Creative Ways to Keep Your Kids Active in Fall
Sweater weather is approaching…Leaves are falling and changing color and pumpkins are everywhere! It’s a time of year that my kids and I always look forward to – a time to fill with fun and festive fall activities that get us outdoors!
- It’s Apple-picking Season, and there are plenty of great apple farms where you can pick your own apples, sometimes make your own cider, or sample the various apple varieties as well as learn about them. In colder climates, the apple picking season is September-October, while in warmer climates, it can start as early as late summer and last through the winter. Here in California, the best time to pick apples is right now, and it’s a great way to get into the fall spirit. My kids love going out into the fields and this gives them an opportunity to learn when and how to safely pick, harvest and store fruit.
- Visiting the Zoo is one of our favorite things to do, and it’s so much fun around this time of year! My kids love learning about all of God’s creatures and the Zoo is a place to observe and appreciate them in their natural habitat. It is a great joy as a parent to witness my kids in wonder and amazement as they see animals they’ve only read about in storybooks for the first time in person. The Zoo is an immersive educational experience that allows them to learn about animals in a multi-sensory experience, talk about things they’ve learned and develop a deeper understanding about the animals, their ecosystems and the importance of protecting endangered species.
- Gathering Around the Fire is a family-bonding experience like no other. What better way to get your children to eat their veggies than putting them on a skewer and letting them roast them over the fire?! You can cut up various vegetables, have the kids build their own kebobs and let them roast to their heart’s’ content. Add in story time and nights like these become memories they will remember for the rest of their lives. There are some fun games you can play using a flashlight. One example is the Lightning Bug – one player, the Lightning Bug, holds a flashlight and goes to a hiding place in the playing area. Every few seconds, the Lightning Bug flashes their light once and then moves positions, allowing the other players to figure out their hiding spot. The first player to find them gets to become the next Lightning Bug.
- We Started an Indoor Herb Garden! I’m raising future Green thumbs and I want to show them all different ways of gardening, and the benefits of being self-sufficient. We can raise fresh herbs, like chives, thyme, rosemary, oregano and cilantro in our own home, rather than looking for them at the grocery store. It’s also a hands-on way to teach them things like selecting which herbs we can grow year-round, how to give them proper sunlight, choose the right soil and water them without over-watering.
- Fall-Themed Arts and Crafts are fun for everyone. While the list of pumpkin projects is endless, even fall leaves make for great inspiration. From making autumn colored trees using handprints to DIY leaf crowns and popsicle stick leaf puppets, arts and crafts are a sure way to get your kids to fall in love with this season. One of the classic fall leaf art projects involves paint (preferably red, yellow, orange, green and brown shades), sponges, paper and different sizes of fall leaves. You place large leaves on the paper and sponge paint the different colors around it, leaving a white silhouette of the big leaf, then take smaller leaves, dip each corner into a different color and place it in the middle of the silhouette. Then, you repeat this until the paper is filled with leaf designs. The more shapes and sizes of leaves you incorporate, the better.