Fall Activity Ideas for Children with Special Needs

October 15, 2019
Written by:
Guest Author

Sponsored post by Time4Learning.com

Ah, fall is in the air!  The cooler temperatures and beautiful landscape are perfect for keeping your kids’ bodies and minds active through the fall season. If you have children with special needs, it can be challenging to find activities that meet their unique needs, abilities, and interests. Activities that incorporate multiple senses, help enhance learning and understanding. And, fun hands-on activities help kids learn while improving fine motor skills! 


Below are 15 fall-themed activities that you might be able to incorporate into your home this season. Enjoy!


Let the Fall Fun Begin! 

  • Nature WalkGoing on a nature walk is great fun! There are so many amazing sights, sounds, and scents. Many nature preserves post signs along the paths with descriptions of the plants, trees, animal habitats, and more. Real-world science plus fresh air is homeschooling at its best!
  • Nature Treasure Hunt – Add a twist to your nature walk with a nature treasure hunt. Make a list of some common items you might spot on your walks such as mushrooms, a deserted bird’s nest, a spiderweb, a squirrel, or a deer, and add simple illustrations. Help your kids check off each item as they spot it. 
  • Leafy Fun – Have fun and strengthen your kids’ gross motor skills by raking leaves into a pile and then let them jump in the pile! Or, collect a variety of leaves and help kids compare and contrast. You can also try Identifying trees by their leaves as well.  
  • Build a Scarecrow – Building a scarecrow is a wonderful family activity that not only taps into your kids’ creativity, but helps develop cooperation, patience, and communication skills.   
  • Fall – themed Sensory Bins – Line a rubber bin with brown rice. Add fall-themed goodies such as apples, mini pumpkins, gourds, corn cobs, leaves, pears, acorns and nuts, pinecones, dried flowers, and more. Ask your child to describe shapes, textures, and colors.  
  • Visit a Farm – Many farms host an open house in the fall with lots of child-friendly activities. This is the perfect time to get an up-close-and-personal view of farm animals and machinery. Petting and feeding animals is both fun and soothing. 
  • Apple Art Fall is apple harvest season. Buy a few different varieties of apples and cut them in half. Encourage your child to smell the different apples and describe the scents (maybe even the different tastes!). Then, show your child how to dip the apple halves into the paint and stamp it onto paper to make a design.
  • Pumpkin Play –  Take a hayride through a pumpkin patch.  Kids will enjoy wandering around and choosing their perfect pumpkin. Help your kids use words to describe the different textures– a prickly, rough stem and a shiny, smooth pumpkin. Then, decorate pumpkins with paint, stickers, or anything else you might have around the house.  
  • Navigate Through a Corn Maze – Wandering through a giant corn maze is a wonderful family activity. Work as a group or divide family members into teams and see which team can find their way out first. This activity can help strengthen planning and decision-making skills for children on the Autism Spectrum
  • Make a Fall-themed Collage – Gather nuts, seeds, corn husks, leaves, and more and make a 3D collage. Talking about the different colors and textures as your child works help promote language skills and improve vocabulary. 
  • Football Toss – Set up a line of old milk crates, different size rubber bins, and laundry baskets. Do you have a child with Down Syndrome who struggles with math? Label the different bins with point values. Every toss can help improve basic math skills as well as eye-hand coordination.   
  • Jack-o-Lantern Memory Game – Cut out twenty squares from orange construction paper and draw ten different pairs of jack-o-lanterns. Simple memory games can help your kids improve concentration, short-term memory, and attention to detail. 
  • Fall Scented Playdoh Stamping – Tap into the scent-sational scents of fall by making apple, pumpkin, and other fall- scented playdoh. This is a wonderful sensory activity that also helps improve fine motor skills. 
  • Fall Themed Picture Book Read-a-thon Too chilly to go outside? No worries! Cuddle up indoors with fun, fall-themed picture books and have a read-a-thon. Encourage kids to read along or pick out words. The simpler language can help strengthen reading skills for children with ADHD. Pause every now and then and ask your child to predict what happens next. 
  • Birdwatching – Fall is the perfect time to learn about birds. Attract birds to your yard with yummy homemade treats. Spread some peanut butter on pinecones, roll them in birdseed, tie strings around them, and hang them from tree branches. Then, watch and enjoy!


We understand the unique challenges of homeschooling children with special needs and hope you find great inspiration and have fun learning together throughout the beautiful fall season.