During the summer, it’s easy to get the kids outside. As soon as that fall air rolls in, though — and brings with it cold temps and rainy days — it can seem much harder to do so.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this colorful season with your children, both inside and out. If you need fresh air but don’t know how to get it, read on. We have five ideas for getting your brood outdoors this autumn and beyond.
1. Color Walks
As we know, fall has plenty of colorful foliage to stare at for hours on end. So, grab your kids and take them outside to check out the leaves and all the other eye-catching plants that grow during this time. Don’t just call it a nature walk — consider this stroll to be a color walk. Choose a particular hue, or let your child choose the shade they like best. Then, as you walk around, have them point out everything they find that’s that color. If you have a digital camera and trust your little one enough to use it, then they can take pictures of everything they see for even more color-walk fun.
2. Leaf Jumping
This one’s a classic, but it’s so much fun that it’s worth mentioning. Have your kids help you gather up the leaves in your yard. Not only will they burn off some energy doing so, but they’ll also help get the job done quicker. Having a few helpers will make the task simpler on you.
Once they’ve built a giant pile of foliage, let them go wild. Jumping in and out of the leaves just never gets old — join them for a few leaps and see. You can mix things up by fashioning your leaf pile into another interesting activity. For instance, some have built a leaf slide. They place their foliage mound at the base of a slide and zoom into it. You can also use your leaves to outline a small backyard maze. Regardless of how you play with the leaves, one thing’s for sure — your kids will love it, and they’ll never forget it.
3. Playground Games
When you play outside in summer, it’s often too hot to do anything but splash in the pool or run through the sprinkler. In the cool fall air, though, you can have your kids play and run in the yard. So, take advantage of the cooler temps and set up a group game. You might want to rely on some of your playground favorites. Something as simple as tag, kickball or red rover can do the trick.
There are so many benefits to organizing a playground-style game for your kids. Little ones who spend all their time indoors may be more susceptible to obesity, which remains an epidemic across the country. On the other hand, if they play outside, your kids will develop healthy behaviors that push them to exercise throughout their lives. Plus, such playground games give them the chance to build teamwork and social skills.
4. Orchard Visits
Fall brings us gorgeous foliage, but it also brings a slew of new fruits and veggies to be harvested. In some cases, farmers will open up their fields for the public to pick their own produce to bring home and enjoy.
For instance, a local orchard might allow people to come in and pick apples directly from their trees. You might hop onto the back of a tractor or pickup truck to visit a pumpkin patch. There, you and your kiddos can select the perfect gourd for your front stoop. All the while, your kids can run around and explore the farmland around them. At the same time, you’ll all be taking in some much needed fresh fall air.
5. Scavenger Hunts
What bits of nature can you find in your backyard or at the local park? Let your kids answer that question. Start by drawing up a list of common fall finds, such as pinecones, acorns and leaves — one in each color. See how many items your kids can knock off the roster.
If you don’t have enough variety in natural elements, then combine your scavenger hunt with a walk through the neighborhood. Make sure to add other autumn finds to your list. Some fall scavenger hunt lists for kids will include pumpkins, scarecrows, bales of hay and other decor. They may not come from nature, but your kids will have a blast scoping out their neighbors’ homes in search of the must-sees on their scavenger hunt list.
Fall in Love With the Outdoors
It’s cooler outside, and you might not be able to get out there every day. However, the above five activities will make your outdoor pursuits even more fun for both you and your kids. In fact, such memorable moments will remain with you for years to come — and we bet your kids will beg to do the same activities every year. You and your family will fall in love with the season and the time you spend outside together.