5 Fun Fall Family Activities
My favorite time of the year is here. It’s called Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin!!!!! I’m just kidding, it’s called Fall, but it might as well be Pumpkin. I now have pumpkins gracing my door steps and various book shelves, and pumpkin and squash products filling up my pantry and fridge. And to make sure that I’m not the odd one in my family, I roped my 3.5 year old into the pumpkin craze. He doesn’t mind it at all.
This got me thinking of the fun fall activities I used to love as a child. I come from Ukraine and Halloween was never a thing when I was growing up (I’m pretty sure it’s changing now) but there were distinctly fall activities I enjoyed. My favorite was collecting chestnuts that littered our streets. I would fill a bucket on one walk and then come home and lord over my treasure. These were inedible chestnuts, so we couldn’t do much with them. Eventually, when I wasn’t looking, my mom would toss them out and I would wait till next year to collect my treasure again. But it was always so fun. And now I’m trying to think of fun activities to make fall a favorite season for my sons, while also having fun myself.
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My toddler son is fascinated with nature. He loves flowers, leaves, bugs, birds, and even dirt. During the summer, he loved going on walks and picking flowers for me. He said that it was my birthday gift. And now that fall has come, he absolutely loves collecting leaves. We have some beautiful maples in our neighborhood that shed these brilliant crimson leaves. He is in love with them. He collects them on every walk and promptly hands them to me for safekeeping.
What I love is that he is engaging in sensory play without any special preparation. The smell of the leaves, the way that they feel different when they’re wet vs. when they’re dry, the rustling sound as we move our feet through them. All of this stimulates the senses and helps his developing brain. So go ahead and let your child touch and play with the fallen leaves. And collect them for later to create homemade masterpieces. Fall fun does not need to be complicated.
Jumping in Puddles
Now this is fall fun activity that pretty much every kid loves and every parent hates: jumping in puddles. Just like leaf play, jumping in puddles is a great sensory activity and can be a better experience for all with the right gear. All that’s needed are some rain boots, waterproof pants and a rain coat. Boom, all set!!!!
Fall Festivals and Pumpkin Patches
I don’t know about you, but I have fallen in love with pumpkin patches and various fall festivals. I have every weekend this month planned out so we can hit them up. Luckily there is no shortage of either in our area. (Click here (http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/) to find pumpkin patches near you).
My son loves that most pumpkin patches have a few farm animals that he can feed. He makes noises at them and asks me a million questions about them. Corn pits and corn mazes rank high in preferred activities. But what really takes it over the top for all of us is the yummy food. We are all fans of ciders, slushies, donuts and other seasonal items. And it feels really good to support a local business.
Make sure to take your kid to a pumpkin patch for lots of family fun and a great developmental experience.
Decorating for Fall
Once I became a mom, something shifted in me. I started to care much more about my house’s decor and changing it according to season. Pulling out our Halloween decorations, buying seasonal candles, and putting pumpkins everywhere can easily take up a weekend. And I love that my 3.5 year old now wants to help me decorate. He helped pick out pumpkins for outside and inside decorations, he picked out Halloween decorations for his room, and helped put up some stickers on our front door. All in all, it was a great way to keep him busy while dad played with the baby.
And of course, I enjoy updating my seasonal decor every year. Check out some of my fall finds from Target. It’s not all about finding memorable activities for kids. Moms need some memorable activities too (insert affiliate links)
Enjoying the cooler weather
While I spent my childhood in Ukraine and enjoyed four seasons there, I spent most of my life in California. It’s pretty much one season there and it’s called lukewarm. Summers were never too hot, winters never too cold. If you wanted snow, you needed to drive for 5 hours to the mountains. I missed the changing of the seasons and changing activities according to seasons.
I’ve been living in North Carolina for the past 6 years and again get to enjoy 4 seasons. I love that each season brings something different. Now, being in the South, our summer hung on a little too long. It finally cooled down a couple of days ago and that means we can enjoy our fire pit. My toddler son showed interest in it last year and has been asking about it for a while. I can’t wait to get it going, get a couple of marshmallows, and show him how to roast them. Make some warm apple cider and breathe in the cool crisp air. Ahhhh, pure bliss!
It’s also a great opportunity to talk to my son about wearing weather appropriate clothing. He’s still getting the hang of understanding this concept. For example, when we went on a walk today he wore shorts. I asked him a few times if he’s cold and wants to change. He said, “No”. But not surprising to anyone, midway through our walk he told me he was cold. I used it as a great teaching moment to tell him that the weather is becoming colder and that pants would have been the wiser choice. I’m sure he’ll make more clothing related mistakes but each mistake is a great learning opportunity.
Let me know what your family’s favorite fall activities in the comments.
Happy Fall Y’all!!!!
Mental Health Tip of the Day
Fall is the time of harvest. Time to collect the fruit of your labor. Take some time to write down your accomplishments and congratulate yourself of the job well done. Take note of things that went well and didn’t over the year. And begin setting goals for the next year.
Quote of the Day
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”F. Scott Fitzgerald