The leaves are changing colors and blowing away and the air is starting to hold a chill. It is time to bundle up with a scarf and get cozy with your loved ones by the fire. Autumn is a great time to celebrate and reflect with your children. Help them build a sense of wonder by engaging in activities that acknowledge the season. Here are a few ideas for celebrating the fall with your children:
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1. Make Spiced Cider
Smells have a way of sinking in and creating memories. Spiced apple cider is the quintessential autumn smell. Put a big pot on the stove and fill it with a bottle of apple cider. Add a handful of cinnamon sticks, raisins, chunks of peeled ginger, and a few cloves. Turn the heat on low and let it simmer all day. Delight in the smell and give the kids a steaming cup to warm them up after playing outside.
2. Read Books with a Fall Theme
Curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket and your little ones and read them some good mood setting books with an autumn theme. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Autumn Story – Brambly Hedge
- The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything – Linda D. Williams
- The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin - Beatrix Potter
3. Harvest Apples
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a place to pick your own apples. Make a day of it and bring some blankets and a picnic lunch. Bring home your loot and try out some homemade applesauce. To make applesauce, put apples (peeled, cored, and chopped) in a large saucepan with a bit of water and cook until the apples are soft. Add cinnamon and sugar as desired. Remove from the heat, mash, and enjoy!
4. Make and Frame Leaf Prints
Take a hike to collect fallen leaves for autumn craft projects. Bundle up and head out with a bag or basket. Allow your child to collect their favorite leaves in all shapes and sizes. Avoid leaves that are too dry, as they will crumble. When you return, gather high quality paper, paper plates, acrylic paint, and paper towels. Pour one or more colors of paint on the paper plate and spread it around at least as wide as the leaf. Lay the leaf in the plate, putting the under side of the leaf in the paint. Pull the leaf out of the paint, blot off excess paint, and lay the leaf down on the paper. Press the leaf lightly to the paper and then remove the leaf. Frame your favorite prints to hang on the wall. Bring them out every season for lasting memories.
5. Create Glowing Leaf Lanterns
If you still have leaves left from your collecting adventure, use them to make leaf lanterns. Gather mason jars, modge podge, a paintbrush, and leaves. Simply brush the modge podge over the leaves and press them to the glass jars. When dry, put a tea light inside the jar for a cozy glowing lantern.