Autumn is a great time for kids and there’s plenty going on at Halloween and on Bonfire Night.
GoMunkee has pulled together some fresh ideas for things to do at home, ways to get close to nature, get creative and make the most of the Autumnal fun, whatever the weather – most of it away from screens.
Autumn Fun at Home
In The Kitchen
If it’s raining cats and dogs outside, there’s plenty for the kids to do indoors. With the weather starting to cool down, making homemade gingerbread is a fun way to keep them busy, fed and warmed up. Kids love icing and decorating their gingerbread figures, and compared with cake baking, there is (slightly) less mess. Check out gingerbread BBC Good Food for the best in kids’ baking.
Try toasting marshmallows on an open fire, bonfire or on the gas ring.
A deal clincher for home negotiations (more Wi-Fi time, tidy room etc) can be a mug of steaming hot chocolate made with squirty cream on top served with a choice of mini marshmallows, sprinkles and/or grated chocolate on top.
Or how about chilli con carne made with chocolate?
The crazy 24/7 way we live and work now means that number of parents reading bedtime stories to their children is sadly declining. But enjoyment of the art of storytelling is actually on the increase, albeit in electronic format. Children love stories, and if they’re reluctant readers, they may be up for a bit of audio, read by celebrities on their devices. Sign up to a free story download on Audible – if it’s in your name you can monitor what they listen to. You can also choose books for yourself to while away ‘me time’ stuck in traffic.
Family Movie Night In
On these cold, damp nights snuggle up together on the sofa and watch a film as a family. Bring in the pizza and popcorn, and warm up under a duvet. Save a fortune on an outing to the cinema. Check out Netflix’s family films and binge-watch your way through the Autumn evenings.
This YouTube video is all you need.
Make a Bird Feeder
As the cold weather draw in, get ready things ready for the garden birds by making a bird feeder using an old plastic bottle.
Attract Hedgehogs Into Your Garden
Make sure they have access, like holes under fences.
Try to leave areas of your garden wild or undisturbed.
Make hedgehog homes from wooden crates or arranged pieces of wood under a bush.
Provide hedgehogs with food (they like dog food) and water at night.
Avoid using slug pellets and other chemicals.
Make ponds safe.
Check long grass before mowing.
Outdoor Autumn Fun
The blackberries are finished now, but there are still mushrooms, pinecones (for Christmas crafting), apples, wild garlic, beautiful leaves and sweet chestnuts (watch out for the prickles) to be found. Combine this with a family walk and remember to take bags. It’s best to leave the mushrooms (as they may be toadstools) and not touch, but giant fungi is great for stamping on.
Conkers are just nice to collect and hold. Gathering them can become obsessive and competitive as there is always the potential biggest waiting to be found – shiny, round and big. The more enthusiastic children can play conkers, although they aren’t allowed in schools anymore (nut free). Warning: Full carrier bags of matt, shrivelled conkers, found around Christmas time somewhere usually under beds, are too large to fit in the kerbside caddy for vegetable matter. On the plus side, fast forward to the Spring and you may have kid-random horse chestnut trees sprouting from your flowerbed or a corner of the lawn.
Welly Walks and Geocaching
Dragging them away from their screens on a crisp Autumn day for a walk can be a challenge – but they’ll love it (we promise!). Check out GoMunkee’s family-friendly Autumn walks. You can turn a walk into an adventurous treasure hunt through Geocaching. All your need are kids and a smartphone. Simples.