Fall Greetings- shorter days, worries, ideas & activities
Kids can never have ENOUGH parent time (no matter how long, they always want more!). And naptime is always a battle. After they have fall asleep, you might get the “guilt-ache” in your stomach. You think about how fast the little one is growing, and how he/she isn’t going to be your little munchkin for long; how everything will pass, and pretty soon the hugs and kisses they give won’t be as long lasting or as wet and slob-full as they are now. “Why couldn’t I just let him cuddle with me in bed for just a bit longer!”
If this sounds all too familiar, know that you are not alone! Give yourself a break; we’re all human! Mommy’s and daddy’s need time to themselves, just as kids do. Instead of dwelling on the “10 more minutes” you should have spent with them, make plans for the weekend!
Children are not going to remember the days you were adamant on only reading ONCE, or the day you didn’t make it home in time for bath time. They are not going to remember the store plans that got crushed by the surprisingly high water bill or the “time you let them just cry it out. “ And let’s face it- you won’t remember their tantrums, or the evenings they refused to let you wash their hair. They (and you) WILL remember the love, the hugs, the weekend adventures that were captured on film or camera, and the funny and frustrating moments each memory inevitably carries. So let’s plan for more of those memories and let the guilt of “thirty more minutes” pass.
Planning for the weekend helps that ‘guilt-ache’ relieve- and it does so quite quickly. So what can families do each weekend that (1) won’t break the budget, (2) allow for bonding, and (3) offer some ‘enrichment’ for all?
Here are a twelve ideas for this Fall Season:
Talk a stroll around the block (don’t take the stroller with you- you won’t be out for too long!):
Collect some autumn leaves, twigs, etc., and bring them home with you.
Make a collage.
Decorate your table by placing a handful of leaves in a glass vase.
Count the number of leaves collected.
Have a conversation about why and how these leaves changed from green to yellow and brown.
Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt, and make a short list of items before hand:
Squirrels; different colored leaves- red, yellow, orange, etc.; puddles; rakes, beetles, scarecrows on someone’s lawn, Halloween décor, etc.
Don’t make it too complicated!
You can repeat the same activity next week with a similar list of items!
Instead of buying all autumn themed décor for home, make them!
Go online ‘window’ shopping! Instead of purchasing the items, ask yourself if you can make it with your little one with a few resources!
Pick an item each week to make.
Don’t try to tackle a few pieces in one day.
Go to a Pumpkin Patch!
Decorate a Pumpkin
Pumpkins don’t need to be scary! If you don’t have older children in the house who insist on Halloween themed pumpkins, make your pumpkins HAPPY, SILLY, and ODD.
Treat the pumpkin as the “snowman” of the Winter Season
Let your child dig out the inside with a large spoon or spatula. It will take them some time, but it’s fun, a good kind of messy, and great for their motor skills!
Enjoy the Park without having to constantly worry about SUNSCREEN!
Go to the Farmers Market to buy a few autumn season fruits and vegetables. “Are persimmons baby pumpkins?”
Go to the library! It’s an outing perfect for any season!
Visit your local Barnes & Noble: You get morning coffee, or season pumpkin spice latte your little one begins to destroy the children’s section! You don’t need to be so QUIET…it’s not a library!
Make a Thanksgiving Tree
Each day add/hang something that your family is thankful for.
If your little one is of age, have him/her draw. Then, ask for an explanation. “Tell me about your drawing.” Finally, write what he/she said on the bottom of the drawing- try not to paraphrase!
Fall Closet Cleaning (Because you know that they will NOT fit in the same clothes next Summer!) Not only does this create a culture of giving and community, it also helps indirectly reinforce the fact that materialistic things are secondary to relationships, and being a good person.
Clean out summer clothes to make room for warmer clothes. Then take those clothes to a nearby donation center.
Have your little one help pick out the clothes, shoes, etc.
Put the clothes in a bag and tell your little one what a great thing he/she is doing by donating and essentially sharing their clothes with children who are less fortunate.
Take a trip down to the donation center and have your little one be the one to give the bag away.