Autumn has always been my favorite season and it was one of things I missed most about the Midwest while living in Southern California. Now that life has brought us back to the Midwest I am loving sharing the joys of this amazing season with my native Californian husband, toddler and newborn baby. There is something thrilling about the beginning of Autumn. The air gets crisp and cool, you can smell harvest in the air and the leaves start to turn into magical colors of gold, red and orange. Instantly I am flooded with memories from past Octobers and Novembers, both sweet and sad. I crave hot drinks, pumpkin bread and cuddles by a bonfire. Sentimental would be the word to describe me during the months of September, October and November!
Last year we had just recently moved across the country and started a new life in the Midwest. I feel like we were too overwhelmed to truly enjoy all the beauty of Fall so this year with an (almost) 2 year old and a newborn baby we are soaking it all in! I have loved teaching my toddler all about this magical season called Fall. We've found all kinds of ways to explore the changing outdoor world around us and enjoy fun activities with friends and family. I thought I would share with you all just a few of our favorite fall activities for toddlers that we have enjoyed so far this Fall.
Do a google search and you'll probably find a pumpkin patch (or apple orchard) of some sort in your area or within a short drive. We happen to have a very fun one about 20 minutes away! Kids LOVE being able to go to a "farm" and pick out their own pumpkins. The pumpkin farm in our area has all kind of fun activities for kids including a silo corn bin, petting zoo, corn maze and some amazing apple cider donuts! This year our family outing to the pumpkin patch was actually our FIRST outing (besides doctor visits) with our newborn baby girl. I was exhausted but we all had a great time! Load up the stroller, pack a lunch and enjoy a family afternoon at a pumpkin patch picking out pumpkins and making memories.
This is my littlest pumpkin in our (new to us) double stroller, just sleeping away through all the fall festivities! I love this chiropractic inspired Baby Elephant Ears pillow for my newborn. It provides gentle support and correct alignment to keep her little head from bobbling around in the stroller while we walk. I use it all around the house too in the swing, laying on her activity mat, etc. to keep her little spine and neck comfortable and well aligned. Learn more about Baby Elephant Ears unique head support pillows at babyelephantears.com.
Of course carving elaborate designs in a huge pumpkin and then roasting the seeds is great fun. But now that I want to involve my toddler and I have a newborn to care for... it's not really the most practical thing! We kept things SUPER simple this year but I still wanted my son to have some fun decorating the pumpkins he carefully picked out at the pumpkin farm. What's something that is fun for little kids, mess free and requires little to no prep for mom? Stickers!! Wash your pumpkins and dry well. This helps the stickers adhere better to the surface. Pick out some fun fall-themed stickers and let your toddler go to town "decorating" their pumpkins. My son loved this. He was so proud of his pumpkins. *Pro tip* Do NOT leave your son's prized "beebe puh-kin" outside overnight. If will be devoured by squirrels by morning. Sadly we learned that lesson the hard way!
Take opportunities to teach your toddler about the great outdoors and changing weather patterns during this fun season. Go on a nature walk and collect leaves (to use for crafts later!) with your kids. Talk to them about changes in nature, make observations about everything you see and what is changing. Point out the different types of trees and collect a leaf from each one. Pick seeds from flowers that are dying and explain how plants grow from these tiny seeds. My little guy just loves going on walks and observing everything around him. I want to cultivate his curiosity and love for nature as much as possible!
Use the leaves and interesting things you toddler collects on their nature walk to make a a simple leaf wreath or garland to decorate for fall! This is a fun and easy craft idea to keep toddlers busy when it's time to come indoors and it requires minimal supplies.
Simply cut out the center of the paper plate with your scissors. Let your child arrange their leaf collection however they like on the "wreath." Use glue to stick your little one's leaf collection to the paper plate. Let dry before hanging. Note: I found it helped the leaves adhere better when I placed piece of paper over the whole thing and set a heavy book on top to hold everything together as it dried. Once it's dry punch a hole through the paper plate and run a ribbon through it. Use this to hang your little one's leaf wreath creation!
My little man LOVES running through the leaves. Get some yard work done while your little one runs off some energy! Don't worry about the dirt, kids clean up pretty well. :) We are outside on almost a daily basis and playing in the leaves is my son's favorite thing to do since they've started to fall.
It's starting to get chilly and keeping a rambunctious little boy bundled up warm enough can be tricky. The Olie makes this amazing cold weather garment for kids called The Minkey. It's a hat, scarf and gloves all in one piece! He can't pull The Minkey off and it's made of fleece so it's warm but thin enough to fit under coats and jackets. They come in a variety of styles and colors. We have the The Minkey Dino for my son (isn't it just adorable?!) and a pink The Minkey Flower for my little girl that should fit her perfectly next winter. Shop The Olie and find your favorite Minkey at their website shop.theolie.com
Cooler weather calls for warm drinks and cozy cuddles with your little loves. After playing in the leaves or coming home from the pumpkin patch, warm up with some of these easy and delicious hot drinks for kids that parents will love too!
I hope you are able to get out and enjoy the rest of this wonderful Autumn season making memories with your own little ones. What are some of your favorite things to do in the Fall?
Happy Fall Y'all!
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