Exploring Autumn

Autumn officially started on September 22! For many people, this is their favorite time of year. With the cooler weather, cozy feeling, and pumpkin spice everything, who wouldn’t love this season? This is also an excellent time for reconnecting as a family, as many families have settled into their busy school year routine. The Parenting Center has some ideas about what you can do to explore this new season and build connections in your family.

One way to explore fall is by talking about how it can look very different depending on where you live. For example, in Louisiana, temperatures can range from 60-80 degrees, but in Montana, the temperature can range from 25-60 degrees. That is a huge difference. Talking with your kids about the temperature differences during fall can lead to discussing what clothes are appropriate for specific seasons and temperatures. If it is 65 degrees, you may just need a light jacket, but if it is 30 degrees like in Montana, you will need a winter coat, gloves, and a hat. It can be a fun learning experience for your kids to try on some of these items.

Another way to explore the season and connect as a family is to find activities to do together. There are so many public activities that you can go to and enjoy, such as hayrides, pumpkin picking, or the fair. There are also a lot of activities you can do right at home, like baking apple pie, playing in the fallen leaves, or having a fall-themed movie night with candy corn, popcorn, and apple cider. These activities can help your family become closer and enjoy that cozy feeling that comes with autumn.

Finally, as the seasons shift, so does the environment. Ask your child to look outside and see what has changed. They often say the leaves are different colors or the flowers are going away. If your child is not talking yet, tell them what you see. You can use these observations to create art activities. Paint paper leaves in fall colors like red, orange, and yellow. You can even do one of my favorites: making a collage of fall. You and your child can go outside, find things that remind you both of fall, and then glue them to paper. This can be a great reminder for your kids inside of what fall looks like outside. Another way to learn about fall is to simply read books and learn why the leaves change color and fall off trees during this time. Remember, reading helps their brains grow and is a fun way to connect with your children.

Autumn can be a magical time as the weather changes and nature prepares for winter. There are so many ways you and your children can explore this season and reconnect after the hectic school routine. Slow down, look around, and see the joy in the season. Wishing you and your family a happy fall.

This article was originally published in NOLA Family October 2022.

Monet Somerville

Monet Somerville is a Parent Educator at The Parenting Center. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Developmental Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. She is also a licensed Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner.

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