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  • Writer's pictureJamie Riskedahl

Fall Bucket List for Families

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

As the temperature drops, fall fun is on everyone’s mind. When you have small kids going all the places can get tiresome and expensive. If you are searching for some budget friendly easy ideas look no further! Here are our top picks for autumn activities:

1. Make a leaf, stick and pine cone art project

It is a given that kids are going to pick up random leaves in the fall. Who can blame them with all the pretty colors the trees turn? Turn their souvenirs into an art project worthy of the fridge. Encourage them to make interesting patterns with the items on construction paper. A stick and some leaves could be a nice tree or even a leaf animal. All you need is construction paper and some glue.

If your little one finds some pinecones they can’t bear to part with, they can turn it into a bird feeder to entice some migrating birds to stop by for a snack. Mix peanut butter with a little bit of bird seed and let your child have fun spooning it into all the little nooks and crannies of the pinecone. If you don’t have birdseed, you can mix in oats, crushed nuts and dried fruit. Hang it from a tree in your yard or out a window and keep watch for feathered friends to visit your family.

Leaf rubbing is another fun project that even the smallest hands can be a part of. Place a piece of white paper over the top of leaves. We use the back of junk mail we get to save paper and let them rub a crayon over the top. The outline of the leaf will appear in their color. They can see all the lines in the leaf. This is a fun way to bring in science too! You can check out a book from the library on leaves and why they change to talk about while you make fabulous leaf art.

2. Make homemade playdoh

What kid doesn’t love a new container of playdough? Imagine making your own and having it be fall scented! It is not edible, but it is taste safe.


1 cup All-Purpose Flour

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup warm water

2-3 drops food coloring


Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly stir in the oil, warm water, and 2-3 drops of food coloring until the mixture is well combined.

Transfer the dough to a flat surface and let it sit for a few minutes. It may feel a bit sticky, but DO NOT add more flour. As the dough sits, the salt will absorb the extra moisture. Knead well.

If your dough is sticky after about 5 minutes, add an additional 2 tablespoons of flour at a time until it is the perfect consistency.

To scent your playdough, add cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice.

Store in an airtight bag in the fridge for 1-3 weeks. If playdough gets dirty or starts to get sticky, throw it away.

3. Blanket Fort Movie

Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a big project to make a core memory for the family. Some of the best times our family has had involved nothing more than blankets, a movie, and some snacks. With fall breaks around the corner, take advantage of the time off school to put on your own home movie theater. Encourage the kids to gather all their favorite big blankets in the house. Use chairs and couches to drape them over, creating a cozy nook for relaxing. Use the extra blankets and pillows to give each family member their own spot. Take a vote on a movie to rent or stream. Make sure there are plenty of snacks to have throughout the movie and enjoy your evening of family fun all snuggled up together.

If you want to earn a spot as coolest parent ever, let them sleep in the tent. For those that need a little light to help them sleep, pick up a package of glowsticks at the dollar tree. It gives the kids a soft night light and some fun necklaces and bracelets to play with. If you have streaming services, there are free versions of fireplaces or starry sky with music that you can turn on your tv to lull the little ones to sleep.

Fall can be full of fun and whimsy. It is one of the best seasons to really spend time outside with family enjoying nature. The heat, humidity and bugs are finally gone, and it isn’t completely frozen yet. Everything is changing and gives us a glimpse into the wonders of nature. God has given us a beautiful world and fall is one of the most colorful displays of this. Don’t forget to take some family photos to keep as a reminder of your activities. It might not seem like it now but the years fly by and looking back on those pictures brings back all the joy you felt that day with them.

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