The nights are drawing in and there’s a sudden chill in the air. It seems to have happened all of a sudden – somehow, it’s time to dig out the wooly hats and wellies, and brace against the autumn showers. Or perhaps downpours…
But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. There’s so much to look forward to when autumn rears his head and the evenings draw ever darker. Here’s my list of autumn fun!
I love an autumn nature walk on a crisp, dry day. Last year my then 3 year old and I wandered around one of our big local parks with a bucket collecting as many types of fallen nuts, seeds and multi-coloured leaves as we could. He was so excited every time he found something new – from “helicopters” to conkers and leaves of every shade, yellow through to burgundy. It’s so good to do something outdoors in the fresh air, connecting with nature a bit. Keep your eyes out for squirrels! Best of all? It doesn’t cost a penny.
For soggier days, there’s puddle stomping.. Find me a toddler who doesn’t love jumping in puddles! Sure, it can get a bit messy and damp – but sometimes you just have to roll with it. Just make sure for this activity you don’t go too far from home – soggy small children can turn on a sixpence and all of a sudden you might be faced with piercing cries of “I’M COLD AND I WANT TO GO HOME!”.
In a few weeks, leaf kicking might be the outdoor activity of choice. There’s something ever so tempting about a big pile of crisp, crunchy leaves – I’ll bet you find it hard to suppress the urge to kick them everywhere – and your toddler certainly will! Just try to avoid piles that someone has neatly made to try to clean up, you don’t want to fall out with the neighbours…!
After that, what could be better than heading home to change into you pyjamas and snuggle under a blanket on the sofa? Turn the lights down low, stick on a good film, make a round of hot chocolates (with marshmallows, of course – and possibly a warming tot of something for the grownups!) and cosy up for an hour or two. Or possibly 20 mins, depending on your small person’s attention span.
Last year we went pumpkin picking for the first time. My 4 year old had a ball with his little friend, picking from a whole range of pumpkins and squashes, from standard round orange ones to blue ones and knobbly ones. It was such a fun day out – worth a visit if you have a local farm that does it!
And probably the last thing that can really be classed as an autumn rather than a winter activity – bonfire night! It’s so lovely to bundle up in warm clothes and watch a display and I love watching the children’s grins turn all colours of the rainbow reflecting the fireworks as they go off. Add in a glow stick and a mulled wine and it’s pretty much a dream night all round.
So while I’m sad to see the end of summer, packing my sandals away until next June, there’s so much to look forward to over the coming months. Now, where is my scarf…?