It’s October! Fall is here, leaves are changing, and school is in full swing. It’s a good time to look at some fun ways to keep kids’ minds active and learning during the school day and into the evening. Here are a few fall fun ideas I’ve learned from art teachers, librarians, and coaches.
Do some fall crafts.
Coloring, collecting, painting, designing, cutting, pasting – kids love to be creative. I never cease to be amazed at their imaginations and curiosity when we adults give them free – but supervised – rein.
Collect autumn things.
Hunt for and collect acorns, colorful leaves, pinecones and other collectibles that remind you of fall. Put the acorns in see-through plastic vases for lunch table decorations. Paste the red-yellow-orange-brown-gold leaves to construction paper and hang in kids’ rooms.
Don’t forget apples.
Autumn is apple time! Visit an apple orchard, pick some, and learn about different kinds of apples. Also try making an apple pie or other apple-related recipe, such as apple chips, apple cider, apple butter or candy apples. Yum! Pumpkin farms are lots of fun, too.
Take a nature walk.
“Leaf peeping” is the season’s most popular activity. While you’re walking, chat about the changing weather – a science lesson, but don’t tell them! Count the number of different trees and colors you see (math), or write a little poem or song about fall (language arts). Take pictures and send them to other relatives.
Do some gardening.
Plant some bulbs for the spring. Together, use the internet, a friendly neighborhood gardener, or library books to find spring bulbs that need to be planted now. Decide together which you want to plant.
Go on a hayride.
Lots of local farms offer hayrides to schools and families. Do a little research to find one close to you. This could be a good class field trip, too. Talk to your kids’ teachers to see if they’re interested. Volunteer to organize, fund-raise, and chaperone.
Keep a fall journal.
I’m a great fan of family journals, especially when everyone takes part. Every day, ask each person contributes a couple of lines – thoughts, memories, ideas, and poems – or a drawing or photo. By the end of the season, you’ll have a family keepsake, either on paper or online.
Get ready for Halloween.
Homemade costumes are so much more fun (and less expensive) than store-bought ones. Talk about what they want to dress up as – heroes, favorite animals, book or toy characters – and then discuss creative ways to make the costumes. Go trick or treating with the kids for safety and for keeping in touch with other parents.
Play touch football.
No sport represents fall better than football. Play touch (or flag) football as a family. Good exercise, good fun, and good togetherness. No rough-housing, though!
Want to be rich? Count your blessings. Talk about them at bedtime, when kids are decompressing from a busy day.