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Family-Friendly Fall Fun!

As a fantastic fan of fall, I’m here in the hopes of motivating your family to keep active and outdoors now that the temperature outside has started to plummet.

Fall activities that involve leaves:

1. Dive in (literally) and play with leaves.
This isn’t exactly an original idea, I get it. But I feel like the wondrous activity of jumping into a giant, freshly-raked pile of leaves and throwing them all about has faded into the category of ‘warm pastime memories we did as children.’ Revive this activity with your family! It’s worth it. And do it again, and again… and again. Take photos of it, throw the (unwilling) dog into it, and make sure every family member takes a turn!

2. Arts and crafts using real (fallen) pieces of nature. My family did this activity last year, and it was a big hit! First, we tried to brainstorm and get an idea of what we wanted to create. My son kept it classic, and decided he wanted to make a tree out of… tree parts (yes, he’s very original). Next, we hit a trail that had ample fallen tree bits. We tried to collect a range of leaves, sticks, pinecones, and rocks, then we set up a little art studio in our backyard. Now it’s time to bring this idea to life! Get out the glue, paint, and let your kids get to work! (I still have last year’s tree-art hanging on my fridge because I was so impressed with my son’s creation.)

3. Create a fun, leaf-inspired scavenger hunt, then turn those beauties into art! I love this one! If you’re patient and persistent, you can find almost every color of the rainbow in leaf-form. I challenge you to set out and accomplish this task! It’s well worth the hunt. Once you’ve made your rainbow (and taken photos of it), use the leaves you’ve collected and create leaf animals using paint, google-y eyes, and anything you’d like. Just be mindful while collecting and don’t pull leaves from branches! There is more than enough roaming around on the ground. 

Fall activities that involve the sun (rise and set):

1. Chase sunrise and go for a nature walk - shoeless.
At Kids Who Explore, we have been talking a lot about ‘grounding,’ and this activity is perfect for fall! Head out at sunrise (which luckily isn’t an ungodly hour in fall), take your shoes and socks off, and practice being present with your family as the sun rises. The feeling of the earth beneath your feet as the sun peeks through the trees will refresh you in ways four cups of coffee cannot (although, to be honest, I usually do both!). This activity is simple but difficult. The rush of fall can be overwhelming, so I challenge you to give it a shot. Couple this with another peaceful activity (such as family Yoga outdoors) to get the full benefits of your morning - or your week!

2. Try taking some creative photos at sunset. I’m a sunset chaser (just ask my son). I’ll get home from work in the fall, run into the house, grab him and my camera, and run outside to shoot the sunset. There’s something about the way the sun feels warmer and more golden in the fall that makes me fall in love with it! I’ve gotten creative over the years and like to play with the light of the sunset. You don’t need a fancy camera, either. Head out to a spot with a variety of objects (such as a park or playground with trees) and snap photos from different angles. Create fun shadows with your fingers, your body, the trees, or the park swing. The possibilities are endless! If you’re like me, you’ll end up with hundreds of sunset photos of the same chair.

Other fall activities outdoors?

There are a few other obvious activities that my family does to stay motivated outdoors in the fall. Every year, for example, we hit the corn maze. We’re also big Halloween fans, so that’s an exciting activity for my family in the fall (decorating can take a loooong time). Last, but definitely not least, is setting up a backyard ‘drive-in movie’ styled movie night. We roll out our sleeping bags, set up some Christmas lights (why not, it’s coming soon anyways), and cozy up with a movie on the tablet. Add some popcorn and it’s a great way to enjoy a crisp fall evening together outdoors!

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean the fun stops! I’m pretty sure I have that written a few times in a few places. Enjoy the short, ever-changing season that is fall. At the very least, drink those Chai Tea Lattes everyone seems to love (I don’t fancy them), bust out the winter boots and high socks a few months early (I do fancy this!), and give at least one of these activities a try.

Happy fall!

Carrie is the Marketing Manager for Kids Who Explore, a Social Enterprise founded in Calgary. Kids Who Explore aims to create a global community of families that are confident in the outdoors, foster positive energy in nature, and promote diversity and inclusion on the trail. Connect at or on Instagram.






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