Fall’s leaves are a perfect reason to work together as a family and have some fun doing it as well.
As we continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy, here’s hoping there are moments in your family’s life to be able to enjoy the bounty of colorful leaves on the ground. It’s the perfect weekend to use yard-clean up as a family activity as well as a craft project! Also, let’s get ready for turning those clocks back on Sunday.
Leaves, leaves, leaves
A great way to get the kids outside and clean up the yard is the promise of getting to jump into mounds of leaves. Make a game of gathering leaves and sticks into piles. Before the final raking is done, allow the kids to romp and toss leaves for fun. I find the promise of cocoa or cuddling up with a good book inside after leaf raking helps focus and rally kids for the final cleanup. If kids seem to be spreading more leaves than making piles have them decorate the leaf bags with crayons while you finish raking.
Make a fall collage
Leaves come in many shapes and sizes and when arranged in certain positions may resemble animals or people. Look at the shapes of dry flat leaves (see how-to flatten here) and imagine how their shapes can be arranged to form different animals or people. Use the leaves as is or cut to size. Affix on paper or stiff board with a glue stick. Martha Stewart turned her leaf animals into Alphabet cards. Local artist Beth Curtin combined leaves, acorns and other found nature items with children recently at Brown Street Park to make three-dimensional fall collages. Kids love to collect and create. Parents just need to provide the glue.
Celebrate the end of Daylight Savings Time
Moving the clocks back feels like we lose an hour of our day meaning less time at the playground or riding bicycles. Instead of mourning this time of year I try to think of how to celebrate the change of seasons. For Sunday dinner, I plan to have our favorite comfort food like soup or tacos, light candles and tell stories to welcome in the darkness. To get ready for the cozy, dark afternoons that lie ahead, this is a good weekend to do some hunkering down and nesting. Spending a little time setting up a rainy day cupboard, setting up a reading nook or giving a hideous area in the home a makeover will better prepare us for the homebound, dark afternoons of fall and winter.
Read more on GoLocalProv. Every week I share tips on how families can make the most of their family time — including helpful hints that make parenting easier and connecting you to great local happenings.