8 Homeschool Science Activities for Fall

Fall Science Homeschool Activities

This time of year brings some unique opportunities for homeschool science activities. With leaves falling and weather changing, fall makes for a wonderful time of year to get hands-on and study nature!

We’ve gathered some of our favorite fall science activities for you and your children to try this season. Get ready for learning, and most of all get ready to have fun!

Activity 1: Pine Cone Weather Station

The only thing you’ll need for this experiment is, well, a pine cone! It’s a well-known fact that pine cones open and close depending on the humidity. On fine, dry days they open to allow their light seeds to get carried away on the wind. While on days where the humidity is higher (when the seeds are less likely to get carried away) the pine cone remains closed. To set up your “weather station” collect a pine cone and place it on a windowsill in your house. Your child can monitor the pine cone every day for a set time period, noting in a journal whether the pine cone is open or closed, and whether it is raining or not. Your child is bound to love being able to “predict” what will happen with the weather!

Activity 2: Leaf Rubbing

Time for a classic fall science activity – leaf rubbing! It really is one of the best ways to demonstrate the details of all the different types of leaves. It’s a simple enough activity. Simply arm each child with a bag and head outdoors. Ask them to collect leaves of all different colors, shapes and sizes – if you want to take it to the next level, see if they can identify all the different types of trees along your nature walk. Once you’re all loaded up with a variety of leaves, head indoors and get to leaf rubbing!

Back home, take a piece of paper and place the leaf beneath. With a crayon or colored pencil, rub back and forth over the paper (handy hint: try use a color close to that of the leaf). This will reveal the outline and vein pattern of the leaves. If you are feeling more artsy, you can substitute the colored pencils and crayons for watercolor pencils – add a little water to blend the colors and voila!

If your child likes to keep records, perhaps add these leaf rubbings to a nature journal. In the journal, they could label each leaf with information such as – what kind of leaf it is; where they found it; the day they found it and more.

Activity 3: What’s Inside an Apple?

A simple activity but great for helping younger kids learn the anatomy of an apple. All you’ll need is some craft paper (in apple colors – red, green, brown, and white for the inside), some craft scissors and glue. Cut an apple in half for your students to reference and then ask them to create their own apple diagram. They’ll just need to cut out the individual elements – seeds, stem, leaf, flesh, skin, core – and then stick them together and label each component. Simple and fun!

Activity 4: Study the Color Change of Apples

Explore the oxidization of apples by testing the impact of different liquids on the browning of the apple slices over time. To start the experiment, have your student select a number of different liquids from the kitchen cupboard (handy hint: make sure lemon juice is among them!). Slice the apple into equal pieces and then place each segment into a liquid to soak. Make sure to leave one apple slice without liquid – we’ll call that one the “control slice”.  Leave the apple slices for at least an hour and then assess and explore the reason for these results.

To help with the learning process, make sure you treat this like a real experiment – label the substances in the jars and fill out an experiment worksheet with details like- what substances were used; the testing period; what substance they think will work best; and then leave a space to fill in what details about what actually worked best. This is a fun hands-on experiment that will have your child wanting to explore more about the properties of certain substances and how oxidization works.

Activity 5: Create Pumpkin Slime

This experiment is surprisingly VERY easy! You’ll need a few simple ingredients – a small pumpkin, liquid starch, clear glue and water. First, you cut the top off the pumpkin and remove the insides. Be sure to separate the seeds as you’ll need these later. Take a large handful of the pumpkin insides and place in a blender with liquid starch (about half a cup should do the job). Place this mixture back inside the pumpkin before adding the glue (again about half a cup). Add the pumpkin seeds back to the mixture and leave sit for about 10-15 minutes to let it form. There you have it, fun, sensory play for the kids!

Activity 6: Play Leaf Matching Games

How about a little fall hike to play a leaf matching game? Any reason to get outdoors this time of year, right? Well, we’ve created a handy printable so the kids can search for the different leaf shapes and check them off as you go. Kids will love the chance to get outdoors and kick around in the leaves – while at the same time learning more about all the different types of trees and the leaves they produce. Click here to download the printable. 

Activity 7: Do Apples Sink or Float?

This one is a homeschooling classic. Simply ask your students to predict whether an apple might sink or float when placed in a tub of water. Once the experiment is complete, you could follow it up with a game of apple bobbing – always lots of fun!

Activity 8: Stargazing

The Autumn nights are perfect for stargazing – the weather is mild and the nights are darker and longer. You don’t really need a telescope for this activity, simply head outdoors (handy hint: preferably to an open area with as little light pollution as possible) at night and start looking up! Have children find and document constellations such as Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Pisces and more. Maybe you’ll even spot planets or a shooting star on these stargazing adventures!

For more Homeschool Science inspiration and resources,
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