Celebrate Autumn with 20 Preschool Unit Theme Ideas

September 20, 2022

Autumn is in the air! Welcome the season with these twenty preschool unit themes that are perfect for fall. The following unit themes are ideal for preschoolers ages three to five. Choose your favorites and make them the focus of your seasonal activities!

20 Preschool Unit Themes for Fall

Whether you operate a large preschool with multiple classes and age groups, or you run an early learning program out of your home, you can definitely use these unit theme ideas as inspiration for your little learners. Adapt the topics to the ages and stages of the children in your care. Feel free to incorporate special extras, like field trips, guest speakers, and hands-on activities as you are able. Have fun!

Apples – Celebrate apple-picking and eating season with a preschool unit on apples. Incorporate apple snacks, learn about how apples grow from a seed to a tree, and even take a trip to the farm for some good old-fashioned apple-picking!

Pumpkins – It’s not autumn without pumpkins, and a pumpkin unit may be perfect for September or October. Learn about the parts of a pumpkin, taste some roasted pumpkin seeds, and consider heading out to the pumpkin patch.

Autumn Nature Walk – Cooler temperatures make it enjoyable to explore Mother Nature and the great outdoors at this time of year. Take an autumn nature walk, play “I Spy” or a scavenger hunt game, and talk about the things your students discover on their outdoor adventure.

Autumn Weather – Speaking of cooler temperatures, why not do a preschool unit all about autumn weather? You can tailor this activity to seasonal weather patterns wherever you live.

Dinosaurs – Little ones love learning about dinosaurs! Try out a Dino-November unit theme complete with a fossil activity, dinosaur footprints art project, and some dino-mite snacks.

Down on the Farm – Another popular preschool unit choice, consider exploring life “down on the farm.” Learn about barnyard animals, talk about crops, and visit a local family farm.

Fall Cooking and Baking – Get into the spirit of autumn with a preschool unit on fall cooking and baking. Learn about each other’s favorite fall comfort foods, like soups, pies, and more. Consider pairing this unit theme with a family potluck, harvest celebration, or classroom party.

Creepy Critters – Here’s a great alternative to a Halloween preschool unit. Learn about “spooky” creatures, like bats, bugs, and spiders. Talk about why these creepy critters are also good, too!

Thanksgiving – You can’t talk about autumn preschool units without mentioning Thanksgiving! Help little ones learn about the history of Thanksgiving with age-appropriate and culturally-sensitive activities featuring Native Americans and Pilgrims.

Trees and Autumn Leaves – Do the leaves on the trees change color in the fall where you live? If so, a unit theme about trees and autumn leaves would be an amazing idea! Crafts and nature-inspired science and art projects will help children explore the beauty of autumn leaves.

Healthy Habits – Here’s a practical preschool unit just in time for cold and flu season. Help little ones understand how germs spread and how they can help themselves and others stay healthy this season.

My Family – If new families have enrolled this year at your preschool, then a unit theme introducing “My Family” can help you and your students get to know their families a little better. Consider pairing this unit with a meet-and-greet opportunity.

Community Helpers – Autumn is a great time to learn about our community helpers, including police officers, firefighters, mail carriers, crossing guards, bus drivers, and more. You may want to invite a few community helpers to your preschool for a presentation and question-and-answer session.

Animals in Autumn – Learn about animals in autumn with this fun unit study. What do animals do in autumn to get ready for the long winter? What do they look like? How do they behave? Introduce concepts like hibernation and migration.

Fairy Tales and Fables – Chilly autumn afternoons and evenings set the mood for story time. How about a unit on children’s fairy tales and fables to encourage your students’ growing imaginations?

Five Senses – A unit theme about the five senses can easily be tailored to autumn. What do children see, hear, smell, touch, and taste at this magical time of year?

Moon – Teach little ones all about the moon. Look at pictures of this year’s Harvest Moon or encourage families to look for themselves. Describe the different phases of the moon.

Fire Safety – Bonfires, campfires, and accidental fires, too – autumn can be an important time to teach little ones about fire safety, and a unit theme may be the right opportunity.

When I Grow Up – What do you want to be when you grow up? Chances are your little learners will have some pretty big ideas! Consider an autumn unit theme all about jobs and what kids could be when they grow up.

Cozy Clothes for Fall – Autumn is the time for cozy clothes! Learn about what we wear in the fall, depending on where you live. Host a “PJ party,” a “Flannel Friday,” or a cozy socks day.

We hope this list of unit theme ideas for your preschoolers gives you plenty of inspiration for fall!

What are some of your favorite autumn units? We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line in the comment section below.

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