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Baby & Toddler, Motherhood

Thrifty things to do in Autumn with your toddler

It image shows a toddler walking through leaves. He is wearing a blue wooly hat. The images has a green border. The image is being used in an article about things to do in Autumn with your toddler.

I love it when the seasons change. I think that one of the best things about living in the UK is that we have very clear (yet mild) seasons. But I’ve been struggling for ideas of things to do in Autumn with my almost-two-year-old. I wanted to work out how to incorporate Autumn into playtime with my little boy, so I decided to ask some other bloggers (who also happen to be parents) for inspiration. They came up with some fabulously thrifty ideas, which you’ll find below.

The image shows a child playing in leaves. Over the image, the text reads: 'hacks: things to do in Autumn with your toddler'.

The great outdoors

Robbie says “the brilliant thing with under-threes is that you don’t have to break the bank for them to have fun. All you need is a couple of pairs of wellies and plenty of puddles, which are hardly in short supply during a British autumn.”

Jenni has a great suggestion for adding some extra joy to muddy-puddle jumping. She says: “you can play the Jumping Up and Down in Muddy Puddles song on your phone for extra excitement.”

But if you haven’t got any puddles (an unlikely scene, I know), then Alison suggests going for a walk in a forest and kicking up the colourful leaves. 

Christina says her “absolute favourite thing” to do with her daughter, who is 22 months old, is “heading to the woods and looking at the different colours.” This sounds like a great way of helping your toddler to learn their colours. After all, play time is the best time to learn.  

Whilst out walking, Amy suggests getting your toddler to wrap a stick in Sellotape, with the sticky side facing out. She says you can “go on a nature walk to collect things on your nature stick” and that it “provides lots of opportunity to explore and learn.”


Of course, in autumn, the weather can turn at any moment. So it’s a good idea to have some craft ideas in your back pocket, in case you’re forced inside.

Gemma collects leaves in different shapes and colours during family walks. She then sticks them flat onto a large piece of paper and the kids use felt tips, googly eyes and glitter to create people, animals, monsters and other creatures.

Nicola says that her two-year-old loves hunting for the biggest leaf he can during walks. When home, he then places the leaf under some paper and colours over the top.

Of course, leaves aren’t the only objects you can collect to craft with. Jenni forages for pine cones, conkers, acorns and anything else that looks interesting. The kids then take them home, paint them and add googly eyes.

You can also use the autumn months to prepare for Christmas. Claire collects pinecones with her kids. They then make a Christmas table centrepiece, some tree decorations and a door wreath. Her children enjoy the whole process and it makes for great rainy day activity.

Virtual fun

Anisa suggests taking a virtual tour and being transported to a magical place. There are lots of options and many are free, or low cost. The National Museum of Natural History offers tours, as does the San Diego Zoo and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

I have written about armchair travel. You can incorporate with your toddler by watching a programme or a film set elsewhere. My favourites include Paddington and Frozen. Escapism isn’t just for adults. 


Jo says that her and her toddler have fun baking together. “Even little ones can have a go at weighing and mixing. I have lots of lovely recipes with fruit and pumpkins. It’s especially good if you can pick your own fruit (in early autumn) for children to understand about where food comes from.”

Seasonal play

It can be tricky to come up with fun things to do in autumn with your toddler. I hope that the ideas above give you as much inspiration as they’ve given me.

For more seasonal tips, check out these 10 things to do with your toddler this summer. You might also be interested in browsing around my baby and toddler section.

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