I am so excited to welcome you to the third post of our Cozy Fall Home series! Today, I have my friend Jessica from Intentional Families sharing 15 activities you can do with your kids this fall. Some of these are perfect to do year round! I hope you love these and will leave a comment letting her know which activity you want to try with your own kids! Be sure to visit her blog and follow her on all her social media!
So, Summer is ending and that also means the end of “go outside and play!” or sending the kids to the pool with friends.
So, what can you do to keep sane as you enter the cooler months?
Well, we are just getting out of Winter here in Australia. Fall/Autumn is still fresh in my mind and I’d love to share some ideas to help you keep sane as well as have some quality time with the special people in your life.
Though, what’s in it for you? I’d like to share the benefits of keeping connected with those in your family. You know, apart from keeping your sanity.
Better behaviour – kids behave best when they feel safe and secure with the ones they depend on.
Your tank remains full! It’s so easy to lose your cool when your tank is empty, and as we get to the cooler months, it gets harder and harder to keep your cool when kids are running amuck under your feet.
Less obligations – let’s face it, we all feel the pressure of being a Pinterest Mum. The obligation to have to do something with the kids just adds extra chores to your to-do list and extra stress to your day to day. When you do things together that are fun for everyone, it becomes less of a chore and much more enriching.
You create memories! Just imagine the stories your kids will tell their kids about the time Mum packed them up and explored the vast expanse of trees in the forest next door, or the time Dad forgot the matches and he taught them how to (safely) start a fire with just a stick and a flint…. Ok, I could never do that one and I was a Scout, though you get what I mean!
Ok, let’s get into it!
They are easy to set up, easy to pack away, and a couple of rounds goes quickly. UNO is a favorite in our family, though Go Fish is also pretty popular.
Play music. Often. When you do the dishes, when you sweep the floor, when you hang the washing. Play it often and loud. Make a play list that you and the kids enjoy and sing and dance the chores away together.
Family walks to the local coffee shop
Time to rug up for a short (or short-ish) walk and head to your local café. Chances are with the colder weather they are getting less customers, you could do with a caffeine hit, kids could use some space to run off some steam – it’s a win-win-win.
A family that cooks together, eats together. Most of the time, kids are happy to eat what they cook, sometimes that even involves veggies! Though who doesn’t enjoy a warm banana cake after school with their coffee – or milkshake. At least you will have some silence when they are eating. So peruse Pinterest for some yummy recipes, select the ones you are happy to agree with, and explore that board with the kids.
We have a weekly Friday Movie night. This night there is only one screen being used and everyone is watching it. Fresh, hot popcorn steaming from the bowl while sitting together in pj’s, dressing gowns, blankets and slippers. Such a fun, cheap night of entertainment.
Schedule a weekly meeting with some yummy snacks and read a book together. At the end of the meeting talk about what you just read. Even if it is just 10 minutes of looking at picture books. Fostering a solid relationship between your child and books will give you an incredible amount of opportunities to send them somewhere when it’s cold out.
Make a calm jar
Ok, this is a recent crafty fun-time my daughter and I had the other day. The upside is that once you make it, it’s also a fun toy to remind them to go and use for their quiet time without you.
Search out Pinterest for the best recipe of the things you already have or can use. Or you can follow this recipe that we did. Plus add in whatever fun gadgets, gizmos, whosits and whatsits galore…... I’ll just let that sit with you for a little….
Truth or Dare
Go on…. I dare you…. Do this at your own risk, perhaps you could use these kid-friendly truth or dare cards here. Sharing some intimate details with your kids is a great way to develop trust in you and strengthening your bond with each other. The dares will just add to the laughs!
Create a story – together
Remember the game where you start a story with a sentence, and then take turns with others of adding to the story one sentence at a time. Do that and see what amazing world you can create in a matter of moments, writing it all down as you go. Then, grab some paper and pencils and set your creative minions to work to create the amazing illustrations to include in the book you staple together and add to the ever growing book collection taking over your loungeroom.
Create a craft drawer
Ok, this is a scary one. However, it is a surefire win with the kids. Head to your local dollar store, fill up your basket with everything you hate, and your kids love, head back home and fill an empty drawer up. Now, give them a few hours to go nuts while you move to somewhere you can’t see the mess for awhile and enjoy your cuppa tea in peace. Deal with the mess later, it isn’t going anywhere.
Indoor bowling – plastic bottles and a ball of socks
Simple and indoor-friendly. Collect some plastic water or soda bottles, roll up some clean socks from the laundry pile on the couch, and let the kids go nuts! Bonus, you get to tick off some laundry folding while you’re at it – right, go grab a cuppa, now while the kids are entertained….
This can be as extravagant or as elaborate as you like, though I’ll tell you what I would do. Socks + craft-drawer (make sure there are googly eyes!) + bedsheet + broom + 2 chairs. Send the kids in to make their puppets using Dad’s old (but clean) socks while you erect the stage, and then enjoy a well-earned cuppa while you wait for the matinee session. Your welcome.
Wash the sheets and hang them up inside – cubby house
I’m a big fan of two birds and one stone, and everyone remains happy! Let’s make this day bedsheet changing day. Beds get a fresh set of sheets – job 1 done. Place old sheets into the washing machine and hit start – job 2 check. Remove freshly clean though damp sheets and hang each one over two chairs each, spread apart so the sheets can dry easily – job 3 sorted. Watch your kids create memories under the bedsheets in their new worlds while you have another cuppa – job 4, tick. And you don’t want to break their hearts, so how about holding off from folding the sheets up for a week or so….
Fishing in the bath
A simple game with hours of fun! Send the kids outside to collect their sticks – getting your approval of the sizes before they come inside. Attach string with magnets attached (Note: perhaps head back to the dollar shop for this one first). Next, get the kids to draw the fishes (another activity inside an activity – winning!). Now laminate the fishes and attach paperclips where their mouths are.
Now, pull up a chair while you supervise the kids near the bath water and have another cuppa, or you can catch up on folding the washing…. On second thoughts I think the cuppa is more urgent.
Pack on the clothes – send them outside anyway! Pile up the leaves
Hey, just because it’s a bit cold, if your kids are anything like my 7-year-old, they will be itching to get outside anyway. Might as well put the winter wardrobe into action and get them to work raking up the leaves – which may or may not be successful. Though you can sit by the window and enjoy your cuppa with your back to the laundry pile and enjoy the silence while admiring your handy work – as in, your gorgeous clones.
What’s your go-to idea for cooped-up kids in the cold?
Jess is a lover of good coffee, connecting with others, follower of Jesus, happy wife of Adam and authentically honest Mum of two little girls. When she isn't hanging out with this bunch of awesome people, she is enjoying her other passion of being counsellor, psychotherapist, and family coach working with others who want to see their family thrive. You can connect with Jess over on Facebook or read more at www.intentionalfamilies.com.au.