Hannah and Davina today! A huge part of our blog, and an increasing part of our lives too revolves around grounding ourselves in each season and finding little ways to celebrate what they mean. We love doing this just as much as our kids do (and so do our husbands!) It means special family meals to celebrate the start of Spring, May Day posies, mid summer feasts, halloween toffee apples, bonfire night parties, lighting the candles to brighten breakfast on dark mornings, celebrating the first signs of jack frost, marking each solstice… We thought we’d combine some of the ways we both celebrate Autumn with our kids into a post. Both of our girls go to a Steiner Kindergarten where celebrating seasonal changes is huge part of their earning which helps. We’d LOVE to hear about the ways you celebrate Autumn too. Because there is much to be celebrated, non? Focussing on the good bits of Autumn and Winter drastically reduces SAD, in our experience. Yes, the mornings and evenings draw in and we lose some day light, and for many this can really contribute to winter depression. But the colours, the light, all the gold, getting cosy indoors, taking invigorating walks in the rain, a winter beach walk. A little change in how you look at the colder months can have a drastic affect on how you feel about the season.
Autumn for us stretches way in to November, many of the trees around us are yet to shed their leaves and often, things don't really start to feel properly wintery until mid-December. So we'll be celebrating Autumn goodness for a little while longer, and this is how:
We like rotating our kids books so they don’t become stale, and a good way to do this is to separate them up into seasons, where relevant. We’re currently reading lots of Autumn books. Cicely Mary Barkers flower fairy books of the spring/summer/autumn/winter are wonderful, as is ‘Things to Look For In Autumn’. We also like the Brambly Hedge seasons books. A few other faves are based in Autumn too like ‘Frog Finds A Friend’. if you don’t have any, you could borrow some from the library. We also love reading seasonal books as grown ups too!
Give your child a little basket for bag for autumn walks to the woods (or just down the street if you don't have woods nearby- Autumnal treasures are everywhere!) Encourage kids to collect treasures. You’ll probably have an old basket or small bag in a cupboard somewhere already. Giving it a grand name like “magical Autumn treasure collector” makes it approximately 1000 x more exciting. Our kids also like using the a bug collector kit and magnifying glass.
Find creative ways to display autumn treasures at home. Create a little nature table with your child, make garlands or fill glass jars with foraged treasures. Carve or paint pumpkins or make simple Halloween costumes. Make little boats out of sticks and leaves to sail in puddles. Make apple crumble together or pumpkin cake. Make leaf rubbings, or fly kites. Make jars into autumn votives by using watered down PVA and leaves, bake biscuits for trick or treaters together or make simple masks. (More halloween ideas coming soon!)
Turn the lights off and have a simple family meal of pumpkin soup and apple crumble by candle light (kids find this pretty magical!) Celebrate the Festival of Light (Michaelmas, Diwali etc), Halloween and Bonfire Night with children- find community events or host a little bring-a-dish party.
The woods in Autumn are magical, pack a picnic and a flask of hot chocolate for a special treat in the midst of the trees. Visit a pumpkin patch or a halloween craft event- anything that brings alive the vividness and beauty of Autumn. Find a family foraging walk near by to learn about the properties of the bark, roots, nuts and berries that are abundant at this time of year.