14 October 2013 07:37 AM

Fall Fun for Kids

by rbavaria

It’s the middle of October.  Fall’s here.  Colors are changing, school’s in full swing, the new TV season’s begun, and there’s a chill in the air.  It’s a good time to look at some fun ways to keep kids’ minds active and learning during the school day and after.  Art teachers are a great source of ideas for seasonal kid crafts.  Librarians help with the newest and most popular books.  Coaches have great ideas for outdoor activities.  I’ve used all of them – plus some ideas I’ve used myself in classrooms – for these tips for fall fun for kids.

1. Do some fall crafts.  Coloring, collecting, painting, designing, cutting, pasting – kids love creatively keeping busy.  I never cease to be amazed at their imaginations and curiosity when we adults give them free – but supervised – rein.  Here are some ideas.  Since it’s getting cooler, it’s sweater weather.  For some kids, learning to knit can turn into a lifelong and useful hobby.

2. Collect autumn stuff.  Take little recesses to 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.  Make a pinecone bird-feeder.

3. Don’t forget apples.  Autumn is apple time.  Visit an apple orchard.  Pick some.  Learn about different kinds of apples.  Make apple cider, or at least drink some.  Make an apple pie.  Make apple chips.  Make apple butter.  Make candy apples.  Yum.  Pumpkin farms are lots of fun, too. 

4. 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 (a math lesson, but don’t tell them), or write a little poem or song about fall (a language arts lesson, but don’t tell them).  Take pictures and send to Grandma.  A nature bike ride is good, too.

5. 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.  Together, decide which you want to plant.

6. Go on a hayride.  Lots of farms offer hayrides to schools and families.  Together, 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.

7. Keep a fall journal.  I’m a great fan of family journals, especially when everyone takes part.  Every day, each person contributes a couple of lines – thoughts, memories, ideas, poems – or a drawing or photo.  By the end of the season, you’ll have a family keepsake.  On paper or online.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Be thankful.  Want to be rich?  Count your blessings.  It’s not Thanksgiving yet, but it’s always a good habit to be aware of the good things in our lives.  Talk about them at bedtime, when kids are decompressing from a busy day. 


If your family is in a part of the country that doesn’t have changing colors and temperatures, travel via the internet to places that do.  You’ll find lots to talk and wonder about together.  Why do the leaves change colors?  How come some trees change colors and others don’t?  Why do the seasons change?   Ask questions together.  Discover answers together.  It’s the togetherness that counts.



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