fall color wheel

Fall is back! Take one look around and the signs are everywhere. They come in the form of reds, yellows, oranges, and browns. That’s right, the leaves are the surest sign that autumn has arrived. Here’s an activity that is part scavenger hunt, part color theory and all about tuning in to the world around us and honing our skills of observation.

For this Adventure in Learning, let’s head outdoors and look for colorful signs of Autumn!

the colors of fall

You’ll Need:

Access to leaves, flowers, etc.
Printable color wheel (optional)

Step One

Before you have the kids head outside, talk to them about fall. How do they know when it’s arrived? What does it look like? How does it feel?

Step Two

Now we’re going to introduce the idea of the color wheel. You can explain that a color wheel is exactly what it sounds like; it’s a wheel of color. First developed by Sir Issac Newton in the 17th Century, artists still use them today.

You can throw in a bit more background if you like (e.g., colors are arranged based on the primary colors red, yellow and blue and from mixing those colors together you can make any color) or you can keep it simple and have kids focus on just matching the colors they found out in nature to the colors on the wheel.

Click here to print out a copy of a fall color wheel. You can also have the kids make their own. Totally up to you!

fall colors
leaves grouped by color

Step Three

It’s time to head out and look for fall. After kids have gathered leaves, acorns, flowers, etc, have them match them to the sections of the color wheel. It may help to have younger children first group the items by color, then place them on the wheel.

For a little bonus lesson, ask the kids how certain colors make them feel. Does orange make you feel cozy? Yellow, happy? How does red make you feel inside? Older kids can then start looking for how color is used in art and yes, advertising. It can help them think critically about what they see.

fall color wheel - free printable

In the end though, this little activity is about getting out there and enjoying the season. Happy Fall Everyone!

More Adventures in Learning

About Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer Cooper is the blogger behind Classic-Play.com, an online resource for creative families.  Her favorite past times include: dancing around her living room, watching the Pink Panther with her kids and daydreaming. She lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband, photographer Dave Cooper, and two children. 

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