Autumn brings warm, colorful leaves, cool, crisp weather, and festive holidays that focus on both family and fun. These are the most basic facts about fall, but how much more do you really know about this harvest season?
Fall facts for kids are an awesome way to enhance the time-honored traditions that you enjoy throughout this time of change. If you are looking for interesting information about the season, we detail all the things you really autumn know!
Fun Facts About Fall for Kids to Learn
Autumn is one of four seasons that occurs from roughly September 22nd through December 21st. It is more commonly known as "fall" because of the leaves that fall off the trees during the season. Here are some more fascinating fall facts for kids.
Think you know everything there is to know about leaves? You may be surprised to learn the following facts about autumn leaves:
- Leaves require sunlight, water, chlorophyll, and carbon dioxide to make food for themselves.
- As winter approaches, the days get shorter, which means that the leaves receive less sunlight. This signals to the leaves to stop producing chlorophyll (this is the green pigment that gives leaves their signature color).
- When the leaves turn colors in the fall, they're actually returning to their normal shades! During the summer months, the chlorophyll present in the leaves causes them to turn green, blocking their actual colors.
- Along with chlorophyll, leaves contain two other chemicals that cause coloring. The first is called xanthophyll, which is yellow in color. The other is carotene, which is orange in color.
- Red and purple leaves are actually caused by the presence of sugars from sap that is trapped inside of the leaves.
- Once the leaves have turned brown, they are dead and no longer receive any nutrients.
- The trees that change colors and lose their leaves are called deciduous trees.
Halloween is a big part of the fall season. Here are some fun facts about this spooky holiday:
- The traditional Halloween colors of orange and black come from two different sources. First, orange is the color of autumn leaves and pumpkins, which have come to symbolize Halloween. Black is the color of darkness and mystery, which matches the theme of ghosts and other spooky creatures seen throughout this holiday.
- There is no scientific proof that ghosts exist. However, there is a field of study called parapsychology that is dedicated to studying spooky phenomena like ghosts and psychic powers. Parapsychologists use scientific method to explore strange phenomena and learn more about things like ghosts.
- Halloween was originally a pagan holiday to honor the dead, and the holiday was known as All Hallows Eve. The date, October 31st, is the last day of the Celtic calendar.
- Wearing masks on Halloween is an ancient Celtic tradition. Ancient Celts believed that ghosts roamed on Halloween, and they wore masks so that they would not be mistaken for spirits.
- Vampire folklore comes from Romania. Romanians in the 18th century believed that the dead could rise after death by suicide or other suspicious circumstances and feed on the blood of the living.
- Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween. This name comes from Samhain, the Celtic pagan festival that celebrated the end of the harvest.
Another holiday associated with autumn is Thanksgiving. Here are some fun facts about this day of thanks:
- Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. In Canada, it is celebrated on the second Monday in October.
- The first pilgrims arrived in North America in December of 1620.
- The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in Plymouth in the fall of 1621.
- The Native American tribe invited to the first Thanksgiving dinner were the Wampanoag Indians.
- The first Thanksgiving feast lasted for three full days.
- Thanksgiving was not recognized as an official holiday until 1941, when Congress decided that the holiday should be observed officially on the fourth Thursday in November every single year. The date was chosen by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in order to make the Christmas shopping season longer to aid in the country's financial recovery from the Great Depression. Prior to the date being set in 1941, it was up to the president to set the date for Thanksgiving each year.
- Only male turkeys gobble. This is why they are called gobblers. Conversely, the females, called hens, cluck or chirp.
- Thanksgiving inspired the TV dinner. A Swanson salesman came up with the idea after seeing "260 tons of frozen turkey left over after Thanksgiving."
That grinning jack-o'-lantern flickering on your front porch is a versatile product of the New World. Here are some pumpkin facts that will have you saying 'Oh My Gourd!":
- "Pepon," the Greek word for "large melon," gave pumpkins their name. The original pumpkins came from Central America where they are known as calabaza.
- Today pumpkins grow on every continent except Antarctica.
- Pumpkins are fruit, members of the vine crops family. They are 90 percent water.
- Pumpkin flowers, seeds, and flesh are all edible and contain Vitamin A and potassium.
- Early versions of pumpkin pie used pumpkins as the crust, not the filling.
- Pumpkins were once believed to fade freckles and cure snakebites.
- You can find the Pumpkin Capital of the U.S.A. in Floydada, Texas and the Pumpkin Capital of the World in Morton, Illinois.
- Pumpkin spice drinks like lattes contain no actual pumpkin, just all the spices you find in pumpkin pie.
- The first Jack-o'-Lanterns were carved turnips and potatoes, not pumpkins! This tradition began because of the Irish legend about Stingy Jack.
- The biggest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 3,699 pounds and measured 20 feet across. It was baked in Ohio and used 1,212 cans of pumpkin puree.
Pumpkin isn't just extremely healthy for humans. It is also a superfood for dogs! If your furry friend is having tummy trouble, this is a simple solution for diarrhea and constipation. It's also great for their skin and coat and it is a natural dewormer!
Fall Weather Facts
The leaves are falling and the thermometer is dropping. These facts about fall weather are pretty un-brrr-lievable:
- The first day of fall is known as the autumnal equinox and is usually on or around September 22nd. Fall lasts until the winter solstice on or around December 21st.
- In the Northern hemisphere, nights get longer and the weather is chillier in autumn because the tilt of the planet points half the planet farther away from the sun.
- The fall season brings drier and cleaner air from Canada to much of the United States. This allows more colors of light to reach our eyes. This is why sunrises and sunsets seem more vivid in the autumn months.
- Since the days are shorter and the angle of the sun is lower, the farther you live from the equator, the less warmth that will reach you. The weather goes from chilly to cold - summer to winter. Fall is known as "jacket weather," not necessarily freezing but not warm enough for short sleeves and bare feet.
- Cooler weather and less daylight signals some birds and butterflies to migrate south to warmer climates for the winter. Bats, hedgehogs, and some fish hibernate instead. However, squirrels and bears just sleep a lot more, relying on stored fat or stored nuts to keep them alive.
- Evergreen trees stay green because their leaves are tightly rolled into needle shapes that are coated with a thick, wax-like protection against evaporation and cold.
- On cool, clear fall evenings, you have the best chance of seeing the aurora borealis, the Northern Lights show of spectacular colors in the night sky.
- Early autumn is also peak hurricane season. Warmer ocean surface temperatures after the summer create ideal conditions for major storms.
"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, Fluttering from the autumn tree," wrote author, Emily Bronte. Autumn is a magical season full of changes, indoor and outdoor fun, and some of the best holidays all year. These autumn facts can help everyone enjoy the season even more. Have a happy fall y'all!