Happy Fall Y’all! October is almost over. It is now Halloween week! We live in Florida, and after living here nearly 5 years, I haven’t adjusted to 85 degree days. There’s just something about wool socks and hoodies. Although we live in a tropical climate, seasonal rhythms are still part of our family structure, and we work to establish seasonal awareness.
I enjoy making seasonal traditions with our kids, and sometimes I *need* it to feel like fall. There’s just something about crisp leaves and breezy weather.. it’s the transition. The transition to shorter days, cooler weather, and the holiday season. Today, I am going to share some of our favorite at-home fall activities.
Seasonal Environmental Awareness and Craft Projects
Spending time in, and with nature is one of our top priorities. I feel like our days don’t go as well if we don’t fit in fresh air and sunshine. A change in scenery always does us good.
When we spend time in nature, with the seasons, we like to take note of the change. Are there more pinecones than usual? Are mushrooms growing? Can we find acorns, are their tops attached or detached? With the ocean we take enjoy emptier beaches (yay!), notice the change in tides, temperatures, and breeze.
On many of our autumn walks, the little kids carry small thrifted baskets and collect things. Recently we collected mushrooms. We took them home, identified them, and researched them. Yesterday, we collected acorns that we will craft into a garland for November.
Bird watching is another one of our favorite activities. We feed birds in our backyard, and see what kind we can attract. We also love to bird watch on our walks. Ezra keeps a bird journal. He carries a sketch book and with help he can draw the birds (and I write down characteristics) and then later identify them. With the journal we can take note of how the bird species change with the seasons.
Also, leaf collecting is something my kids love. They collect leaves of different sizes and shapes, bring them home and do leaf rubbings. We also like to set up a little nature area in our home so we bring a bit of the vibe indoors.
Seasonal Reading Rhythms
I am going to list and link some of our favorite autumn books. I change out a basket of books for each season and these have been in rotation for years now. They are something I’ll likely hang on to and treasure because we love them so much!
- Woody, Hazel and Little Pip by Elsa Beskow. I just LOOOVEEE Elsa Beskow books. The illustrations are beautiful and leave so much room for improv in storytelling!
- Moonlight the Halloween Cat by Cynthia Rylant. I also love Cynthia Rylant. She is a native West Virginian (my home state), and I have read her writing since my childhood and love to share the stories with my children.
- Apples by Gail Gibbons
- Autumn by Gerda Muller
- Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
- Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
- My First Root Children and The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers. Again, a lovely book for the illustrations. The board book version has been well loved by my children, it has the same great illustrations with an easier language.
- Johnny Appleseed by Reeve Lindberg
Autumnal Flavors and Aromas
Lastly, we have been enjoying autumnal flavors in the kitchen. Each week, I have been trying something new so they can taste the flavors that are traditional to fall.
Our favorites so far have been:
- Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal Cups
- Applesauce from Honeycrisp apples. Just apples, water and cinnamon simmered until soft and mashed.
- Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad— this one was best for the adult palates in the house, but the little kids love roasted beets, so I just leave some undressed ones for them.
- Paleo Pumpkin Bread this is a simple grain/refined sugar free version.
- Herbal teas. The kids LOVE having tea parties. I’ve been choosing chai spiced versions of herbal teas (caffeine free) and it is a fun, festive way to keep the kids occupied for 20 min!
We have also been diffusing yummy warming, autumnal essential oils in our diffuser. I have been gravitating toward cinnamon bark, clove, cardamom, ginger, and tree oils like Northern Lights Black Spruce, and cedarwood.
These oils are wonderful for the aroma, but also have wonderful immune supporting and air cleansing properties, so a wonderful bonus.
I hope you are enjoying your fall! What are some of your autumn favorites?