Favorite Fall Activities For Kids

Fall triggers a sense of wonder in all of us.

As the leaves turn and then scatter in our yard, there is the enthusiasm and joy that comes from building a big leaf pile and diving headlong into it for loads of giggles. As I pull out the basket of seasonal books, there is excitement and wonder as we read our favorites each year. And, as we make our favorite fall recipes, they want to be there with me in the kitchen.

This is a season to make memories with our children.

 Let them be little!

 Favorite Fall Activities For Kids

These favorite fall activities have stood the test of time in our home. I've included activities for children ranging in age from toddler to teenager!  (Keep in mind - I like to keep things SIMPLE, so these are all low prep, low cost, but high memory makers!)

Favorite Fall Books 

We read aloud each and every day in our home. When the children were young,I keep a basket of seasonal books on our fireplace. When I would unpack them each year it is as if an old friend has come to visit. 

It's Pumpkin Time - a very sweet book about how a pumpkin grows; includes good science information at the end. Use these pumpkin life cycle printables to reinforce learning. 

The Pumpkin Patch Parable - We used to read this one before carving our pumpkins when my kids were little - a very sweet book. 

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything - We've been reading this one for years!  This is a silly story, and also a great example of a cumulative story. Add instruments with the reading of this book and your children will remember it for years to come! 

The Witch Next Door - This book was read to ME as a little girl. Normal Bridwell has given us a classic! 

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving - This story points us to the miracle God gave the Pilgrims and His providence in putting Squanto in their path.  Eric Metaxas has written a beautiful book which is a great read aloud for young and old alike. 

The Children's Book of Thanksgiving Stories - FREE from Project Gutenberg - perfect for older children

 Favorite Fall Activities for Kids

Favorite Fall Hands On Activities

My children remember learning better if they have DONE something. Fall provides the perfect time to DO a lot... warning: some of this involves CANDY, so be forewarned!  

Autumn Candy Mix Math - We do this activity each year! Lots of learning and sugar involved!

Create a Thankful Tree - This is so simple!

Autumn Scavenger Hunt - You can make up your own, or here is a printable toddler scavenger hunt, and for older children - an autumn leaf scavenger hunt!

Fall LEGOS - How about incorporating LEGO bricks into the fun?  Download these free LEGO Minifig Fall Writing Prompts and have your LEGO lovers hone their writing skills this fall!  

Washi Tape Pumpkins - My 13 year old has been decorating lots of these! We buy the plastic pumpkins at Target so we will be able to keep them for years to come. 

Leaf Fights/Piles - Do I really even need to include this in a list? Yes, I do. You see, I realized a few years ago that I was forgetting to just have FUN with my kids, until one day my son attacked me with a handful of leaves and I realized the fun I was missing!!

 Favorite Fall Activities for Kids

Favorite Fall Recipes

Apples, candy corn, meals in the slow cooker - these are all treats we enjoy in the fall. I hope you enjoy some of our favorites! 

{I catalog all of our recipes in Plan to Eat - an online recipe, grocery list making, and generally awesome site!}

Crock pot Applesauce - This tastes EXACTLY like Apple Pie, just without the crust - which is great for my Gluten Free daughter!

Easy Apple Cider - You will win Mom of the Year if you keep a crock pot full of apple cider for your kids while they are doing their schoolwork!

Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes - so easy and simple - and delicious! My teenage daughter makes our dinners about once a week, so I am always on the lookout for achievable recipes for her.

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake - this is time consuming, but SO WORTH IT!  If you have a young baker on your hands, this is a great recipe to teach them a lot of culinary skills. (It's also a great way to show your husband you love him - mine LOVES this!)

Owl S'Mores - We've been making these for years - the kids love to make (and eat) them! 

 Owl S’Mores

What is YOUR favorite way to make memories with your kids in the fall?

Love Them Well

It is hard to assume both the role of mother AND homeschooling mother. 

When we homeschool it feels as if the weight of the world is on our shoulders. Our children's ENTIRE education is our responsibility. 

And, because they are home with us all day, we also train them in various household chores, relationships with siblings, and so much more.

Can I tell you the number of times I have said (out loud) "I just want to be their mom!". That, however, isn't the reality. I am mom and HOMESCHOOLING mom. I am learning to balance the two.

When I met a dear friend for coffee recently we were talking about all the nitty-gritty things of homeschooling - which curriuclum was working, how we were supervising our eldest children, and balancing littles while homeschooling older children.

As often happen (particularly with this wise, wise friend) - I had one valuable takeaway from our conversation.

 Did I Love Them Well Today?

My friend told me she gets so caught up in the details of homeschooling and the busyness of her life that she has decided to make ONE THING of importance to her this year.

She's making a point of asking herself at the end of each day if she has loved her babies WELL that day - has she shown the love of Jesus to them at every possible moment? 

That was a sobering moment for me -- because (if you recall) a few weeks ago I wrote about a school year's resolution - and focusing on just ONE THING this year. Well - I think I'm needing to adjust, or maybe at least to call that post "What's Your ACADEMIC School Year's Resolution?".

Love Them Well

In the end, all that matters is if we loved our children well during the day.

Did we show them grace? Did we model forgiveness? Did we show patience and perseverance? 

All of these attributes contribute to loving the people in our care WELL.

I can't expound much more on the point, but I can encourage you (as I seek to change this in my own life) to check in with yourself a few times each day and ask: 

Am I loving them well?


 Am I Loving Well

Practical Ways to Love them Well

As I look back, our best homeschool days have been the ones where I have loved my children well. 

It sounds so beautiful, doesn't it? But how do we really focus on loving our children when there is just so much STUFF to accomplish and so many responsibilities to maintain.

10 practical ideas:

  • Read aloud more - do less bookwork - read aloud often (even to those teens!)
  • Include things of beauty (music, art, poetry) - these set the tone for a more peaceful and loving home
  • Remind yourself (often!) that today is TEMPORARY - those math or reading struggles do not last and will be a distant memory 10 years from now.
  • Get Outside - fresh air, exercise, nature study, and a change of scenery recharge our batteries and help us show LOVE.
  • Set Limits - include quiet times, routines, and structure - when children know the expectations everyone is happier, more relaxed, and more loving.
  • Do Less - a few things done well are so much better than many done poorly - if we focus on just a few things, everyone is happier because their success and satisfaction is greater.
  • Say NO - your children are your first priority - you may have to say no to many things in order to have the time, patience, and freedom to love them well. You have been called to homeschool. Let that be your priority.
  • Stick with Friends - Iron Sharpens Iron, yes? Spend time with mom friends who have similar goals and ideals. Hold each other accountable.
  • Relationship First - always! - As you are interacting with your children, remember your relationship with them is so much more important than imparting sentence structure, the commutative property, or what the capital of Zimbabwe is. Look into their eyes. Stop when they are talking to you. Give them your full attention many times a day.
  • WWJD - I know - so cliche, right? Honestly, what would Jesus do if he were in your homeschool working with your children? It's something to think about and strive for.


 Love Them Well


This year (which happens to be my LAST homeschooling year with one of my children) I'm going to focus on loving my children well .

They will not remember the academics - they WILL remember the memories we made on field trips, the times I was patient and loved them through a hard assignment, and the times I threw academics to the wind to just BE WITH THEM.

I'm thankful to my dear friend who spoke those words of truth to me.



I'm a reader and find so much encouragement and inspiration in books. Here are a few that will help you love your children well.

Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning(TM) : A Story for Mother Culture ®Lessons at Blackberry Inn: Adventures with the Gentle Art of Learning(TM)Habits: The Mother's Secret to Success (Charlotte Mason Topics) (Volume 1)For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and SchoolMother and   Son: The Respect EffectShepherding a Child's HeartGrace Based Discipline: How to Be at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their WorstGrace-Based Parenting



What can you do to love your children well?

Let me know in the comments below - let's encourage each other!


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