The Autumn Equinox marks the first official day of fall. On this special day, the length of daylight and the length darkness are the same. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere this day usually happens on September 22nd or September 23rd, but if you live in the Southern Hemisphere it happens on March 19th or March 20th.
Fall is a busy time for many families. Kids are going back to school which means busier routines and schedules. It can be so easy to get swept up into a flurry of fall activities. Celebrating the Autumn Equinox is a wonderful way to slow down, connect with nature and ground your family in the rhythm of the seasons.
Here are seven special ways to celebrate fall with your child and family.
1. Go on a nature gratitude walk.
Gratitude is powerful. When we are grateful it changes the way we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. We become happier and healthier! Cultivating gratitude in your own life and encouraging your child to do the same is life changing. I encourage you to take a step towards being more grateful by going on a nature gratitude walk with your child.
How to go on a nature gratitude walk:
Remember that nature is everywhere, even in big bustling cities. Go for a walk around your neighborhoor, in a nearby park or local trail. Find a nice sitting spot by a tree or meander slowly along a trail and talk about the things you are grateful for.
- You can express gratitude for the things that you can see, hear, smell and touch that are around you in nature. (i.e. the warmth of the sun, the whistling wind, the roughness of tree bark etc.)
- You can express gratitude for the relationships in your life. (i.e. a new teacher, partner, friends, grandparents etc.)
- You can express gratitude for things in your life. (i.e. a home, a bed to sleep in, shoes to wear, food to eat etc.)
- You can express gratitude for experiences. (i.e. going on a camping trip, visiting friends, learning something new etc.)
- Some families like to cultivate gratitude by keep a family gratitude journal.
- Another really fun idea is to do a family gratitude project.
- You can even read a book about gratitude with your child.
Books about gratitude:
- Giving Thanks by Jonathan London
- Gracias / Thanks by Pat Mora
- Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
- Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes
- The Magic Fish by Freya Littledale
2. Read a picture book about autumn.
Celebrate autumn by pulling out cozy blankets, stacking up piles of books and brewing some sweet tea, then settle in with your child for some much needed read-aloud time.
Books about fall:
- Autumn by Gerta Muller
- Autumn Equinox: Celebrating the Harvest by Ellen Jackson
- Autumn Story by Jill Barklem
- Because of an Acorn by
- Every Autumn Comes the Bear by
- Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland
- Fall Leaves: Colorful and Crunchy by
- Fall Mixed Up by
- Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
- Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by
- Johnny Appleseed by
- Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
- Little Tree by Loren Long
- Strega Nona’s Harvest by Tomie dePaola
- The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
- We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season by
- Winter Is Coming by
- Wonderfall by Michael Hall
- Yellow Time by Lauren Stringer
3. Make fall nature crafts.
Kids loves to collect and create with nature. I love it too because when it’s time to say goodbye to nature art it’s easy to compost. Just be sure not to coat your nature crafts projects with plastic (i.e. glue and glitter) if you plan on composting them.
- Preserve leaves by dipping them in melted beeswax and make a leaf wreath or garland.
- Make a fall leaf crown, wings and a leaf star wand to become a forest fairy.
- Collect pine-cones, nuts and acorns and transforms them into fun little critters.
- Make your own eco-confetti using leaves.
For more fun nature craft ideas visit my Pinterest page.
4. Decorate your home with fall nature finds.
Celebrate autumn by bringing nature into your home. Set up a nature table somewhere in your home and invite your child to fill it with fall nature finds: leaves, nuts, acorns, gourds, colourful corn, flowers, sticks and seeds.
- Use baskets and little boxes to display your child’s treasures.
- Help your child make a fall forest fairy to watch over your autumn treasures.
- Display some of your child’s favourite fall books on your nature table.
- Include some beeswax candles or a make a luminary to light your nature table.
5. Cook a special equinox harvest feast.
Autumn is a time for harvesting and enjoying the bounty of fruits and vegetables in our gardens and at our local farmers’ market. With your child set out to make a special harvest feast from the bounty that you gather. If you don’t have a garden or access to a farmers’ market head to local grocery store and look for seasonal fruits and veggies. Once you’ve gather your ingredients plan a special menu and prepared you special harvest feast together.
- Cook some squash into a delicious curried butternut squash soup, butternut squash enchiladas or simply roast a squash in the oven.
- Roast a tray of fall veggies in your oven (beets, carrots, potatoes).
- Make a dessert with apples like a traditional apple pie, apple monkey bread or some fancy mini apple rose pies.
- Don’t forget about pears! How about some honey roasted pears – yum!
- Make a vegetarian meal.
- Try something new. How about purple carrots, yellow beats or a new kind of squash. Be curious and brave!
6. Sip a warm cup of fall tea.
As the weather starts to cool, there’s nothing like a warm cup of tea to warm little fingers and bellies. Take a moment in the morning or afternoon and enjoy a warm cup of tea with your child. Be sure that the tea isn’t too hot for those little ones.
- Gather and dry mint and other herbs for making into tea.
- Visit your local loose leaf tea shop and ask about kid friendly herbal teas.
- Look for teas that are fair trade and eco-friendly (skip the tea bags!).
- Pack your tea in a thermos to enjoy on your nature gratitude walk.
7. Explore fall with My Nature Adventure Journal – Fall Edition!
I am so excited to share that I have created a fun nature adventure journal for kids. This journal will come in four separate editions: fall, winter, spring and summer. The fall edition was just released earlier this month. You can learn more about My Nature Adventure Journal here. For a special coupon code come and join our Raising Outdoor Kids Facebook group.
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