Outdoor Adventures You Can Do with Your Kids This Fall
Do you stress out over planning activities for your kids?
Between copious parenting blogs, oversharing on social media and the (usually) judgmental comments found on every online article, it’s easy to feel like your best isn’t good enough. One source makes you think you spend too much time playing with your kids, another makes you feel like you’re neglectful. One site makes you worry you’re too focused on education activities, another that you’re all fun and games and yet another that you’re not active enough.
It’s enough to give anyone a headache.
But there’s good news! Fall is here and it is simply filled with fun, easy family adventures that will get you moving, learning and making precious memories. Best of all, they don’t take hours of worry and preparation.
Scavenger hunting, that is. Crisp temperatures and beautiful foliage make autumn the perfect season for family hikes. Combining an invigorating hike with a scavenger hunt just adds another layer of fun.
Make your own unique scavenger hunt for the trail. Fill it with items that can kick start a fun conversation about the world around them:
- A squirrel burying acorns (how do different animals prepare for and survive winter?)
- Geese flying south (what is migration? Why do geese fly in a V?)
- A tree with yellow leaves
- A tree with red leaves
- A tree that’s still green (why do leaves change colors? Why do some trees, like spruces or pines, stay green?)
To make sure young kids can participate, use pictures for their list.
Play with the Best
Honestly, any local playground is the best provided it’s safe. Playgrounds are a wonderful way to encourage kids to learn, explore, test their limits and try new things. As a bonus, you’re less likely to melt in the heat or turn into one giant bug bite when you go during the fall.Getting outdoors for some fresh, crisp, fall air is wonderful! #fallfun @kacey_mya Click To Tweet
If you have multiple playground options in your area, look for the one with the most variety. Swings and monkey bars are great, but so are natural playground options like hills and trees. Try to find a playground that has a mix of natural and manmade play options.
PYOI (Pick Your Own Ingredients)
Pumpkin patches and apple-picking are perennial fall favorites for a reason.
Or, actually, several reasons:
- They get your family out, moving and enjoying the fresh air.
- They help give kids a better understanding of where their food (or jack-o-lanterns) comes from.
- You come home with tasty and/or decorative treats.
- They’re just plain fun!Once you’re home with your spoils, it’s time to:
- Carve or paint your pumpkins
- Toast pumpkin seeds
- Make applesauce
- Make pies, tarts or cakes
You can even make dried apple slices to use as either healthy treats or DIY Christmas ornaments.
Find Fairs and Festivals
Being an active part of your community is important, which is why attending local fairs and festivals is both a fun and a meaningful way to spend time with your kids.
Check local websites and papers for upcoming fairs, parades, harvest festivals, etc. Take the whole family and enjoy delicious food, amazing crafts, fun games, cute animals and fellowship with friends and neighbors.
Pick a clear night and gather around the campfire to keep toasty and warm while you stargaze.
If you’ve never stargazed before, don’t worry! There are plenty of resources that make it simple and fun. Start with Sky & Telescope’s “This Week’s Sky at a Glance” to give you a starting point. Then spend half an hour with your favorite search engine learning a little bit more about the constellations or planets you’ll see and the myths behind their names. Your kids will be amazed at your expertise.What better way to spend a fall evening than stargazing. #fallfun Click To Tweet
Don’t worry about answering their every question. Make a list of those you can’t answer and then head online or to your local library to find the answers together.
S’mores are classic campfire treats, but save room for some of the other delicious campfire creations available, like baked apples or banana boats. Or try this customizable treat: grab a can of Pillsbury (or your brand of choice) biscuits and wrap one around the end of your campfire stick. Bake it over the flames, then remove and fill the cavity with your filling of choice. You could try butter, honey, syrup (chocolate, maple), fruit preserves, whipped cream, chopped fruit or nuts. Go wild!
Life Size Fun (and Games)
There are plenty of fun outdoor games that are easy to DIY: hopscotch, foursquare, corn hole, ladder ball. Of course, sometimes half the fun is making something crazy and creative together.
You can make life size versions of almost anything you can think of, but you might prefer to get your feet wet with a classic. So round up some friends or neighbors and get a human chess game going!
Spray paint board lines in the grass and get your teams coordinated. Make it a simple yellow shirts vs blue shirts or go nuts and make it Pokemon vs superheroes. Just be sure to set a time limit for turns. You don’t want younger “game pieces” getting bored and wandering off!
Almost every fun activity can be a learning opportunity and vice versa. So stop stressing about picking the perfect activity and jump head first into family fun. Your kids will benefit simply from spending quality time with you!
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.