Hello Readers! With each passing day, the weather grows colder and the days get shorter. We get closer and closer to the impending holidays, and many of us are feeling the stress of too much happening too fast for us. Our kids are going stir crazy being cooped up inside on cold days, we’re trying to finalize our holiday plans, and the holiday buzz of excitement and wonder is in the air. More than anything, however, many of us are looking for ways to entertain the kiddos without using the television or other electronics. So, let’s take a look at a few Fall learning activities to do with your kids.
A Nature Walk. Yes, it’s cold and the weather can be crummy at times. But if there is a decent day, I highly recommend taking your kids on a short walk through the nearby park or through your neighborhood to take in the sights of fallen leaves, visible air, and other natural wonders at this time of the year. This is a great opportunity to spark your child’s sense of wonder while getting a breath of fresh air. And when your kids asks why things are the way they appear, answer them truthfully or to the best of your knowledge. Most of us are familiar enough with the science behind the season’s changes to explain it in layman’s terms to our kids. Best of all, this is a great time to bond as a family!
Further recommendation: Why not think about a Family Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day? On Thanksgiving Day, either before or after your meal, have everyone load up in their warm coats, hats, and gloves and go for a walk through the neighborhood. It’s a great way to connect as a family, stay active, and work off a little of that Thanksgiving indulgence. You can even make it a family tradition for each year, and it will help promote a healthy lifestyle for your kids.
The Election Process. I know. A lot of you may be rolling your eyes right now because you’re just thankful that the election season is over, regardless of who won. But your kids may not understand what’s happened. They most likely may be confused after hearing about the concerns and issues from everywhere and then it’s suddenly over. While you don’t have to get into the technical details about it, this is a good time to help your kids learn more about the election process. You can explain how people are selected as candidates to run, how the government is broken into its three sections: Judicial, Legislative, and Executive. You can explain who makes up each of the sections, how they are chosen. You can explain the Constitution, briefly, to your kids. You can explain the purpose of Election Day and of Inauguration Day in January. Even though you may not want to talk politics, explaining the election process and its purpose to your kids now can help prevent them learning about it from others. It doesn’t have to delve into politics, nor do you need to get into the dirty details of how things go in the election process. But spending some time now telling them what happened or how it works will help your children later in life.
Further Recommendation: Why not form your own constitution in your home? You most likely have rules established in your house. Why not let your kids in on the fun by creating a “constitution” and having everyone in the household sign it? You can list the rules of your home, sign it, and hang it in your house like you would with the Constitution. This helps your kids feel like the rules are also theirs because they got to sign them. And they are more likely to adhere to the rules because they got to sign to agree to them.
The Pilgrims/The First Settlers. We all know the story of the pilgrims in America. So you can teach your kids about it. You can even teach them about the first true settlers in America: the Vikings. You don’t have to delve into the muddy history of the pilgrims or of the Vikings. But explaining our early ancestors in the United States, before it became the colonies, and about the first Thanksgiving will help kids understand the holiday more. Spend some time explaining the holiday, letting your kids create something for the holiday, explaining the food choices, and whatnot is a great option for this.
Further recommendation: Why not have your children study the first Thanksgiving and/or dress up as Pilgrims? Have them create a cornucopia and discover the symbolism behind the various Thanksgiving-related items we see everywhere. As an added bonus, your kids may become more interested in the holiday after learning more about it while they learn the history of the United States.
Various Crafting Projects. Although you may not feel you want the mess of paint and crafts in your home, this is a fabulous time to break out the crafts and let the kids go to town! Set up newspapers on your tables, put on painting clothes, and set out a few crafting ideas for them. I highly recommend letting them create a seasonal art book that contains their arts and crafts. Give them a stack of old magazines to find pictures to add to their artwork, lay out some paint and other art mediums like crayons or pencils, add a little glue and they can occupy themselves for hours!
Further recommendation: Why not let your kids choose some place holders or card holders for names to craft for your Thanksgiving table? Find a few via Pinterest or Google, let your kids pick them out, get the supplies, and let them make enough for your guests (plus a few for last minute additions). Not only will they stay busy but they will also feel included in the holiday set up and festivities. It’ll make them feel important to craft something so prominent for your table, and your guests will most likely love the inclusion of kids in your decor. It you’re feeling really brave, you could also let them create your centerpiece or tablescape for your table on Thanksgiving.
So, these are just a few suggestions for your own kids during this stressful time in your house. I hope this will help you keep your kids occupied in between the holidays.
Until next time,