Jumping in Leaves! 6 Creative Spins on Classic Fall Fun

Photo by Tana Teel / Stocksy United
Photo by Tana Teel / Stocksy

Odds are you’re already groaning at the thought of raking up those never-ending, car-size piles of leaves this fall—just another task on that checklist. But there is someone who is 100 percent guaranteed to love the results of your raking labor: your kid. Put some joy into your fall yard work with our ultimate leaf piles playlist. Grab your whole family and jump in!

1. The Great Leaf-Gathering Race

Who can fill a big bucket, trash can, or bag the fastest? Turn a chore into a fun contest by giving each child a container, gloves, and a “ready, set, GO!” Set a timer to see how long it takes your little helpers to fill the container. If you’re working with kids of multiple ages, give older kids larger buckets or different rules (like only using one hand or walking backward) to have a fair competition.

2. Build a Leaf Labyrinth

Get creative by using leaves to create a fall maze that you won’t have to clean up afterward! Simply rake a clear spot in your yard (or at a nearby park), then form lines of leaves to build a labyrinth with a beginning, an end, and some roadblocks in between. You could keep it simple with a spiral path, or, if you’re the “Type A” sort, get inspired by these mazes and wow your friends on Instagram with your mad skills!

3. Make a Leaf Rainbow

How many colors can you find? Go on a leaf hunt with your kids and then arrange their findings in a row to make a rainbow! Glue the leaves to a piece of paper or tie them on a string to use for festive fall decorations. To make the leaves last through the season, try “laminating” them by placing them inside two pieces of contact paper or clear packing tape, and then cutting them out.

4. A Twist on the Big Pile of Leaves

Instead of making one big leaf pile to jump in, make a trail of smaller piles and encourage your child to jump from one to the next without touching the ground in between. Once they jump through the whole line, add in new challenges like hopping on one foot, skipping, or even jumping backward.

5. Treasure Hunt, Leaf-Pile Style

Gather a collection of fun fall items (such as mini pumpkins, fall cookie cutters, a sheet of themed stickers, or orange crayons) and hide them in a pile of leaves for a treasure hunt. Give your kids a list of the booty waiting to be discovered, and have them embark on the hunt!

6. Preserve Fall Finds (and Memories)

Most kids love collecting the prettiest leaves they find on walks and hikes—but where to store their treasures? Pick up a photo album at a craft store and keep the season’s most sensational leaves inside. That way, you and your child can preserve the memory of fall walks long after all the leaves are gone.

Or pick one of these three fun fall leaves craft ideas and turn the foliage into creative fodder.

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