I Spy Signs of Fall

I Spy Signs of Fall

The Nature Tot program is for 3 year olds with an adult. Class size is limited to 20 participants. Programs are outside, unless weather does not permit.

Pre-Program Activity

Have children make leaf prints using pressed leaves and ink pads of yellow, orange, green, and brown. Ask children and adults to collect dried leaves for use during craft. Have them crumble them into buckets.


There are signs of fall all over. We are wearing jackets and pants at night because the weather is cooler. Many birds and monarch butterflies are flying south were it is warmer so they will be able to find food. Squirrels and chipmunks are gathering nuts to store for a long cold winter.


Read “How Turtle Flew South” story in book Keepers of the Animals by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac.

Use puppets to discuss what animals are doing to get ready for winter.

  •  Migrate: monarchs, ducks, pelicans, robins
  • Hibernate or take long naps: woodchuck hibernates, reptiles, amphibians, insects and woody plants
  • Adapt: fox gets a thick coat so it can stay warm in snow
  • Die: Herbaceous plants die and leave seeds behind or grow back from their roots underground


Leaves Are Falling
(Tune: London Bridges)
Leaves are turning red and brown,
(turn your hands like leaves blowing in the breeze)
Red and brown,
Red and brown,
Leaves are turning red and brown
Now they’re falling to the ground
(fall down on the ground)

The Leaves On The Trees Are Falling Down
(Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)
The Leaves On The Trees Are Falling Down Falling Down, Falling Down,
The Leaves On The Trees Are Falling Down
All Around The Town

Parent/child activity

Give each child a leaf that was gathered earlier from the area. Have them search for one that matches it. Look for the tree that it came from.
Do the same activity with a nut.
Look for migrating birds, chipmunks and squirrels gathering nuts etc. if area suits.


  • Make leaf rubbings and bark rubbings
  • Draw around a leaf on a piece of paper. Squeeze glue into the “leaf” area and spread it around. Now crumble leaves onto it. Let dry and cover with clear contact paper. This can be used as a tub sticker if both sides are covered with contact paper to seal it.
  • Leaf critters. Use leaves and twigs and nuts to create a critter. Glue onto a piece of cardboard.
Activities provided by:

Polk County Conservation Board
Ginny Malcomson
Nature Tots is funded by Polk County Conservation Board, West Des Moines Park and Recreation, and the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League.


_ 0-1
_ 1-2
_ 2-3
✓ 3-4
_ 4-5
_ 5-6

Category: Adult-Child

Iowa Early Learning Standards:
10.3, 10.4, 11.1, 11.2, 12.2, 12.3, 13.1, 13.2, 14.3

Related Kindernature Resources: Other Resources: