Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10 Fall Boredom Busters For The Kids

The fall season comes with a number of chores, back to school errands, school activities and preparing for winter. Despite the inherent busyness of the season, the loss of summertime activities can leave families bored during their downtime.

Children need relaxation time during the school year, but that does not necessarily mean that they need to spend their time sitting in the house. A family outing that requires physical or mental exertion can be relaxing too. It does not have to be expensive, just stimulating and fun for everyone.

The fall is a wonderful time to let children use their imaginations and spend time with the family. School will be demanding most of their attention, as well as social activities, so family activities lend balance to their lifestyles. Children certainly do not have much free time in the fall, so it is important to use it wisely.

Here are 10 cheap or free ways parents can keep the family active together in the fall:

1. Hayride: During the fall, many farms and people who have large properties host hayrides. Some of these are haunted and some of them are just to sit back and enjoy the view. Tickets for these are typically cheap. Sometimes they are even free, if the hayride takes guests to vegetable patches or apple orchards for guests to pick produce.

2. Tell Ghost Stories in the Dark: No matter the age, there are "spooky" stories that are appropriate. Choose a few that suit the ages of the children in the family. Set up an area outside or in the home that is dark, grab a few flashlights and sit in a circle. Let each person have a turn telling ghost stories, even small children. Their stories might be wacky, but they are getting a chance to use their imaginations and entertain their family.

3. Fall Picnic: One of the most wonderful things about the changing seasons is the way food changes with the weather. Teach children about fall cuisine by letting them pack a seasonal picnic with you. Make items like butternut squash soup, stuffed zucchini, carrot sticks and turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayonnaise sandwiches. Be sure to dress for the weather and choose an area where the fall landscape is highlighted, such as a forest.

4. Biking: Take the whole family for a bike ride in the fall to enjoy the foliage and get exercise. Once the winter comes, it is typically difficult to enjoy hiking and biking areas. Therefore, it is nice to do it just before it gets too cold and just after it is too hot. The best part is that biking costs nothing, apart from the cost of bikes, which can be rented if the family does not own bicycles.

5. Leaf Pile Jumping: One of the best, silliest and most active things to do in the fall is also a way to get yard work done. Have all the children rake the leaves in the yard into large piles -- with your help. Put lawn furniture, such as chairs or tables, next to the piles and encourage the children to jump right in. They can roll around in the piles safely if the family is careful not to rake up sticks with the leaves.

6. Apple Picking: Apple picking is not only physical, but also nutritious. Children and parents -- if they wish -- get to climb trees to pick the best fruit. They hike around an orchard together and bring home the healthy rewards of their fun toils.

7. Family Field Day: Find a park or use your own backyard to have a day of family fun. Fly kites, play tug of war, have foot races, relay races, wheelbarrow races, three-legged races, obstacle course, play tag or any other fun outdoor activity you can think of. Invite friends over to make the games more exciting. For many, this is a summer activity, but it is even better in the fall because you do not have to compete with heat.

8. Nature Walks: During the fall months, animals are getting ready for winter, depending on where you live. If you live in an area where it is very cold in the winter, your family may be able to spot animals hurrying around, getting their homes in order for hibernation or semi-hibernation. All you have to do is go for a walk in the woods and keep your eyes out for creatures.

9. High School Sports: Most high schools have a fall lineup of sports games that are open to the public. They are typically either cheap or free. Families can enjoy these together whether or not family members are on the local team.

10. Scavenger Hunt: Fall scavenger hunts are easy and fun for smaller children. They can be fun for older children, as well, but usually if there is a prize involved. Just make a list of fall items in the house or at an outdoor location and send the family off in search of those items.

You can mix and match any of these ideas or just use them as a jumping off point to fall family fun that does not empty your wallet. Let the children choose their own twists for the outings and activities as well, so they will be less likely to be bored with your choices. Every child has his or her own interests and will have more fun if they are included.

Do not let the fall weather put your family or your budget in a slump. Get into some warm clothes and get your family out there having fun before the snow starts falling.

Submitted on behalf of Primrose Schools: Child Care services with balanced learning curriculum by Emily Patterson ( @epatt1062 )
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TigerEyes2001 said...

Hi! New follower from the Wacky Wednesday blog hop! I hope you'll follow back! Thanks! :) Through the Eyes of a Tiger

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