5 Ways to Celebrate Fall
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Every season is someone’s favorite, and though this one is always a harbinger of winter cold, it’s a frequent favorite, always in the top four.
Pumpkin spice season, football season, soup season. Thanksgiving in multiple countries, Halloween and Día De Los Muertos, Samhain, autumnal equinox, harvest. It’s a time of change. As with so many things, it’s always more joyful through the eyes of a child!
We put together five ideas for celebrating this season together. Enjoy!
1) Apple picking. Whether you’re picking from a farm, your own backyard, or from the produce section of your local grocery chain, pick up some apples! They’re particularly beautiful and delicious this time of year. “New crop” and “first of the season” mean they’re fresh, and there’s really nothing like a good apple — the crunch mimics the crunching leaves, the bite is reminiscent of the bite of a cold wind, the sweet reminds us of the sweetness of family. Which is your favorite? Cut in half across the core to find a star. Caramel apples, apple pie, apple sauce, fresh, whole, or sliced, you really can’t go wrong!
An older child might enjoy looking into new apple varieties, seeing which were blended to make this new style and doing a taste test. Some apples are great for pie, while others make excellent snacking apples, and still others are best for apple butter. Apples can be characterized by crispness, sweetness, and tartness, among other qualities. Explore together!
2) Watch for changing leaves. Whether we live somewhere with dramatic tree foliage or not, flora indicates a change of season. Maybe it’s a tree in crimson splendor, or maybe it’s the brown of grass too long without water. Are flowers dying back, or are porches ablaze with potted mums? A walk around the neighborhood or a local park can be a visual timeline of the season’s progress.
Older children might be more analytical. Compare tree varieties — some turn to gold, while others are a bright red, still others have a fiery rainbow! Which is your favorite? Is it a native species, or one someone brought here because it’s native to their home? Books from the library, or even an app if your family is integrating technology, can be helpful in identifying species.
3) Look for migrating animals. Animals are another part of our natural world that indicates change is afoot. Have rabbits disappeared from your neighborhood? Has it been awhile since you’ve seen any babies? Are the squirrels in the park looking fatter these days?
Many birds migrate for the coming winter. Pull out a compass with your older child and track their path. Are they going north or south? Count them, if you can. Look for stories about the “v” formation geese take when migrating — fascinating!
4) Cook and bake together. For many of us, fall is the start of baking. The last of summer’s zucchini becomes bread, as does the first of the fall pumpkins. Speaking of pumpkins, did you know there are different kinds of pumpkins? Sugar pumpkins are the type used for bread and pies, and can often be found at a grocery store or farmers’ market. Find a recipe in your favorite cookbook or search online and make a pie or bread together absolutely from scratch. Does it taste different?
Soup is a fall-staple that’s very forgiving. If you have an older child who’s showing interest in cooking, soup is a great place to start. Knife skills and safety around the stove are very important basic skills, but every chef starts there! It’s a wonderful way to help children develop their palate and broaden food choices.
5) Include your child in your favorite pastime. What is it that you love about this season. Tailgating with college friends and cheering at games? Lighting candles and maybe a crackling fire with a good book? Refreshing your tea selection? If you love it, chances are children will, too! How can you include your child in your favorite activities this season? It’s a wonderful time to pass on traditions and create new memories.
Written by:Charlotte Snyder