Family LIfe

Fall Fun 4 Kids!
by Colleen Langenfeld, Copyright (c) 2004

Looking to make some sweet Fall memories with your little ones? Here are some great ideas to get your family laughing, smiling and enjoying each other's company during these crisp Autumn days.

Hit the trail.
Kids love to be outside. The out-of-doors is a huge playground and children are naturally attracted to it. Exploring some of the hiking trails in and around your community is a great way to spend time together. While you're walking . . .

  • Collect leaves. Take them home and arrange them on a piece of poster board measuring approximately 17 inches by 12 inches. Smooth a piece of clear contact paper over the poster board on both sides, laminating the board and leaves. Now you have a special placemat to use for the remainder of the season.

  • Contact your local library to ask where you can find a guidebook on local flora and fauna. Take it on your hike and try to identify as many different trees, plants, and critters as possible.

  • Go sliding. Sure, you take your kids to the park. But do you go down the slide with them? Do you swing alongside them? Don't hurt yourself, of course, but joining in the fun will make your outing that much more enjoyable for both of you.

  • Plant a tree. Go to The National Arbor Day Foundation and learn the ins and outs of tree planting, plus you can even get free trees when you join the foundation. Children love planting and caring for living things and a tree is something that will grow with them throughout the years.

  • A little history. Go to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and see where the Rails to Trails pathway is in your state (US only).

Stuck indoors?
Even if the weather turns too cold for outdoor activities, there's still plenty of fun to be had.
  • Get several Autumn-themed books from your local library. Check to see if you can locate your books online at your library's website and have them brought to your local branch for easy pickup. Many large libraries now offer this convenience.

  • Stencil a pumpkin. For little ones, drawing on pumpkins, gourds, and even apples is more fun than actually carving the fruit itself. Or use simple shapes to sponge paint directly onto the pumpkin. A little messy, but tons of fun!

  • Need more? Click here to find more great resources to enjoy with your child. Ideas for parties, gardening with kids, easy crafts, yummy treats, all with an Autumn flavor. Even family tradition suggestions to get you thinking about the special things you can do in your own family.

Before long the snow will be flying in earnest and Fall will be but a memory. Make it a great one this year, one for your kids to remember with joy!

Colleen Langenfeld offers helpful ideas to busy working moms. Use the resources at to make your life as a mom feel easier, healthier, and better!

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