Fall is a great time outdoors

This is the time of the year when the weather turns in many parts of the country. Our thoughts turn to raking leaves, soup, boots, and mittens. It’s also a time when it gets harder to face outdoor activities with kids – it’s cold and damp or it’s raining and there are lots of extra clothes to get on.

There is something wonderful about snuggling in, finding fun things to do indoors, responding to the change in the seasons, and we will talk in a later posting about some of the ways to avoid cabin fever as the winter sets in. But here we want to think together about how to keep the outside world available, how to make sure that your child still gets fresh air every day, and how to enjoy that!

The autumn brings hayrides, pumpkin patches and apple picking, expeditions that children of all ages can enjoy and learn from. If you go to a corn maze, do make sure that you know how to find the exit – it’s scary for children if parents get lost. In another posting, we give our traditional Halloween message for parents of young children about how to make it fun for all.

Consider two of the main effects of having children – they learn from you and you learn from them. Getting out and doing things together gives you a chance to do both. Fall offers many opportunities for that kind of expansion of the self and building of emotional muscle.

When you take an autumn walk, you can collect leaves, acorns, sticks and more for home projects (leaf-rubbing, collages, mobiles, gifts to distant relatives, and so forth). It is also an ideal setting for comfortable conversations about the life cycle, which teach children about plants and animals, as well as about life, growth, death and change.

When you rake leaves or tidy the yard or put away the hose for the winter, you and your child are building memories of working together, lovely in themselves. In addition, your child is learning to be part of a team, accomplish a task, experience the satisfaction of finishing a job, and may even be of real help.

In our well-insulated and well-heated houses and apartments, fall and winter bring lots of coughs and colds. The more fresh air children have, the more likely they are to resist illness. With outdoor fun comes exercise, another necessary ingredient for health and well-being.

So put on those scarves and jackets and have a great time outside together this fall!

This entry was posted in children's needs, emotional muscle, fun ideas, illness, mental health, parent-child relationship, physical health and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply