Now that the weather has turned colder and the leaves are turning their artistic hues of gold, orange and red, you don’t have to stay cooped up inside with the kids. In fact, the fall months provide some of the most delightful activities you can do. Most of them don’t cost very much, if anything, so get out there and have fun!
This is a tried and true classic activity. In the United States, most stores have different sizes of pumpkins available for sale, ranging anywhere from $2.50 to $15 in price. You can get these anywhere from late September right through Halloween. In many areas, you can get your pumpkins from a pumpkin farm or local grower. Many pumpkin farms offer additional activities on top of choosing your pumpkins, such as hay rides, so you can make it an all day affair. Some farms have free admission, while others charge nominal fees for entry and access to all activities. Once you have the pumpkins, use your imagination to create characters and get messy! Save your seeds when you carve—you can salt them and roast them later for a tasty treat!
Visit a Corn Maze
Many farmers set up corn mazes for the community during the fall, and a lot of them don’t charge admission. You can go through all together or split up into teams to see who gets through faster and “wins.” Most are open until later in the evening, so you usually can go after dark with flashlights if your kids can handle a little scarier, Halloweenish atmosphere
Create a Leaf Collage
Help your youngsters find leaves that are just the right shape, size and color to suit their fancy. You can put the leaves in small shoe box or bag as you go along. Don’t worry about finding creepy crawly critters like beetles and worms in the leaves—that’s part of the fun!—but do be mindful of ticks. Once you’ve got your collection, take it home, whip out the paper, glue, sparkle, and other craft items, and attach them to construction paper. To preserve your collage better, frame it in an inexpensive frame from a dollar store.
Make a Centerpiece
Go outside with the kids and gather leaves, pinecones and other materials like pretty rocks. Arrange these together with a small pumpkin or gourd on their own or with a bowl. You can use a little glue to hold them in place, and a little glitter or paint can spruce them up.
Make Pinecone Spiders
Have your child find some good sized pinecones. Glue on a few pieces of pipe cleaner for legs and a few googly eyes. Attach a long string or yarn to the top of your “spiders” and hang them around your yard or house. You can paint them if you want, but you don’t have to. If you want a bonus, make a web from cotton stuffing, string, or felt.
Fall is prime time for apple orchards. Grab a bag from your local grower—many let you pick your own, just like pumpkin farms let you grab the pumpkins you want. Clean up the apples and make cobblers, fritters, bread, pies, and more. Older kids might even be able to do something like apple pork chops. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the fall all while teaching your kids about kitchen chemistry and safety.