Fall is my favorite time of year, hands down. The weather is pleasant, the colors are turning, thoughts of fall gardening, berry picking and hiking come to mind. My kids love to be outdoors and they love a project to keep them busy. Here are some fall gardening and outdoor activities to have fun with your kids.
· 1. Create a wildlife habitat or garden—show kids that it’s ok to get their hands a little dirty by planting vegetables and herbs they can eat or flowers and native plants to attract wildlife. You can even do this in a few large pots if you don’t want to dig up your yard.
· 2. Learn survival skills—show kids how to use a compass and a map. Then send them on a scavenger hunt that requires them to use their new skills. If you have older children, teach them about animal tracking and head to the woods to see if they can find and identify tracks.
· 3. Pick berries—take the kids to a pick-your-own berry patch early in the day before it gets hot. When you get home with your bounty, you can make jam, scones or muffins. Then celebrate your hard work with a tea party that includes what you and the kids made. You can either do this all in one day or spread the activities out over a week.
· 4. Take a hike—an easy activity in your own yard, which makes it easy for younger children, is a bug hike. Use a magnifying glass, jars and paper to examine, collect or record the bugs you see. You can also take a wild edible hike, sampling the things in fields, forests or your backyard that can be eaten. Another option is a creek hike; many state parks have waterways that are accessible to the public. Hike upstream through a shallow creek, turning over rocks and discovering what lives under and around them.
· 5. Camp out—show your kids how to pitch a tent, either in your backyard or at a campground. Teach them how to build a fire and bring along food that you can cook over an open flame. When it gets dark, look up at the stars and try to identify constellation.
For more great tips and my resource on this article, here’s the link to the Kiplinger article in full.