Every season is unique and special, but autumn is one of the most colorful, with leaves that transform from bright greens to fiery oranges, reds, and yellows—shades of glorious sunrises and sunsets. Apples appear on the trees, and you know then it’s the season for cider, apple pie, and apple crumble. It’s also pumpkin picking season, so head over to a pumpkin patch and pick out your fav(s) to decorate and carve!
A visit to a nearby farm with animals, a corn maze, a hayride, and a nature walk through the mountains (complete with a picnic in the woods and/or camping excursion), can be enjoyable and exciting experiences for the kids and whole family. Connect with nature together. Enjoy these creative ideas of how to make the most of your fall nature walk. Make it special and memorable!
FAMILY PORTRAITS WITH FALL LEAVES
You know what they say—“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Capture fun with the family this fall and be your own photographer for an outdoor photoshoot. Take beautiful portraits in golden, autumnal light in front of the colorful leaves, or wait until they all fall to the ground, so you and the kids can toss them up into the air. Make it a fun goal to get portraits of your loved ones celebrating the beauty of each season.
WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR NATURE WALK
Bring along a bag or basket and return home with tiny treasures from nature. Gather various leaves, seedpods, pine cones, nuts, berries, bark, and moss. Leave your house armed with a magnifying glass, binoculars, and camera. Like detectives and explorers, you’ll be ready to explore and discover!
CREATURES AND CRITTERS CONTEST
Before you head out, make a list of creatures and critters you might spot along your nature walk and make a contest of who can find the most. Keep your eyes peeled. You may need to turn over some leaves and look in the soil. Award the winner a special prize and then treat everyone to something drinkable or edible that you made or baked together.
GET INSPIRED + BE CREATIVE
Engage your senses along your nature walk. Mindfully, take in the sights, sounds, smells, and textures as much as possible. Activate your inner artist, poet, writer, and/or songwriter and make it a group exercise to creatively express what you’ve experienced in nature. Bring a sketch pad, notepad, or journal, and pencils/pens to draw and write along your nature walk.
REFLECT + RECORD
When you’re ready to take a break from walking, find a big rock, fallen log, or bench to sit on, then record what you’re experiencing. You can work on this individually or can talk about it aloud in your group. Don’t let your innermost thoughts, ideas, and reflections fade from memory!
GET ARTSY + CRAFTY
When you return home, get artsy and crafty with your findings! Add color to your sketches in whichever medium you prefer. Make beautiful, wearable garlands or necklaces with colorful leaves by punching holes at the bottom and threading string, yarn, or ribbon through. Search Pinterest and Google for more ideas to get those hands and imaginations busy with festive fall gifts you can share!
LEAF THROUGH THOSE LEAVES
You decide. . .which are the biggest and smallest leaves? What colors are the leaves? Which leaves are your favs? Then, match the leaves up and do some online research to figure out which trees they came from. Make a tree chart with the real leaves or leaf rubbings. Simply lay a leaf down on a table, place a blank white paper over it and rub a crayon or oil pastel over it until you see the whole leaf. You can also make decorative table mats with real leaves—just arrange colorful leaves between clear contact-paper and press the air bubbles down.
An ordinary walk outdoors this fall won’t be ordinary again. Try these ideas and turn your nature-filled excursion into a fun and extraordinary experience!