and science instruction.

She has recently developed a community-based program that encourages families to use dramatic play to learn science, increase literacy skills, and have fun together for which she received the Drexel University Presidential Award for Civic Engagement. She is most proud of her work on a popular science storytelling program for preschool families and classrooms that combines a book club format with engaging programs, innovative curriculum, and a hysterical puppet storyteller.