As the leaves change colour, it can be a great time for families to head outdoors for some unique, naturey fun. From searching for leaves to innovative craft projects, here are a few activities kids [and their parents] will love.
Plant a tree
Most people assume spring is the only time a tree can be planted; not so says SheKnows.com! In fact, fall is a great time to get a seedling started. So head to your local garden store and chat to one of their planting experts. Based on the amount of shade in your yard and the type of soil you have [does it resemble clay in texture or is it more loose looking?], he or she will be able to recommend a plant that’s right for you. From there, grab the seedling and help your kids dig a small hole in your garden.
Once that’s done, add some water to the hole and drop the seedling in. For some extra protection through fall’s frosty months, add some extra soil and, perhaps, some bark chips. Once it starts snowing, you can bring the kids back outside to cover the plant in tarp.
Hunt for leaves
One of the best parts about autumn is the changing colour of the leaves and the way they fall from their trees. To get your kids involved in nature, suggest a family leaf hunt. All you have to do is head to your local park or forest. Have everyone walk around collecting their favourite coloured and shaped leaves.
Once home, grab some blank, white paper, some colourful paint and a few paintbrushes. The next step is messy [but fun!]. Have your kids paint each leaf a different colour [so the veins of each leaf are covered completely]. Once painted, have them place the leaf, painted side down, on the paper. Press hard for a few seconds then remove the leaf. You’ll end up with an incredible image — all thanks to Mother Nature. Continue as necessary or until the piece of paper is covered in leaf prints.
Rake the leaves
This game is a two-in-one for parents. As leaves start to fall and you start to rake them into piles, it’s inevitable that your little ones will want to jump into each cushy pile. So this year, make the task a game. Get your kids to pitch in on the raking.
See how high they make a leaf pile. From there, clear a path so they can have a running start at leaping into the pile they’ve created [just make sure there are no dangerous objects around them]. Once they’re done rolling around, ask them to rake the leaves into plastic bags for recycling.
Go digging for rocks
Head to your nearest park and have your children hunt for rocks they think are interesting or unique looking. Bring them home and wash them with soap and water. Ready yourself with some drop sheets, paint and brushes. Once the rocks are dry, have your kids paint the surface of each rock with unique prints.
Let their artistic creations dry over night. The next day, ask them to place the rocks throughout your garden; they’ll add much-needed life and colour to your yard.