By Erica Loop
Fall is the perfect time to explore the outdoors with your little one. With vibrantly-colored leaves and a cool chill in the air, an autumn backdrop provides plentiful opportunities for an outside adventure. If you are looking for a fun afternoon outing or even an awesome autumn field trip idea, try one of these seasonal options.
Take a paper bag along to collect fallen leaves, pinecones, acorns and other natural objects. Extend the learning when you get home and create a collage using the items in the bag, a cardboard base and school glue.
Many local communities or farms hold family friendly fall festivals. These outdoor extravaganzas can keep kids busy with an array of activities such as:
- Corn mazes
- Pumpkin picking
- Bobbing for apples
- Petting zoos and pony rides
Additionally, many of these events feature seasonal treats such as caramel apples, apple turnovers, apple cider, pumpkin pie or pumpkin cookies along with typical festival fare such as funnel cakes and more.
Although a visit to the pumpkin patch may be included in many fall festivals, this can also be a stand-alone activity. Choose a nearby farm that features do-it-yourself picking activities and spend the day searching for the perfect pumpkin.
Instead of going for the first one that you see, take your time and encourage your child to walk through the patch looking for different types of pumpkins. Turn this into a game and ask your child to look for specific shapes and sizes of pumpkins. Give her a list of differently shaped pumpkins to find such as small circle, long oval or sideways oval. While you don’t have to pick and buy each shape, looking for the pumpkins can be a simple learning game.
After your child chooses her favorite pumpkin, or two, take it home to carve or color. Older kids can participate in the carving process by drawing a jack o’ lantern face and scooping out the seeds. Younger children such as preschoolers and toddlers can create their own imaginative pumpkin designs using paints or markers directly on the pumpkins.
From a walk through the woods to a day of pumpkin patch play, fall outdoor activities can entertain and educate your child. Make the most of this pre-winter weather and get outside for an active autumn afternoon.
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