When we as parents wonder how to encourage thankfulness in our children one of the easiest ways is simply to be involved with their lives and demonstrate our thankfulness for their joy. Now that fall is here and the leaves are starting to change there are a multitude of activities for families to jump into that will bring everyone together. Some of these activities are for the outdoors and for the days when the weather just doesn’t want to agree there are few indoor activities to go along with it.
Fall Is Here
A couple of my favorite family fall activities are outdoors. Hiking and apple picking. For some reason people seem to forget that most areas of the country are lined with back woods trails. Just Google hiking trails in your area and you should be pleasantly surprised at the variety you have to choose from. Fall is the perfect time for a hike; cool weather and turning leaves make for a most enjoyable family time. Just make sure you choose an appropriate trail for your family or you might end up carrying the little ones most of the way.
You know fall is here when it’s time to go apple picking. While this may not be available everywhere, there are many areas of the country that do have apple trees. Get the family together and go grab some apples. This is similar to a hike in that the fall is the best time to go. Otherwise your selection of apples is basically limited to looking at the trees. Pick one of those weekend days when the weather is perfect and make sure you pick up some cider on your way out. Not much can top fresh apple cider; warm or cold.
The next step would be for one of those drizzly fall days. Take some of those apple you guys picked and turn them into a delicious apple pie or two. This can be fun to do while Mom is out for a little while so you can surprise her when she gets home. My only piece of sage wisdom on this matter is make sure you have some good vanilla ice cream to go along with the pie. That smell of apple pie will tell the whole house “fall is here”!
A couple more creative ideas for fall revolve around Halloween. I know kids want to go buy the costume for their favorite cartoon character or dress up like a fairy princess, but homemade costumes can be much more creative and tons more fun. Looking around I’ve found ideas for dressing your kids up like shadows, smartphones, and even sushi rolls. Searching for costumes is a sure sign that fall is here. The options are endless and even if you’re like me and not the most creative person in the world there are tons of ideas online.
On this note pumpkin carving has always been a family tradition. We generally let the kids each draw a face and carve it out together. Last year we bought some .99 cent stencils at the dollar store and used them to create some pretty impressive pumpkins. This year I think we are going to try out the pumpkin drilling technique. Fall is great. The weather can be amazing for outdoor fall activities and force the family to try out some indoor activities all in the same week. Fall is here, use the time to try out some new things that bring the family together and realize the little things that we all have to be thankful for.