Fall science experiments are perfect for when the weather cools off
It’s that time of year again! Your kids can’t wait to skip, jump, and hop into the Mount Everest-worthy pile of leaves that’ll soon be collecting in your backyard. And, with the start of the new season comes the chance for a whole new lineup of kids’ activities and fall science experiments. If your little explorer loves Halloween slime, falling fall leaves, and pumpkins, we’ve got the ultimate list of fall science experiments, and even a few fall science experiments for preschoolers. And bonus—they’re an educational (but still entirely entertaining) alternative to screen time. And, when you’re done with these, try out these fun potions just for kids.
Sink or Float Fall Edition
This fun experiment is always interesting, but add some fall items like (fake) pumpkins, leaves, rocks, and acorns to give it a cozy vibe.
Apple Browning Experiment
Ever wonder why apples don’t stay the same color? Us too. Have your kids take the steps to find out how and why this happens by checking out this experiment.
Salt Crystal Fall Leaf Science Experiment
This fall science experiment is one of the prettiest we’ve tried. With simple instructions and gorgeous results, preschoolers especially love this one. Get the tutorial here.
What could be easier than going outside and taking a walk? The fall season means that there are plenty of changes to see outdoors. Bring a pad and a pencil to take notes or a sketchbook to draw. Ask your child a few open-ended questions about what they see and the season (such as, "Why do you think the trees look different now?" Along with the leaves in the trees, encourage your child to look for autumn animals or insects—or ask why they don't see as many critters and creatures as they would have a few short months ago.
Insider tip: Need more fall activities for kids? Here are 50+ ways to spend time as a family this fall.
Slime science is always welcome with the pint-sized set. Try this recipe from Mini Monets and Mommies to make not-so-spooky Halloween slime, add glow-in-the-dark glue for a creepy type of cool or make a ghoulishly ghost version that shimmers with a hint of silver glitter.
Insider tip: if your kids love slime as much as ours do, kick the fun up a notch with this recipe for DIY boogers (yep, you read that right).
Tissue Transfer Experiment
These color-changing leaves from Mini Monets and Mommies are more than just seasonal decor. Use tissue paper to test how the color moves from one surface onto another, creating red, orange, or yellow leaves in a magical moment—all while your little investigator is exploring the scientific process. Soak a paper leaf (that your kiddo draws) with water and place the non-colorfast tissue paper on top.
What happens next? Your child can make a prediction, test it, and compare the results to what they thought would happen. Afterward, encourage your child to talk about how the tissue's color ended up on the paper and why other types of objects might not produce the same effects.
Pumpkin Seed Science
This sensory activity is ideal for little scientists who are into making hands-on discoveries. When you carve your family's jack o'lantern, let the kiddos close their eyes and describe what the inside of the pumpkin feels like. Then, clean and dry the seeds and have your child add a few drops of red, orange, or yellow food coloring into a bag, toss in the seeds and coat them. When they're dry, the seeds are perfect for making mini mosaics or other types of seasonal art. Not only is this sensory exploration an artsy adventure, but it's also a lesson in the plant life cycle. Save a few seeds and plant them in indoor pots, creating a second fall science activity!
Exploding Pumpkins Science Experiment
By now you've probably parented for long enough to have tried the good ol' baking soda and vinegar volcano more than a few times. This fall-themed take on the classic from Little Bins for Little Hands is a scientific exploration that will make a mess in the most magnificent way possible!
Fall Color Science
Why do leaves change color in the fall? That's a tricky one to explain to your child. That is, without the help of a hands-on experiment to do the "talking." If you're not sure where to start, check out this simple exploration from How We Learn.
Fall Scents Science
With this imaginative experiment from Fun At Home With Kids, your kiddo can combine the sensory science of the fall season with a creative craft. Encourage your child to ask questions about the senses and talk about how people can explore through them (including the sense of sight, taste, smell, touch, and hearing). As your child mixes, mashes, stretches, and smashes the scented dough, ask open-ended questions, such as, "How does the dough feel on your hands?" and, "What can you smell?" Your child can even create an accompanying chart, comparing the play dough scent to different foods.
Apple Taste Test
The tastes, scents, and sights of fall are here! And your child is ready to explore what the season has to offer. Try a sensory science exploration with this apple-tasting activity from Mama Papa Bubba.
Insider tip: if you're looking for great apple recipes, click here.
This STEM idea from Lemon Lime Adventures takes autumn engineering to the next level. Your little learner can explore the art of building, getting hands-on with concepts such as form vs. function, balance, and weight distribution.
Insider tip: For ways to use up leftover Halloween candy, check out our ideas here.