Leaves are falling off trees, cooler temperatures are arriving and families in many places are preparing for a busy next few months.

We are no exception, so I don’t want to put too much extra, unneeded stuff on my plate, but I do want to still be proactive in finding fun activities to do together and using the natural moments of the month to teach them.  Here are a few activities that fit that criteria and are simple, inexpensive and short, according to my basic plan for teaching kids:

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6 Simple Activities

Have a do-good day.

A few years ago, my youngest daughter and I made some bread to take to our neighbor, who was pregnant at the time.  I’m not sure how much help the bread was to my neighbor, but I know it did my daughter and I a world of good to spend some of what we are so blessed to have (time and resources) helping someone else.  That’s why I was excited when I came across this idea from Lauren at Kidsactivitiesblog.com to set aside one day a month when you, as a family, do service for others.  Teaching kids about gratitude by serving=genius and perfect.

Set the table.

Sometime, before we actually set the holiday table, I would like to give my kids a quick lesson on proper place setting using this idea from Parents.com or I might just teach them on their day to set the table, it’s just one of those basic rules of life that kids should know.

Add feathers to a turkey.

Using a printable, like one found here and some craft feathers, I’ll put my toddlers or preschoolers to work adding feathers to a turkey.  While they are doing this, we will talk about colors and they can practice their gluing skills.

Make pumpkin pie playdough.

Making your own playdough seems kind of scary, but really, it’s not too bad.  You will want to soak your pan as soon as you can, but the ingredients can be easily picked up, if you don’t already have them and it just takes a few minutes.  The trade-off is literally, hours of fun.  This month, we are making pumpkin pie playdough from a recipe we got from Jenny at the Jennyevolution.com.  If you really want to be a rockstar, get your kids some of these cute mini pumpkin pie plates and revel in how amazing you are.

Go on a leaf hunt.

Set out with your favorite bucket or paper bag and look for interesting leaves.  If your kids are older, they can make a chart to identify the different leaves they find or make a rubbing.  If they’re younger (older than 18 months generally) they can glue them to a paper or just play with them.  You can talk about different colors or textures if you can find pinecones as well or just enjoy being together.

Play Football.

Maybe many families naturally do this, but since we aren’t really into sports over here, I’m putting this down as something to try this month.  Learning to catch a ball is an important gross motor skill kids develop between 3 and 5, it can also be good to teach kids how to play these basic games so they will have an understanding of how to play when they go to school and that is all the kids do at recess.

And of course, we can’t forget some of our favorite books.

Books:

Pete the Cat and the First Thanksgiving by James Dean and Kimberly Dean:  I kind of love Pete the Cat, he’s so chill and that makes me happy.  In this book he is starring in his school play about Thanksgiving, and while doing so helps the reader learn about why we have Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland:  A simple book about  things a kid would be thankful for, a good one for sparking conversation about gratitude.

 

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert:  A beautiful book about leaves, this is a fun one to read in the fall when children will be naturally curious about the changes in nature around them.

What Was the First Thanksgiving by Joan Holub:  This is a book for older ones, probably at least elementary school age, but is a great one for learning about the history of Thanksgiving.

10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston:  10 Fat and very sill turkeys all sit and subsequently fall off a fence one at a time.  This is a good book for teaching about rhyme and counting.

I really don’t have favorite songs to sing this month, maybe you have some ideas you could share with me, but I do like these videos about Thanksgiving.

And that’s our plan for learning about the world around us, being grateful and having fun for this month.

 

 

What about you, what are some simple, fun activities you like to do with your kiddos in the fall?

Write it down in a journal, talk it over with a friend or leave a comment on Facebook.