As the nights grow darker faster, the temperatures drop a little more each day and the leaves turn golden all around, the sure signs of fall are almost impossible to miss. As you gear up for a new season and prepare for the winter ahead, now is the perfect time to take advantage of long afternoons with some activities for the kids that are both fun and green inspired. If you could use a few more ideas for filling in these lovely fall days, maybe one of the following will catch your eye!
Create Homemade Door Draft Stoppers!
This project is so much fun and so beneficial for your house too! Conserving energy means taking advantage of every opportunity (Lesson #1), no matter how small, to seal in all the precious heat and keep all the drafts out. You’ll save on your energy bill (and dollars too!) by ensuring that all your doorways are securely blocking out cold air with a door draft stopper. All you’ll need is some extra long tube socks, a thick filler like sand or rice and all of your crafty stuff like googly eyes, beads, felt scraps, buttons, etc. The limit is the imagination, so let your kids go wild.
Arts & Crafts with Leaves!
Get the whole family out in the yard for some fun raking up the leaves for the compost bin (#2) and then have them save some of their favorite leaf finds. You can frame them for artwork, use them as stencils, or even use a pencil to press on top of them and transfer the leaf vein patters for very cool art. Arrange leaves in fun patterns on thick cardstock and then laminate for instant fall placemats! Use with clear crafting glue to make a collage or place on a small cardboard box and decoupage. Cut cardstock in half and glue leaves on for quick, homemade cards that are perfect for sending to grandma and grandpa!
Make Homemade Jam!
Buying the last of the local seasonal fruit now and making jam out of it is one of the best ways to teach a lesson (#3) about buying locally and seasonally and making it last throughout the winter. Rather than buying raspberries shipped from far, far away in December when you’re all craving something sweet, you can pull out some of your frozen homemade jam! In the meantime, your kids will get a kick out of squishing the berries and stirring in the sugar. And, of course, you’ll likely really encourage jam making if you serve fresh biscuits and jam for dinner!
Go Crazy with Pumpkins!
Pumpkins have many lessons to teach and are good for so much more than just carving! That’s not to say you shouldn’t carve by any means, but after you’re done, consider giving your pumpkin another use! (#4: recycling and upcycling!) Take the insides of the pumpkin, the “guts” and make yummy foods like pumpkin smoothies or pumpkin breads, muffins, pancakes, cookies, etc. Take the seeds and roast them for afternoon treats (they can be sweet or salty or even plain to meet your all tastes). You can also dry the pumpkin seeds and use them for fun counting games, or poke holes in the center and paint them to create strings of beaded necklaces and bracelets. A hollowed out pumpkin also makes an excellent pot to plant flowers in. And when you’re all done, you can put whatever is left of the pumpkin in your composting pile or feed it to the birds (zoologist approved).
About the Author
Freelancer Jocelyn loves to help inspire families to go greener in any ways that she can. When not writing foodie or craft pieces, you’ll find her writing about energy efficient air heaters for fall & winter use.
Image Credit: April Farnum via Flickr