Make Time For Family Activities
Posted: November 17, 2011
Fall is the perfect time to take the family on a nature walk. If you live where you can walk in the woods or fields, you can gather dried weeds, interesting pods, and pieces of bark. Even in the city you can find differently shaped leaves, acorns, and other nature items. Bring your treasures home and let your child set up an arrangement to enjoy. Take along baskets or bags to collect interesting things.
When you return home, take the leaves your child has collected and laminate them. All you need is wax paper, leaves, and an iron. Place the leaves between two sheets of wax paper. With the warm iron, iron the top wax paper to seal both sheets. Trim and hang the picture in a window.
Your children can help with a fall yard and garden cleanup too. Let them pull up dried out garden vegetables and flower plants. They can help save seeds from the flowers for next year’s garden. Marigold seeds are easy to remove and save in a bag for next year’s garden. Give children a shovel and they can help turn over the garden for next year. Don’t forget their help when you harvest fall vegetables like turnips, carrots, or cabbages. Your children will love to help rake leave and jump in them too.
Making jack o’lanterns for Halloween is a fun fall activity for children of all ages. Kids can help choose the pumpkin, design the face, and remove the pumpkin seeds and string. Once the jack o’lantern is made, they can assist in making roasted pumpkin seeds from the leftover seeds. To roast the seeds, wash them in a flat pan to remove the pumpkin membrane. Drain the seeds and spread them in a baking pan. Sprinkle salt over the seeds and add a few teaspoons of margarine or oil. Toast in a 300 degrees F. oven, stirring occasionally, to brown the seeds evenly. They are finished when brown and crisp.
Consider celebrating other fall holidays with your children. For example, for Columbus Day decorate a cake like a ship or make ship decorations for your home or dinner table. United Nations Day is October 24. Celebrate with an international meal. Make a Mexican meal with tacos, a Chinese meal with egg rolls, an Italian meal with pizza, or a United Nations meal with foods from all three! On Election Day take your children to the voting polls and educate them about our election process. Then serve a patriotic meal using red, white, and blue foods and decorations.
There are so many great activities you can do with your family during this time of year. By setting aside a special time for family, you’ll find that you’ll strengthen relationships and grow together as a family.
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Karen Thomas is a family and consumer sciences educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension of Lackawanna County.