A Simple Autumn: The Sights, Sounds, Smells, and Tastes of Fall

a Simple Autumn | SimpleKids.net

Last week I mentioned I want my family  to experience this time of year, not just as dates on the calendar, but as an opportunity to use all of our senses to really savor the season.

I thought it would be fun to list some of the different ways we can experience the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of Autumn with our kids.

sunflowers | a Simple Autumn | SimpleKids.net

What Does Autumn LOOK Like?

The hallmark of Autumn is the changing colors of the leaves, of course.  This provides opportunities to create leaf rubbings and other leaf related crafts. We can rake leaves together, which naturally leads to jumping in leaf piles!

Yesterday, we made a map of our backyard. The kids and I have been talking about the trees in our yard and what they look like now versus what they looked like a few short weeks ago.  We wonder what they will look like in the Winter time.

Bonfire |a Simple Autumn | SimpleKids.net

But beautiful leaves are not the only sights of Autumn …

Look UP


  • What is happening to the grass?  The flowers?
  • What are the insects and animals doing?
  • What does the garden look like now?
  • Do you see any acorns?  Walnuts?  Seed pods?

Firewood | a Simple Autumn | SimpleKids.net

What Does Autumn FEEL Like?

As the weeks pass and the weather changes, we begin to experience chilly Autumn days. Our clothing reflects the temperatures as we don wool sweaters, waffle weave long underwear, thick socks, and perhaps even a puffy down vest or a coat before we go outside.

There are other ways to feel the season:

  • The textures of hay bales
  • The varied surfaces of pumpkins and gourds
  • Difference between the silky petals of the mum’s flower and its leaves

Go on a nature walk and ask your child …

  • What does the sun feel like on your skin?  What about the shade?
  • Is there any wind today?  Can you feel a breeze?
  • What does the air feel like?  Dry?  Humid?

Pumpin picking | a Simple Autumn | SimpleKids.net

What Does Autumn TASTE Like?

For me, the tastes of Autumn are freshbaked bread, homemade applesauce, and my Aunt Anna’s pumpkin pie. One of the dates on the calendar I most look forward to is Thanksgiving, and the delicious food is certainly part of the appeal!

Here are some recipes on my wish list to try with my kids this season:

What recipes does your family enjoy during Autumn’s cooler days?

Pumpkins in the wagon | a Simple Autumn | SimpleKids.net

What Does Autumn SMELL Like?

There are good smells coming from our kitchens in Autumn, it is true. What other wonders can we experience with our sense of smell this time of year?

To my family, Autumn smells like …

Autumn smells like the first fire in the fireplace and beeswax candles on the dinner table as night’s darkness falls earlier and earlier.

Baby deer | a Simple Autumn | SimpleKids.net

What Does Autumn Sound Like?

This time of year may not be as noisy as the Spring, when new life is bursting forth, but there are still plenty of sounds in Autumn’s symphony.

Consider …

  • the geese honking as they fly overhead
  • the wind rusting the leaves
  • crackling campfires

And at our house we can hear the tractors as the farmers nearby harvest their crops.  Indoors, Autumn sounds like the clicking of knitting needles and popcorn popping for an afternoon snack.

What about you? What does Autumn look like to you? What sights, smells, and sounds evoke this time of year for your family?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

Online Knitting Class
Delightful kids' crafts delivered to your door!  See sample crates>>


  1. Jillian is such the artist, Kara–lovely!
    Simple Homeschool – Jamie´s latest post: Q&A- How can Simple Homeschool Help

  2. I love this idea! What a great way to organize your fall adventures! Fall is all about the senses for me as well- especially taste and smell! I always have to make gingersnaps and pumpkin bread! And the smell of the fallen leaves and bonfires always brings fall to mind! This would be a fun way to chronicle your adventures too. You could have the children make a Fall Book with pages for each sense where they can categorize and note their experiences with a picture, writing, or a souvenir. I just might have to try that!
    Amanda Morgan´s latest post: Fall Leaves and Gingersnaps! Recipe at Bottom!

  3. Oh, wow, Katie – I bet that was wonderful! 🙂

    Pretty amazing, this parenting thing, isn’t it?
    Kara @SimpleKids´s latest post: Simple As That- The Sights- Sounds- Smells- and Tastes of Autumn

  4. Oh where was this wonderful post a couple of months back when we went looking for Autumn and couldn’t find it anywhere!!! And then overnight it was Winter!!! No lingering fall over here I must say!!! Hope you guys have a fun weekend!!!
    se7en´s latest post: Sunday Snippet- ESV Study Bible GiveAway – Winner…

  5. What a great post, Kara! I absolutely love this idea of categorizing according to sense. I’m putting this into the back of my mind to see what I can do with it.

    To me, autumn smells like leaves, turning the heater on for the first time, candles burning and being blown out, and pumpkin bread/pie.
    Two Chicks and a Hen´s latest post: How We Celebrate Half-Birthdays

  6. Oh autumn to me is savoring and seeing those last beautiful sunsets, october has the best ones. Autumn is the smell of cool fresh air earlier in the afternoon, the feeling of socks on my feet as I sleep and looking at decorations pop up on lawns around town.

  7. Lovely ideas! I plan to do a lot of leaf mazes, pumpkin pounding, baking and sensory activities with my crew.
    Alicia´s latest post: Connection time- Five great ways to have fun with your children in October

  8. Love it! And thanks so much for the inclusion. I hope you get a chance to make the cheesecake. It rocks!
    Aimee @ Simple Bites´s latest post: Thanksgiving Leftovers- What to do with all the Turkey

  9. Wow – This is something that all of my kids would enjoy…and there are large age gaps. For the older ones, maybe they can incorporate some of these into their nature journals/sketchbooks also. Thanks for some terrific thoughts and activities.

  10. Now that we are totally looking at Spring: Hope it cools down for you guys and hope even more that it warms up for us!!! Here is our Autumn Craft Post… and where we were a couple of months back…
    se7en´s latest post: Se7en Has Another Birthday…

  11. Cool

  12. Piers Dudgeon says:

    As a child Beatrix Potter’s ‘Squirrel Nutkin’ ‘troubled’ C S Lewis (he of Narnia fame) ‘with what I can only describe as the Idea of Autumn…the experience was one of intense desire. And one went back to the book not to gratify the desire (that was impossible – how can one possess Autumn?) but to re-awake it.’


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lucy Banta NJ Family, Susan Heid. Susan Heid said: RT @simplekids Simple As That: The Sights, Sounds, Smells, and Tastes of Autumn http://bit.ly/9TmS6e […]

  2. […] When I was a kid in north Mississippi one of my favorite fall activities was jumping into huge piles of leaves that my Dad had raked out of our yard. We would then burn the leaves.  I know that’s very politically incorrect but I still love the smell of burning leaves on a crisp Autumn night. […]

  3. […] Simple as That: The Sights, Sounds, Smells, and Tastes of Autumn {Simple Kids} […]

  4. […] Go on a nature walk, around the yard or neighborhood.  Don’t forget to look up and look down. […]

  5. […] Living in a part of the world where you are preparing to enjoy Autumn?   Consider the Sights, Sounds, Tastes, and Smells of Fall. […]

  6. […] A Simple Autumn: the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of fall […]