With all the tablet, smartphone, and laptop screens that are trying to take over our children's lives, it can be difficult to get them interested in the outdoors. This is especially true in Autumn when the weather starts to cool off and the daylight starts to lessen. Autumn, however, is one of the best times of the year to get out and explore.
While it may seem easy to stay indoors and hibernate until spring returns, staying active—both physically and mentally—can be just as easy. Getting kids outside and interested in their surroundings is paramount to a fun-filled childhood. And just a few minutes of planning can go a long way towards creating lifelong memories. As the Fall weather gets a bit chillier, grab a coat and a scarf and take your kids on an outdoor adventure!
Scavenger hunts are a simple activity that you and your child can enjoy together. Walk through your local park as you locate specific birds or discover different trees that you may have never known existed in your area. Search for the prettiest rock and discover its mineral makeup together. Gather a leaf of every variety. There are plenty of possibilities.
Geocaching is an activity on the rise. Hiking is a great outdoor activity to do in cooler weather because it gets your blood pumping. Following directions to specific coordinates will teach your children about maps and how to navigate with them, even in your own neighborhood. While it is common to bring a trinket to exchange when you find your cache, discovering the hidden goodies can be just as fun.
Bonfires and Star Gazing
Here is an opportunity for your kids to put their smart devices to good use; there are plenty of apps that will help you map your way through the stars. Sky Map is an open source application for your smartphone that uses your location settings to determine the current position of the constellations that are viewable in your location. Look up the origins of the constellations and tell their stories around the fire. Bonfires might be fun in the summer, but the warming effects of a bonfire coupled with a mug of hot chocolate on a crisp Fall night are downright magical.
Visit A Pumpkin Patch or Apple Orchard
With Halloween around the corner, walk through a pumpkin patch together in search of the perfect pumpkin to bring home for carving. After the Jack-O-Lanterns adorn the front steps, find your favorite recipe and bake a fresh pie or pumpkin seeds for a healthy snack.
Apple Orchards, Likewise, are just as fun. You’ll have even more delicious ingredients to make Fall snacks, and you can spend an afternoon in a beautiful orchard finding them and picking them with your kids. Take the opportunity to learn about the different species of apples that grow in your area and how their flavors differ.
Remember, while cozy blankets are good for sitting on the couch and watching movies, they are just as useful when your venture into the great outdoors. Get out and about and explore the great outdoors this Fall.