Autumn is my FAVORITE time of the year. I love that I can step outside and not immediately break out in sweat. I love the ease and smells of soup cooking in my crockpot all day long. And, I love that everything about this season just screams fun, family time. There is no need to break the bank or spend tons of time making a plan for your family fun; here are some activities that you and your loved ones can do with minimal planning on your part.
Make applesauce. Kids love to help out in the kitchen, so grab some apples from the grocery store (or from a local orchard or farmers market) and let them help you make something that the whole family can enjoy. The recipe that we’ll be trying this year looks super easy and requires no added sugar. Yay!
Seasonal book basket. I love to get books that we can read as a family that go along with every season change and most holidays. We even have a basket that sits by our fireplace that is currently dedicated to books about apples, leaves, pilgrims, owls, pumpkins, and Thanksgiving. Add in a couple of seasonal stuffed animals, and my girls feel like they’ve hit the jackpot. Thanks to my mom (a former elementary school teacher) we own most of our books, but if you don’t want to buy any books or have room to store the extra ones, visit your local library.
Collect sticks. This activity is great for my girls because they LOVE to pick up things off the ground (typically unsanitary items that make me cringe) and help me decorate the house (with torn up paper as confetti, and random odds and ends that look “pretty” in their eyes). This year, I’ve set out a large vase and put my girls in charge of finding sticks to help fill it up. Have you seen stores try to sell sticks for a crazy amount of money? Yeah… me too. So, this is a win-win. Free activity for the kids AND free fall decor. And if you feel like getting fancy, spray paint the sticks gold! Disclaimer: make sure the sticks are clean and bug free before bringing inside!
Make leaf pictures. Grab a plain piece of paper, crayons, and glue, then help your child find their favorite leaf in your yard (or the park). Glue the leaf to the piece of paper (anywhere is fine), then let your child use their imagination to draw a picture incorporating their treasure from nature.
Make a bird feeder. Every Fall, I love taking advantage of the cooler weather by spending time outdoors and enjoying nature. A great way to get the kids excited about the animals around us, is by making a bird feeder. Find a pinecone, tie some yarn around it, then slather it with peanut butter and roll it in bird seed. Once it’s complete, hang it in a tree or some place that you and your kids can sit and observe what birds are in your area.
Paint a pumpkin. Pumpkins are all over the place this time of year, so grab a few and let your kids become artists for a day. My girls love when I give them free reign to paint to their hearts content, and I love displaying their final masterpieces.
Go for a flashlight walk. Now that it gets darker earlier, one thing that we will do on occasion is go for a flashlight walk around our neighborhood. We stick to the sidewalks, but use our flashlights to explore the neighborhood in a different way. It’s fun to see the stars, look at shadows, and get a different perspective of the place we live. Another thing you can do is get some glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets and let your kids wear those during the walk. Kids always love those!
Scavenger hunt. This is one of my favorite activities, ever. Scavenger hunts can be done at any time and any place, and are customizable for kids of all ages. I like to use a list with pictures since my kids are younger. This is so that they can remember what we are looking for while on the hunt, without me constantly saying “can you find a pumpkin?” over and over and over again. But, one of my daughters is learning to read, so I like to have the words written out for her to see as well. Here is a FREE printable for the fall scavenger hunt!