Fall into Fall – with Delight!


As a child growing up, fall always elicited a bit of apprehension and some wonder at the start of the new school year along with the shorter days, cooler weather, and a slew of autumn holidays and events that were about to begin. As an adult, there is some of that still; yet now it also comes with the dread (or delight) of getting kids back into a school routine (which is still uncertain for some – masks, no masks, vaccines, hybrid, virtual, no virtual – etc); or as a parent, regaining some sanity (or less) as potential school, athletics, work, and family schedules are shuffled and figured out; reshuffled and re-figured out and then before you know it – it’s the year-end holidays!! YIKES – let’s not go there just yet!


So, how to enjoy this beautiful and nature-filled change of seasons while also navigating all of the other things too? 

How about some games, activities, and some cleaning out? Some favorites are listed below:

  1. Clean out the spring/summer clothes and activity items. Make it a family affair, each person doing a portion or a whole closet or dresser – let’s face it – these things are never seemingly going to be considered fun – yet they can be productive and can become small lessons on growing up and maturing. Clean out the clothes that won’t be used until the next season or are not fitting for another season of wear. Not only does this make more room for the possibility of new fall outfits and wardrobes, it just plain feels good to clean up and cleanout. Once the closets are done, gather around the piles and decide what needs to be kept and stored away and what needs to be given to charity or goodwill. This is a great way to teach kids about the value of donations to families in need as well as have the kids learn how and what to clean out so that they partake in the cleaning and cleaning out (always a good thing to feel confident about right?)! Next, give awards for the cleanest closet, the most organized, etc. You can award the whole family with a special dinner or trip to the park or whatever else will incentive you and the family.


  1. Decorate the house (inside, outside, or both!) with fall colors, themes, and nature harvests such as vibrant oranges, earthy browns, rich greens, and whatever else conjures nature, fall, and the change of seasons. If there’s a pumpkin patch nearby (or maybe you’re the enterprising family that has some gourds growing in your own yard?) – go and visit and pick out a few for the house to carve and decorate or leave as is. If you want to decorate; there’s a ton of ideas on Pinterest or take a stroll down the aisles at the local Michael’s or craft store in your area. From decorating pumpkins to making life-sized scarecrows (on poster boards or paper or even sewing a stuffed one for the front door or yard). Don’t forget the potpourri also – the smell of pumpkin is in the air! Vanilla and fall foliage are some others that will help to spruce up the smell of the entire house. 


  1. Discover new recipes that are Fall-oriented: pumpkin bread/muffins, pumpkin spice hot drink or cocoa, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, homemade pies with fresh pumpkin, apples, squash, fun and different ways to make or add fall-like ingredients to oatmeals, chilies, other warm and cozy hot meals for when the weather turns cooler. Perhaps you decide to make Friday’s freaky fun by adding in a family happy hour when everyone is home and make warm, cozy treats and drinks for everyone while catching up on what happened in everyone’s week. This can be a fun-filled conversation that leads right into making dinner or a brisk walk outside while discovering new colors and foliage around the neighborhood.


  1. Collect leaves – a walk about the neighborhood or local park will bring a bountiful treasure trove of leaves to make fall crafts with. Drying them and gluing to a poster board,  making an autumn wreath, pinning to a bulletin board, shellacking into a pin to wear to a fall event, to having a family night of discovery trying to figure out what kind of tree or bush they are from are a few ideas to make the walk-about a family adventure to spread out over a few days or at least hours.


  1. Since we know that events such as Halloween are right around the corner – before you give away, throw away or store away old clothes and items from your closet/drawer cleanout – is there something in those items that could be used for a costume and/or a decorative piece on a scarecrow or pumpkin? May as well get one more use out of something before it goes away. Make a game out of it by tempting the kids with a prize for the person that comes up with the most creative idea or any idea at all if there’s limited creativity going on at the time!


Overall – make this time one to come up with new traditions, revive old ones, or continue the ones that you have. Fall into fall with vigor and fun and spice! Make it fun and make it bright!


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