© James St John, licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Go on an autumn hunt

This page has everything you need to go on an autumn adventure. From fungi and leaf bingo to a mini-beast safari, explore the signs of autumn with these fun activities.

Leaf passport

Lots of trees are getting ready for winter. You might have already noticed their leaves changing colour and falling to the floor. This leaf passport will help you spot and collect different colour leaves on your next autumn walk. 

Instructions: Print the leaf passport page (or make your own) and add a strip of double-sided sticky tape in the middle. Take the leaf passport with you on your next walk and look out for different coloured leaves. When you spot one, tear a small part of the leaf off (about the size of you finger nail) and stick it onto the tape. Try to find as many different colours as you can!

Remember, only pick up leaves that have already fallen to the floor and ask an adult for help if you see anything that might look spikey or prickly.

Leaf bingo

There are many different colours of leaves in autumn. Leaves also come in lots of different shapes, which can help identify a tree or plant.

Instructions: Print the leaf bingo page and carry it with you on your next walk and and describe different shapes of the leaves you find.

Minibeast safari

What creatures can you spot on your autumn walk? Some minibeasts like to live in dark, damp places. Others like sheltered sunny spots. The habitat map shows you places they might be hiding. Many trees lose their leaves when summer ends. When leaves fall, they build up into leaf litter on the ground. Leaf litter gives small animals like worms, beetles and dormice cosy hiding places. Minibeasts eat dead leaves and rotting bark, turning them into rich soil.

Instructions: Print the minibeast safari or load it on your mobile phone to take with you on your next walk.

Fungi bingo

Mushrooms, yeast and mould belong to a group of living things called fungi. Unlike plants, fungi do not get their energy from the sun. Instead, they get food from other living or dead things. Fungi are also nature's recyclers, breaking down dead matter and returning the nutrients to the soil. You can identify fungi by their caps, stems and where they grow.

Instructions: Have a go at fungi bingo and describe the fungi you find. Look for them in shaded and damp places. Be careful as some are poisonous.

Make a cone animal

Turn a pine cone into an animal by adding things you found from your autumn hunt like leaves, berries, seeds and nuts. Wool or string are useful to tie them on a cone.

Instructions: Follow the instructions on the sheet to create a creature using things found on your autumn hunt.

Make your autumn museum

Collect your autumn treasures and tell a story of your autumn adventure. Don't forget to make a note of where and when they were found - this is how scientists record their findings.

Instructions: Use the labels on this sheet to tell the story of your autumn adventure.

Pair the seed with the tree

Spot fallen seeds and figure out the trees that these seeds belong to. Sycamore seeds have two wings that help carry their seeds far and wide in the wind. Can you see teeth marks left on hazelnuts, acorns and pine cones? Squirrels spend autumn stashing nuts away for winter. They quite often forget where they have hidden nuts which can sprout into new trees.

Instructions: Print or download the sheet and take it with you on your next walk.

Top tips

  • Be curious
  • Use your senses
  • Be quiet, gentle and take care of nature - wild creatures are sensitive to noise and movement
  • If you do pick up a creature, do so gently and quickly, and return it to the same place
  • Record your findings and experiences