Fall’s crisp air and crunchy leaves are the perfect backdrop for spending a fun day outside. Need some inspiration to get your kids off the couch and out the door? Here are five nature-filled activities to try, from Cindy Olsen, a mom of two and a naturalist with the Sheldrake Environmental Center in Larchmont, New York.
Search for twigs shaped like letters. Spell out short words with your little ones, or leave fun messages for the next passersby.
Have a scavenger hunt. Make a list of unique things to find outside, like colorful rocks or feathers. Whoever collects the most, wins!
Think like a bear. Pretend to be animals getting ready to hibernate for the winter. Who can find the best spot to hide?
Go on a “freeze hike.” Choose one person to be the leader—when she calls out “hike” everyone walks and when she yells “freeze” everyone stops in place. While frozen, have kids describe what’s around them.
Look under a log. See what’s living beneath it and have kids describe what they see. “What do the creatures eat? Why do they like it under the logs? Observe how different logs have different creatures underneath and think about why that might be,” says Olsen. Be sure to leave everything how you found it though!
How do you and your family celebrate the fall season?