With the passing of the equinox, it is officially this writer’s favorite season: Fall!
Autumnal excitement is hardly unique nowadays seeing IG feeds filled with pictures of pumpkin patches, lattes, apples, fallen leaves, and the like. But despite the elements that might feel overdone, Fall presents some unique opportunities for learning and family bonding. Here are some suggestions of a few ways to make the most of the best and shortest season.
I know, this one probably doesn’t feel new or revolutionary, and if you’re not a particularly good baker it might feel like a mockery. But, no, you don’t have to try to emulate your favorite social media baker. You don’t even truly have to bake! Preparing pancakes, waffles, or mugcakes can help foster the same skills. Baking is all math and science. Want to help your kids get a jump on fractions? Bake with them. Want to explore the difference between weight and volume? Bake. What about basic chemical reactions? That’s right, baking. You can bring in some extra learning by doubling recipes or cutting them in half and having your kids do the math with you. Having the tangible tools for all the measurements will make some of these challenging concepts concrete very early on!
Explore a Farmer’s Market
Many Farmer’s Markets have a particularly good bounty in Autumn! So many things are growing and available that aren’t just delicious, but look exciting too. Kids are notorious for being picky. Browsing the produce at your local farmer’s market and letting your child select a new vegetable or fruit to try could help spark their interest in a new food. (Bonus points if they get to a farm and actually pick it themselves!) Yes, this might require a little extra work to figure out how to prepare this strange new vegetable (what is Kohlrabi anyway?) but online blogs will help you find a recipe to make anything delectable! Of course, beware of food allergies. If your little one is allergic to something ChildWatch can help you keep in touch with their teachers to make sure everyone is in the loop!
Enjoy Family Fitness
This could take so many forms! Long walks might feel much more manageable now that things have cooled off. Are you a family that likes to run? In the cooler weather there are a plethora of kid friendly races for you to do together. Maybe you’re more into flag football? Well it’s the perfect season for that too! With the respite from the heat before things get too cold it’s the perfect time to enjoy those outdoor activities.
Observe the Environment
Whether you live in a place that exhibits “Peak Fall” or not, the environment changes a lot this time of year in most climates. Exploring your environment could look like jumping in piles of leaves, or it could be something specific to your local area. Go out there and observe what’s different from summer: the plants, the trees, the sunlight, the clouds. How does the air smell? Does the ground feel different? In some areas it will be a perfect time to plant things to bloom in the spring. Fostering this curiosity about the environment early will help your child take care of the planet as they grow.
There are so many more ways to enjoy this season as well! Get out and make the most of the dwindling daylight!