Is there a season more beautiful than fall? When those crisp, chilly days bring an abundance of moments to remember forever? Like forest hikes and nature scavenger hunts, the aroma of oh-so-delicious apple pie, and all sorts of sweet fall crafts.
Here are just a few ideas of how to mark the best season of them all:
Whether it’s puddle-jumping, a scavenger hunt, or a family walk around the small forest at the end of your block, there’s nothing quite like exploring nature just after the rain has fallen. Pop on their rubber boots, or wellies, and let them scramble up muddy hills, make as big a splash as they can in fresh puddles, and discover slimy worms and glistening spiderwebs.
Build a fort
When the wind starts howling and the rain begins pelting down, it’s time to retreat indoors. And what kid doesn’t love building a blanket fort when they’re stuck inside? But did you know that the whole process of building them also just happens to be super beneficial? Not only do they get to exercise their creativity, they also problem-solve, plan out what materials they’ll use for their structure, and, if they make it with their siblings or friends, strengthen their teamwork skills.
Older kids will enjoy a hunt using a camera. Send them out with a seek-and-snap list that allows them to express their creativity (a water droplet, the inside of something, light, reflection found in an unexpected place, an unusual view of the sky).
For younger ones, try a color hunt. Simply get some paint chips from the hardware store to take on your next walk, and have your kiddo find a natural object to match each color. Alternatively, there’s the more traditional hunt – we found a good selection of fall-inspired free scavenger hunt printables at The Resourceful Mama.
Try a new s’mores recipe
Of course we love classic s’mores roasted over a bonfire, but there are plenty of creative options that’ll delight your little tribe with their gooey, sticky deliciousness.
These chocolate and peanut butter s’mores from Sunset, for example, up the yum quotient with chocolate chip cookies and salty peanuts… you will officially be voted Greatest Parent of all Time.
Cooking Classy’s s’mores cookie sandwiches require extra effort and ingredients, but if you’re nifty in the kitchen and with a piping bag, these babies will wow your kiddos.
Have a crafternoon
Get out the paints and modge podge, the tissue paper and scissors, and set up a craft table for an arty, crafty afternoon. Pinterest is absolutely jam-packed with ideas for easy, fall-inspired crafts, or you can check out Oh Goodie Goodies’ It’s Fall! board.
Alternatively, we found these cool crafts that don’t require too much in the way of materials and will suit a range of ages and different skill levels:
Finding Zest’s Scarecrow Paper Plate
Where Imagination Grows’ Fall Luminaries
Family Maven’s Pumpkin Pie Play Dough
Joyfully Weary’s Jack-O-Lantern On The Fridge
Toddler Approved’s Fall Wreath
Make learning fun
Fall is a great time to teach. Why do leaves change color? Why do we have seasons? Show them how to do a bark or leaf rubbing, or make a nature alphabet book together. Go looking for backyard bugs or grab a pair of binoculars and head out to find local birds.
Pick ’n enjoy them apples
This list of u-pick apple orchards, put together by Red Tricycle, is a great starting point, but just about any town is sure to have an orchard nearby. Take the family apple picking, then get to work on baking them into epic treats. Apple pie, of course, but also… how about these dreamy dishes?
Honey & Birch’s Apple Cake Sundae, a hot apple cake topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel.
The Cozy Apron’s Thick & Fluffy Apple Flapjacks with Buttery Cider Syrup, perfect for lazy weekend breakfasts.
Go for a bike ride
Bundle up in your winter woolies and head out for a bike ride through the neighborhood or at the local park. Even better, take along a picnic basket and big blanket, so you can take a break mid-ride and enjoy some treats and hot chocolate surrounded by gorgeous fall foliage. After all, this glorious season only happens once a year!
(Image credits: Sunset, Cooking Classy)