Now that everyone is back to their regular school year schedules, you may find your kids battling after school and weekend boredom. If you’re tapped out from summer vacation planning, no need to rack your brain for more ideas. Here are five autumn-themed activities to help you and your children make the most of the season.
Pick and Bake
Image via Flickr by Kam Abbott
Just because berry-picking season ended before the back-to-school shopping season, doesn’t mean you should stop making trips out to your local farms. Plan a day at a nearby U-pick pumpkin patch or apple orchard and stock up on your fall baking essentials.
At home, bring your children into the kitchen and get them involved with some baking. Children are great at mashing, stirring, measuring, and decorating. Scrape out one of the pumpkins and bake this delicious pumpkin loaf. Slice your handpicked apples and teach your kids your family’s traditional apple pie recipe. For a little less effort and a bigger sugar rush, decorate some candy or dip some caramel apples.
Get Lost Together
Image via Flickr by Mack Male
Need another great reason to head to the country in the fall? Corn mazes. Great for children (and adults) of all ages, corn mazes are an affordable family outing. Additionally, corn maze attractions often include a petting zoo, hayrides, play zones, and pumpkin patches. Not to mention, it’s a great opportunity for young ones to learn directional and problem-solving skills. Generally open from September to October, many corn mazes feature haunted events closer to Halloween.
Be sure to dress for the occasion. Rubber boots will keep mud off your feet and mittens will protect little hands against rough corn stalks and hay bales. In keeping with the season, pack a thermos of hot apple cider to stay toasty and warm. Need help finding a corn maze near you? This website lists mazes throughout the United States and Canada.
Light Up for Fall
Image via Flickr by Windell Oskay
With fewer and fewer daylight hours during the fall, escape the dark with a couple of fun lighting projects. Use your collection of spare mason jars to create fun night lights or patio lighting. Fill each jar with a strand or two of battery-operated lights, wait for the dark, and then turn them on. Your room or garden will fill with an ethereal and stylish glow. Check out this infographic from ChristmasLightsEtc.com and learn how to make cube lantern lights.
Collect Fallen Leaves and Make Art
Image via Flickr by Ed Schipul
Take advantage of a sunny weekend and go hiking with your kids to see nature’s impressive color-changing act. Ask your children to collect their favorite fallen leaves in a plastic bag to take home.
For a relaxing post-hike craft, try leaf rubbings. Sandwich the collected leaves between two pieces of paper and then rub a peeled crayon over the leaf on the top sheet. Try different colors and different arrangements of leaves. The end product is sure to earn an honorary spot on the fridge. Your kids could also cut out the rubbings to make a fall wreath or to decorate a cornucopia.
Get out and celebrate fall now, before winter’s frigid temperatures and snow storms threaten to keep you and your family house bound.
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