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2 September 2014

How To Celebrate Autumn With Your Kids

Autumn for kids
As summer vacation comes to an end, your kids may start to get the doldrums. They may not look forward to going back to school because this means getting up earlier, less playtime, and homework -- three things that can put a serious damper in your little darlings' day! LOL :-) The progressively shorter day lengths can also affect their mood. Luckily, there are several things Mums can do to combat these end of summer, oh how I don't want to go back to school, shorter days blues!! That last sentence would make great lyrics for a country song, wouldn't it?

As a Mum, you have the power to completely modify how your kids feel about the autumn season. It's all in how you "package" it in the minds of your kids. If you plan activities that highlight the amazing perks of the autumn season, it will give your kids something to look forward to and they'll actually get excited about autumn! Before you know it, they'll forget they were ever sad about the summer ending and they'll be looking forward, not backward! Below, you'll find some great ideas how to celebrate autumn with your kids.

Go On Autumn Foliage Expeditions
Join the yearly legions of "leaf peepers" and plan road trips to search for beautiful autumn foliage. Every year, Mother Nature puts on a colourful show from about mid-September to late October. Spectacular bursts of leaf colour is a feast for the eyes, especially when you combine this with a ride and/or hike through some beautiful countryside. Teaching your kids to appreciate the spectacular colours of autumn at an early age is a gift they will carry for the rest of their lives. The Lake District in north-west England is well known for its dramatic autumn with beech, lark, and oak trees ablaze with colour. At the same time, the bracken and bilberry brush blanket the hillsides with a velvety red. You can also take the kids to parks and arboretums where the Japanese maples and other exotics will be exploding with every colour of the rainbow.

Autumn bike ride

Get Out the Camera!
Have the kids take pictures of the autumn foliage with their cell phones and/or digital cameras. Encourage them to share their best shots with their friends on their social media accounts. You may even want to suggest they keep a photo journal and/or blog about the beautiful multi-coloured scenery they see. They could even send a link to their finished "Autumn Blog" to their Grandparents and/or other members of the family as a special gift created from the heart.

Go For Some Crunchy Mountain Fun Too!
Take a rake along on these autumn foliage adventures so when you find autumnal leaves, you can rake up a big pile of them. The kids will have loads of fun seeing who can make the loudest crunching noise while they take turns running and jumping on their big crunchy mountain!

Bring Home a Bit Of Autumn!
Have the kids gather branches of coloured leaves so you can make autumn foliage bouquets for the house and for the kids' bedrooms when you get home. To do so, simply place the branches in a vase as you would a bouquet of flowers!

Plan a Autumn Equinox Party
The autumn equinox is the day of the year when the daytime is exactly equal to the night time. Get out a globe and explain why this happens to the kids and then tell them that you're going to have an autumn equinox party! Let them invite a few friends over and really make an event out of it! Since the night air will start to be a bit nippy in the autumn, this is a great time to sit around a small backyard bonfire (or a bonfire at a park) and roast marshmallows and make a dessert!

This year (2014), the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere will autumn on September 23. Since this date lands on a Tuesday, it is a school night for most kids. Therefore, you may want to have your autumn equinox party three days early on Saturday, September 20, or three days late on Friday, September 26. In London, England, the sunset is at 6:57 pm. on September 23 and at 6:50 pm. on September 26. Having the kids watch a beautiful sunset can be a great way to celebrate the autumn equinox.

equinox
The autumn equinox of 2014 is setting up to be a terrific night for star gazing too! Friday, September 26 is only two days after the new moon. Furthermore, the moon will be setting around 7:42 pm in England. This means the sky will be extra dark a little after 8:00 pm. so you should be able to see more stars than normal. Good time to set up the telescope or have someone bring one over!

Chart Out the Sunset Times and Location
Kids love to chart things so this can be a really fun activity for them that is also quite educational (don't tell them that part though!). In very early autumn, the difference in sunset times from day to day is much less than later in the autumn when the time differential becomes much greater. However, instead of actually telling the kids this fact, it can be much funnier for them if you allow them to discover it on their own.

Put up a sunset time chart for September, October, November, and December. Have the kids watch for the sunset every day and write down the exact time it dips below the horizon. You can have them verify their sunset times by using this sun calculator.

Please note that these are the sunset times for the month of September in London, England. You can change the geographical area to your own area and skip forward through the different autumn months by using the pull down menus at the top of the chart.

Put a separate column on the chart for how much change in time there us from the day before. Soon, they will discover that the days are not only getting shorter, they're getting shorter faster and faster throughout the autumn! This will also tune them in more closely to nature!

We hope that you and the kids enjoy the autumn season!

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