Fall is just around the corner. It’s a wonderful season to spend with our families in outdoor or indoor activities. The cool, crisp weather lends itself to many activities that aren’t practiced or practical the rest of the year.
I was remembering times when I was young that I spent with my mom and dad during the fall season. I grew up in the mid-west and loved it as the leaves changed color and fell. Of course this would mean that we had to rake, but along with the work came the fun of jumping in the center of that huge pile of leaves! My brothers took it a little too far and we had to start from scratch raking them all up again, but it was great fun. It was a great time to bond with my siblings.
While we were raking we always came across the most beautiful and interesting leaves, the colors were sometimes just amazing. Mom would encourage us to bring in the leaves, acorns, and pinecones we found to use in making crafts. Mom always had glue, glitter, paint, or whatever was needed to make a work of art there on hand. We would make pinecone turkeys or pinecone Christmas trees covered in glitter. We’d use the acorns for making caterpillars, snowmen, or whatever we could come up with. We liked to put the leaves under paper and color over them to see the leaf re-appear on the paper, and you could see all the veins! Mom would help us put the leaves between wax paper (with a sheet of plain paper on top) and run an iron over it on a low setting. We’d cut them out and hang them up in the windows or string them as decoration. We had a great time with these simple crafts.
Camping is another wonderful activity that is made even better by the cool weather. You don’t have to camp in a tent or even a recreational vehicle if that’s not your style. There are many places with cabins that are full of the amenities we are all used to. It’s a wonderful time to be with family. I remember a vacation my family and I had a few years back, where we met my brother and his family and rented a cabin. We met halfway in some lovely woods in Arkansas. It was a duplex cabin with a campfire area outside and lots of fire wood for our use. Everyone enjoyed sitting next to the campfire, roasting marshmallows and telling stories. During the day we spent some time fishing or should I say baiting for the children. There was a quaint little town nearby that had really neat shops. The children’s favorite memory is a show put on by some chickens and roosters, ringing bells, sliding down slides, and roller skating. In the beautiful woods there was a hiking trail that ran along bubbling brooks and moss covered stones. We went on hikes and collected rocks, leaves, and found great walking sticks. The kids found swords and pretended to be a crew of swashbuckling buccaneers. It was beautiful and what great exercise! We were all so hungry when we returned. Now that is a trip for young and old alike, in the heart of nature.
Another wonderful adventure for the fall is visiting a local farm. My children loved being able to climb on the hay in the barns and play with the kittens that lived there. The farm we visited offered hay rides and tractor rides. They had relay races, pumpkin patches, and they even let us try our hand at milking a cow. On the property was a pond in which they allowed fishing and provided the poles and even baited the hooks. After all the activities we had a nice barbeque under the pavilion. What a wonderful day out for the whole family. We got to experience all that fun and the bonus was that it was out in the gorgeous countryside.
Another event of the season are the Harvest Festivals. Children love going to festivals, I know mine did. There are games, prizes and all kinds of yummy fall foods. You can have your own festival at home, getting the children to participate in the preparation. Incorporate all of the wonderful traditions of the season and invite the neighborhood. It’s a great way to get to know the neighbors and there are so many easy things you can do with your kids. There are many activities that are enjoyed by children and adults alike. A pumpkin carving contest, bobbing for apples and a leaf pit to play in are some ideas. Gather some old clothes from the goodwill and get a couple of bales of hay and let them put together their own scarecrow. Pile cans up and give them a Nerf ball to see who can knock them all over. A couple small bean bags and a cardboard box with holes cut out to have a bean bag toss, or some bottles with small hoops for a bottle toss. Have the kids help make caramel apples, popcorn balls, cotton candy, and hot apple cider. You and your children will be the hit of the neighborhood!
Halloween is another treat for children during the fall. I remember one time in grade school when my mom let me set up a haunted house in the basement. We had quite a large basement in the ranch style home we lived in at the time. I took rope and made a snake like path through the basement and threw moms old blankets over them. Then I made separate sections by dividing it with dangling string for spider webs, or I would hang up big rubber spiders, and I also had one of those beaded curtains that were popular back in the 60’s. I hung skeletons everywhere, made eye balls out of peeled grapes, innards out of spaghetti, and a damp course sponge for brains. I had the spooky music going with all the moans and groans, blindfolded the neighborhood kids that came over and sent them through. I remember having so much fun creating it with a few of my friends, of course mom helped out. Everyone that went through had a blast too. We had drinks and cookies set up at the end of the haunted house. This is such a neat project for your kids if you have the space and the time to help.
Thanksgiving is another good time to plan crafts or activities for the kiddos. Our whole family got together at Thanksgiving when we were younger, there were cousins everywhere. To keep us all occupied the adults would usually set up a craft table where we could make turkey hand puppets out of paper sacks or turkeys with beautifully colored tails out of paper plates and construction paper. We’d make pilgrim hats and Indian chief head dresses and rehearse plays to put on for the adults. We’d run a rope across the basement or back yard and throw a sheet over it for the stage then put out seats for the audience. The grandparents thought anything we did was adorable, so we were an instant hit! Some great memories came out of those times.
It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it as a family. Take advantage of the great weather and make some plans for this fall. Everything seems to taste so much better in the fall so you can try out some new recipes with your children. There are so many wonderful fall fruits and veggies. It’s just such a magnificent time of the year. Enjoy!
Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare. They take care of all the necessary information related to “babysitting”. He personally think his blog will help finding information on all things related to a babysitter.