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Fall Family Fun
Although autumn is officially here, don’t feel that you have to leave behind the family time that you shared last summer. There are endless outdoor and indoor activities that your family can do to stay connected. Here are a few that our family has tried over the years:

Plan a Fall Scavenger Hunt—Take your family out in nature. Give each person a sack and send him or her on a search. Look for common things such as leaves, acorns, branches, rocks, etc. Have a show-and-tell when everyone returns.

Make Applesauce—If you don’t have a recipe, you’ll find a variety of recipes at http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Holidays-and-Events/Hanukkah/Applesauce/ViewAll.aspx. Your kids will enjoy eating the fruits of their labor throughout the winter.

Wax Leaves—Collect leaves of all colors and sizes. Place them between two sheets of wax paper, with the waxy sides facing inward. Place a thin cloth over the wax and iron using medium dry heat. You can use these as a placemat or cut out each individual leaf.

Visit a Corn Maze—Check you Chamber of Commerce to see if there’s one in your area. Be sure to go when it’s not decorated with scary Halloween decorations.

Go to a Pumpkin Patch—You don’t have to carve pumpkins to enjoy them. They make a festive decoration just sitting on your front porch. We always buy one to represent each member of our family.

Bake Autumn Cookies and Pies—If you need a cut-out cookie recipe, here’s one similar to what we make: http://www.culinary.net/recipes/RecipeDetail.aspx?ID=4939&CourseName=Cookies&CourseID=23. For pumpkin pie, we use the recipe on the back of a typical can of pumpkin.

Organize a Barn Party—Some of my mom-friends and I did this when our kids were little and they still remember it. We played bluegrass music and old-fashioned group games. 

Make Cornhusk Dolls—These are so much fun and last a long time. Checkout this helpful site: http://www.teachersfirst.com/summer/cornhusk.htm

Identify leaves—If you don’t have a leaf guidebook try this site: http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr/leaf/Treekey/tkframe.htm

Create an Autumn Centerpiece—Buy some gourds, small pumpkins, and collect colorful leaves and arrange them in a basket for your table. It will last for weeks.

Go for a Family Bike Ride—Play “I Spy….” with all you see outdoors.

Have a Fall Movie Night—Choose a family-friendly movie and eat popcorn and caramel apples that you’ve made together.

Go on a Hayride—See if a farmer in your community would do this for a group of families. Sing songs as you travel.

As you can see, summer doesn’t need to be the end of family fun. In fact, if you begin some autumn traditions, your kids will look forward to this season every year.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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