Apart from Summer, Autumn is the next best Season in my opinion, to get out and about and get crafty with the children. With all the Seasonal events to look forward to, Halloween and Bonfire Night in particular, comes plenty of arts and crafts and imaginative play ideas.
It is the Season of change and there are so many naturally wonderful things happening all around us. So taking the opportunity to make the most of all the free or low cost activities you can do and getting messy and creative with the children is a fantastic idea.
Here are 5 activities I tend to do this time of year with my children –
1) Autumnal scavenger hunt, welly walk and picnic- There are very few things this time of year that beats wrapping up warm, pulling on your wellies and getting out in the countryside, park or woods with the children and just enjoying the fresh air. To make this much more fun I like to create scavenger hunts, this season being my favourite in particular because of the amount of fun things to see, find and do. I draw up a list for each of my 3 children, nothing too fancy, hand them a pencil, a simple carrier bag and off we go. I love the learning aspect of this activity as they are developing a good understanding of nature, different animals and textures. Asking me questions about the things they are searching for on their lists, creating discussions as we go and really building up their communication skills. There is also the sense of achievement they feel when they spot the ‘red berries’ or collect the ‘brown leaf’ to pop in their bag. This idea also encourages them to work together, helping each other along the way. I notice them sharing, maybe one child giving one of their ‘conkers’ to the other. Learning to complete the lists as a team and show kindness and thoughtfulness. To my children they are just running around getting muddy throwing some stuff in a bag, but in reality the amount of skills they are picking up along the way is actually astonishing. Along with the welly walk and scavenger hunt we will always finish of with a reward of foil wrapped, probably now rather squashed sandwiches, cakes and a bottle of juice. Weather dependant say under a tree or squished up in the car, either way the fact that we have enjoyed such a fun, free day out is always what counts.
2) Autumnal crafts- Leading on from our scavenger hunt another great activity is now making some use of all the fantastic things we have collected. We like to fill vases with the conkers, acorns, pine cones and bark, which really looks quite effective on window sills and side units around the house. Out comes the craft box which includes PVA glue, tubs of those delightful sparkly sprinkles that stick to my dining chairs and 200 millions wax crayons. Time to create a fun autumnal walk picture. Stocking up in good old Poundland and Home Bargains on pipe cleaners, glitter, craft paper and paints is such an affordable way to create yourself a box of tricks to pull out when you and the children are feeling crafty or you just need a Plan B because the heavens have opened again. We also love to create hanging decorations when Halloween comes around and spooky homemade masks. Fireworks pictures with paints and glitters around Bonfire Night as well to decorate the walls of the lounge and playroom.
3) Making bird feeders- I was inspired to make these again after a deep discussion with my Daughter on the way to school one morning recently. We were talking about how the leaves change colour, as we all do this time of year at least 26 times a day. The discussion quickly turned to how eventually everything falls of the trees, along with the berries and whatever else the birds nourish their tiny tums with. We suddenly felt like now we were aware of this, we were now responsible for feeding as many birds as we possibly can. Well in our garden at least, I am no crazy bird lady I would like to add. So after I dropped her off, I stopped off at my trusty local Poundland and purchased a generous bag of bird seed mix and then a packet of lard from Tesco for 39p. I was rather impressed by this point that I could save the birds for as little as £1.39 and amuse my children for at least 15 minutes on a rainy afternoon- bonus! All we do is soften the lard in a large bowl, mix in the seed, and spoon the mixture into cookie cutters which are placed on a baking tray. We then take one of our 200 million wax crayons and push through the mixture of each shape. Either pop in the fridge or pop to one side to set. When they are set and the crayon is removed a hole is left there ready to tie some ribbon through for hanging. They don’t look the most professional of bird feeders by any means, but my children love anything that involves messy hands and they are simple to do.
4). Baking cakes and cookies- Not that we ever need an excuse to get our bake on. As you will notice in time we are complete foodies in my house and anything themed gets extra points. Shortbread, chocolate chip cookies and oat crunch biscuits are the usuals. Along with chocolate flap jacks and cupcakes. There is something about this Season and baking that gives off such cosy feelings. Bake off is aired at this time of year, so this definitely makes me want to pull my whisk out more often than usual. Plus the candles I light around the home remind me of baked goods constantly. As we move towards the end of October our cupcakes become spider web designed, our shortbread gets a spooky twist and we make our own toffee apples.
5) Cosy family film night- Curtains drawn, snuggled up in a warm pair of jimmy’s, amongst every blanket we own. With a good supply of home popped popcorn and Haribo star mix we all settle down together and watch the classic Seasonal films such as Casper, Hocus Pocus and The Wizard of Oz. This is something we will usually do on a weekend to finish of a lovely day.
So there you have it. Nothing really ground breaking, just some simple things we like to do and they are all low or no cost. Sometimes by spending less you can often find you can be a bit more creative and at the end of the day it’s not the money spent but the memories saved.
Are any of these ideas already familiar to your household?
Do you have any other simple ideas on things you can do with the children this Autumn?
I’d love to add a few more to my list!
Thank you for taking the time to read through my post.