11 Fall Science Experiments Perfect for Kids

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It’s that time of year again! Summer is over, and 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 science experiments. If your little explorer loves Halloween slime, falling fall leaves and pumpkins, check out these awesome fall-themed science experiments. And bonus—they’re an educational (but still entirely entertaining) alternative to screen time.

Nature Walk

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. 

Halloween Slime

Slime science is always welcome with the pint-sized set. Try this recipe 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).

Glowing Milk

This kind of spooky science experiment is magic milk. That's right—magic. If your kid wants to make have a good time, head over to Learn Play Imagine for the how-to. 

Insider tip: if you have a little magician on your hands, check out these 7 easy magical illusions. 

Oil and Water

What is it that they say about oil and water? They don't mix? Yep, that sounds right. This fall science experiment from The Science Kiddo helps your kiddo explore this concept and come to their own conclusions. Oh, and if you're wondering where the fall theme comes in. Add a few autumn-hued drops of food coloring to turn it into a seasonal science activity

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.

photo: Erica Loop

Pumpkin Seed Science

It's pumpkin time again. And no, that doesn't only apply to the fall-flavored pumpkin foods that you're savoring right now. As you carve your family's jack o'lantern, let the kiddos explore the ooey-gooey goop inside. This sensory activity is ideal for little scientists who are into making hands-on discoveries. Have them close their eyes and describe what the inside of the pumpkin feels like. When they're done, scoop out the seeds and let them dry. Your creative kid can 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 if seasonal art. Not only is this sensory exploration an artsy adventure, but it's also a lesson in the plant life cycle. Discuss why pumpkins need seeds. Save a few seeds and plant them in indoor pots, creating a second fall science activity!

Insider tip: in the mood for Pumpkin recipes? We have pumpkin recipes for every taste bud. Just hop on over to our story for pumpkin recipes here. 

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

Mmm. The smell of fall. Yep, you know it's all about the pumpkin spice EVERYTHING. Well, with this imaginative experiment from Fun At Home With Kids, your kiddo can combine the sensory science of the fall season with a completely 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. 

Candy Creations

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. 

— Erica Loop with Oz Spies and Amber Guetebier

Feature image: Michael Morse via Pexels

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