Autumn is my favorite season! It’s not too hot, too cold, or too wet; it’s just right. This particular time of year does fly by very quickly, so you must take advantage as much as you can. This month, we bring to you some Autumnal activities that are fun for everyone, young and old.
This time of year definitely includes going for an apple picking adventure at your local orchard. Go online to see what’s available and where? Click this link to find out where you can go picking all over the U.S., http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-apple-picking-farms. There are tons of locations near and far. Go to CBS.com to find out where this years’ best orchards are in the (NY) Tri-State Area.
Some fun apple picking activities include:
Fishing for Apples
- While at the orchard, make a quick and easy game with “Fishing for Apples” by tying stringed loops around the apple stems and then fish for them with rod made out of a stick, twine, and wire as the hook.
- Have everyone play a guessing game of how many apples each one of you picked, and the person closest to the actual number wins. (This adds learning with math and having fun all at the same time).
- Bring some extra snacks (pretzels, peanut butter, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc…) and make some fun apple designs by making them into small “animals”. After, eat your creations as a healthy snack!
Hiking is an excellent way to get some exercise and explore nature and the great outdoors all in one. This time of year is especially fun and exciting because of all of the fall foliage that you and the kids can observe. Click this link to find the top 10 trails to hike this season in the area, http://www.nynjtc.org/content/top-10-fall-hikes-new-yorknew-jersey-region. For those who are not around the NY, NJ region, find some excellent trails here, http://travel.usnews.com/Rankings/Best_Hiking_Trips_in_North_America/.
Some fun hiking activities include:
Playing “Color Bingo”
- You will see tons of vibrant colors while hiking this season, especially if you go out during the peak. Parents call out colors and have the kids search for leaves, flowers, and insects that match. Bring along a small card with the colors to check off as they find them.
Acting out as animals
- You will see many animals during your walk (deer, squirrels, birds, etc..) Pass the time, by acting out the animals you locate. This is fun to do while on breaks and stopping for lunch.
“Playing “I Spy”
- Parents and kids can take turns calling out shapes, colors, and different things seen during your hike. The others will have to find them. This is a great way to learn more about nature and incorporating numbers, colors, and shapes while observing.
There’s nothing like going to a local (or distant) farm for some apple cider, pumpkin picking, and a fun hayride. This is definitely my favorite. There are farms all over and the excitement will be enjoyed by all. Pumpkinpathcesandmore gives you the low down on all of the farms, pumpkin patches, orchards, hayrides, etc… for the entire U.S. It is a great resource and I am using it this season.
Some activities at these seasonal outings include:
Petting Zoos and Animal farms
- Totally fun to get out and learn about farm animals with hands on experiences!! Kids love animals!!
- Very fun to do with the kids; getting lost in a field of corn and trying to find your way out! This is a great way to expend some energy!!
- This is an awesome way to get on some farm equipment! Usually they are pulled by a tractor or a horse drawn carriage. You will get to explore the entire farm and is a great way to interact with some of the other visitors!
This is my son Michael, when we went pumpkin picking last year
- An of course there will be pumpkin picking. You can usually go to the patch and find your own or choose from a batch that has already been picked and are ready for your choosing. Either way, its fun!
Of course the weather can be unpredictable so you will have to find something to do indoors when you face an inclement day. Fun fall crafts are a great way to spend time together as a family. Below are a few ideas that can help pass the time by.
Bark and leaf rubbings
- Remember some of those leaves and bark that you collected while on your hike? Well, pull those out and have fun with creating some rubbings of the items you found. Pull out some old crayons and paper and go at it. This will teach the kids about all of the parts of the leaf and shapes! Hang up your masterpiece on the refrigerator!
Pumpkin decorating and carving
- Bring out the pumpkin or two that you purchased from the pumpkin patch and have a fun filled day of decorating and carving.
- a) Paint some funny faces on them. Pull out some paint, markers, old art supplies, or left over decorations from a previous activity (I know everyone has these laying around somewhere in a drawer or closet) J and have everyone make their own funny face on them.!!
- b) Carve and get it ready for Halloween! Parents must be here the entire time for this activity since it involves knives and we must stay safe!!
Decorating a Pine Cone Bird Feeder
- Pull out a pine cone and create a bird feeder, by doing some quick and easy steps:
- Spread some peanut butter all over the cone
- Roll the cone in bird seed or any left over seeds you can find in the cabinet
- Mom or dad can help by tying a string or wire around it
- Hang it outside from a tree
- Enjoy viewing the birds eat a fun snack!!
Spend some quality time together by baking and then enjoying a healthy and tasty meal or treat! This is the best time of year for baking as there are so many “in season” fruits and foods that can be used for cooking some great indulgences. Café mom has a list of great ideas to bake with the kids!!
Some classic baking ideas are:
- Use “grandmas” old recipe for this delicious treat. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t love apple pie. It’s the “All American staple”.
- Use the apples you picked when you went to the apple orchard!
- The smell of pumpkin bread flowing through your home during a crisp autumn day is the best. Find some great pumpkin bread recipes here http://allrecipes.com/recipes/bread/quick-bread/pumpkin-bread/
- Any kind of cookie baking is awesome and everyone will be happy to help!
- Pull out some decorations and have the kids put their spin on them! Use orange sprinkles, nuts, dried fruits, etc..
Enjoy the season!!!