By Elle Steward, author and illustrator of The Autumn Woodland Tea Party
Crisp air swirls through the forest, little creatures prepare for winter, and leaves float on the wind like stray pieces of a stained-glass masterpiece. Autumn is a magical season that tantalizes all the senses with beauty and wonder. Let’s explore some fun ways to savor this season with little ones by our side!
Bake blackberry muffins
My friend Fox (from The Autumn Woodland Tea Party) would say that there’s nothing that says fall like blackberry muffins. The warm smell of freshly baked pastry curling around the crisp fall air is enough to make anyone feel excited about the season. Need a recipe? Check this one out below!
Make homemade apple butter
One of my own favorite fall memories is the sweet smell of my mom’s homemade apple butter boiling on the stove. If you love to can, this is the perfect way to create memories that last all year round—safely stored in the pantry.
Drink apple tea
As an avid tea lover, I can’t pass by the opportunity to recommend tea as part of your autumn taste adventure. A good one to try in the fall is apple tea. If you want to make it a little extra special, put pumpkin pie creamer into it! This truly blends some of the best tastes of fall into one delightful sip.
If your house doesn’t already smell like a wonderful bakery from making all those delicious foods, you can always light an autumn candle to evoke the feel of the season. Are your little ones too young to understand fire safety? Try using an oil diffuser! Essential oils are a marvelous and clean way to fill your home with seasonal aromas. Spices like nutmeg and cinnamon or woodsy scents like vetiver and cedarwood are perfect for fall.
It’s time to work with our hands!
Crafts are a fantastic way for little ones to express their creativity, practice fine motor skills, learn something new, and just have fun. Here are a few cute ways to celebrate the season through crafts.
Autumn Leaf Crowns http://www.nininoes.com/blog/2015/11/16/leaf-crown-tutorial
Paper Strip Pumpkin
Cute Pinecone Hedgehog
Take a walk in the park
They say fresh air can do wonders, but that crisp autumn air has a special bit of magic added to it. Take the littles on a wander in nature to enjoy the magic and make it an adventure while you’re there! Look for creatures and bugs preparing for winter, try to catch falling leaves before they touch the ground, and collect various nuts (just like my friend, Squirrel, from The Autumn Woodland Tea Party). You can also create a “journey stick” like the one linked below:
Go for a drive to see the autumn colors
One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to take a drive with my family to spot all the different autumn colors. We usually enjoy steaming apple or chai tea as we go and point out all the beauty around us. It’s a good reminder to celebrate every day and share the wonders of it with each other.
Play in the leaves
It’s not quite fall if you don’t play in the leaves! Take some time to gather up the leaves in the yard and jump into them. Throwing leaves in the air like confetti is always a delight too. This is a great way to get the kids outside, help them be active, and do one of those quintessential fall bucket-list items all at once.
Pick apples at a local orchard
Am I allowed to have another favorite on this list? Because picking apples with my family at the local orchard is definitely one. Not only is this a great photo op for fall memories, but it is a fun way to teach kids about farms and give them hands-on experience with the fall harvest. Once you’ve eaten your fill of apples and apple pie, don’t forget to make some homemade apple butter to savor the taste of the season all year round!
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day
I remember watching this movie every fall as a child. This children’s classic is a sweet tale of friendship and fall that will touch your heart. Follow Winnie the Pooh and his friends as they navigate friendship, floods, and fiascos to find their way home again.
Last but certainly not least, it’s time to cuddle up together and read a cozy, seasonal story that will warm you from within. These are a few autumnal books that I am sure you and your little ones will enjoy!
Brambly Hedge: Autumn Story by Jill Barklem
Bad weather is on the way, and the autumn stores are still not gathered in!
Quickly, all the mice of Brambly Hedge get to work to finish the harvesting before the rain begins. Primrose, Lord Woodmouse’s daughter, meant to help, but somehow she daydreamed her way over the cornfield and into the Chestnut Woods, and before she knew it, she was lost. The sun went down, the wind rose, and it began to rain. Primrose was all alone in the dark, and she was frightened.
Poor Primrose! Would she find her way home again?
The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter
The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin is an original classic by Beatrix Potter. Beatrix Potter’s famous tale of a naughty squirrel who loses his tail is as popular today as it was when it was first published over 100 years ago. Join Nutkin, his brother Twinkleberry and all his cousins as they make their way over to Owl Island to gather nuts. See what happens when Old Brown, the terrifying owl guardian of the island, decides he has had enough of silly Nutkin’s cheekiness! Ouch!!
Beware! Be Scared! by Lori Ries and Illustrated by Ryan Law
It’s dark! It’s eerie! Ghouls, witches, and werewolves might scare this trick-or-treater out of a fun Halloween adventure. Will he run, run, run, or hide, hide, hide? Find out when you look inside!
The Autumn Woodland Tea Party by Elle Steward
The weather is getting chilly, and Fox wants to have a tea party. But he’ll have to hurry because Hedgehog and Bear are getting ready to hibernate, and Squirrel is busy gathering food for the winter. What better way to celebrate the comforts of friendship than with freshly baked blackberry muffins and heather tea? Set in an enchanting autumnal woodland, this cozy tale will take you back to your childhood and warm your heart.
And this is only the beginning of the beautiful autumnal tale you will tell with your little ones this year! May this list inspire you to savor every small moment together in this fleeting season and celebrate each other. Happy Autumn!