Fall leaves and the best family activities to enjoy them
When was the last time you jumped in a pile of leaves?
We are fortunate to live in a country where most areas experience four distinct seasons. Many areas in Canada are known for their gorgeous trees and fall colours. The appeal of a walk or drive through gorgeous golden or red leaves, and stunning foliage against a blue sky is one of my favourite things about fall. No matter your age, it’s hard to resist shuffling through leaves when they rustle under your feet or blow past while you walk.
So how should we make the most of the season before frost and wet weather steals our fun?
The best way is to take every opportunity you can to get outside. This isn’t summer, you won’t overheat, and there is no risk of freezing or hypothermia. Fall is the perfect time for those “get more steps in your day” ideas – park further away and walk to your destination, run a few errands on foot, encourage the kids to walk to the bus stop or walk for the mail. If you can cross a park rather than drive to a more convenient parking lot, do so. Arrive at your destination early to allow time for leaf-kicking and enjoying the fresh air.
When you have more time, grab a rake and get outside to rake and pile leaves. Do it while the sun shines for a cheery fall chore most of us don’t mind at all. Hand rakes over to your kids, and let them rake and jump and play before bagging leaves. If you don’t have enough leaves in your yard for this game, take your kids to a park or walking trail in an older area with large trees and let them go.
How else can you enjoy the autumn leaves?
- Rake leaves for neighbours or family members who aren’t able to do it themselves. Even better, ask your older kids to make a list of people they think might need help and get them to pitch in. It’s a great way to teach them about considering the needs of others, and helping out when they can.
- Most kids love collecting fall leaves, so no matter your children’s ages, find a way to let them do it while the weather is still nice. Talk them on walks to gather the best colours, give them a bag and let them choose and carry the ones that catch their eye. At home, give them time on the deck or on the front step to sort and play with their treasures.
- Bring in the best, cleanest leaves for indoor projects. Fall leaves add gorgeous colour to your home and make a great natural material to add to art projects. Can they glue the leaves into collages? Trace them? Try to recreate the shape and colour on paper with pencil crayon or marker? Pile them into glass vases for display? Grab a book on trees and leaves to try to identify them?
- Plan family time to preserve the prettiest of the leaves, press leaves for keepsakes, decorate leaves with silver for a garland or bake leaf-shaped sugar cookies together.
- Grab your camera, your kids and head to the nearest park for beautiful fall photos. The colours are naturally warm and gorgeous, the leaves encourage silliness and play, the weather begs for jeans and sweaters – and you have all the makings of great family photos.
Sometimes it’s difficult to say goodbye to summer, and we all know that a return to September routines takes plenty of our attention and energy. But now is the perfect opportunity to steal moments and memories in the leaves that will carry you through the colder months ahead.
What are your favourite ways to enjoy fall, or favourite memories of the season? Where do you love to walk or drive to enjoy the colours of fall?