Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by Corinne Schmitt
This Fall Word Search Puzzle is a fun activity to get kids excited about the changing season and also reinforce some spelling practice and observation skills on the sly. Many of the words are seven letters or more, making this a fun challenge for early readers.
Whether you just want a simple activity to keep kids occupied as you prepare Thanksgiving dinner or you want to entertain kids on the rare bad weather autumn day, this free printable word search puzzle is a great choice. It could also be used as a fun Halloween activity!
Benefits of Word Searches
There’s a reason word searches are such popular educational tools for teachers of almost any subject. These simple seek-and-find puzzles provide several mental benefits to kids.
Here are just a few of the skills word searches help to improve:
Because word searches require children to look closely at words and then find the corresponding letters in the puzzle, kids naturally gain familiarity with those words.
Because word searches are often themed word searches, as this fall word search is, it’s easier for kids to identify and remember new words and their meanings. Used in conjunction with crossword puzzles, which introduce definitions, these can be valuable vocabulary-building tools.
Even though word searches don’t tell a story exactly, they do provide children with plenty of opportunities to look for and identify context clues, a key reading skill. Not only do they draw inferences from the theme, but they also learn to look for unique letter combinations.
In order to complete the puzzle, children will often develop their own strategies to find words quickly. They may start with looking at the edges to find words that are easier to spot.
Some kids study the list of words first then go line by line horizontally, then vertically, to find as many words as possible. No matter what technique they use, kids almost always develop their own unique strategy which is a great exercise in reasoning.
Very often, these types of word puzzles present red herrings. Combinations of letters in the puzzle will be similar to those in one of the clue words, but not identical. This forces kids to pay close attention and be able to differentiate between the actual word and the misleading one.
The best thing about word searches is that kids actually enjoy doing them! They don’t need to know how much they’re learning in the process and the analytical skills they are gaining.
Words Included in This Fall Word Search
Fall is my favorite season so hundreds of words and images come to mind when I think of it. Keeping kids in mind, and the purpose of the puzzle, this word list captures several of those terms while offering great variety at the same time.
The included words vary in length, level of difficulty, and concept (e.g. general terms, foods, activities, and items):
- General Terms: Autumn, September, October, November
- Food: Corn, Apples, Apple Cider, Pumpkin
- Activities: Bonfire, Thanksgiving, Harvest, Carnival, Football
- Items: Boots, Rake, Leaves, Sweater, Sunflower
A wonderful add-on activity once the puzzle is completed is to have kids list other words that remind them of fall. Not only is this a good way to get them thinking, but you’ll also learn a lot about the things they notice and like!
Printable Fall Word Search
To download and print the Fall Word Search PDF simply fill in the form below.
Make sure to pin this to your printables board or fall fun board on Pinterest so you can find it again next autumn!
Last Updated 08/11/2022
2 thoughts on “Free Printable Fall Word Search with Answer Key”
i can’t find the words autumn, leaves, rake, or carnival. KEY??
If you scroll down the post, you’ll see the headline “Printable Fall Word Search” and these directions: To download and print the Fall Word Search PDF simply click the image below. The file (which includes the Fall Word Search Answer Key) will open in a new tab and you can save and/or print it directly from there.