It’s hard to believe that October is already here! To sound a bit cliche…where did the time go?
Looking for some fun activities to celebrate the beginning of the fall season? Check out these eight suggestions.
Enjoy the leaves. Go for a walk (or a hike if you live near a forest or the mountains) and see the vibrant colors on display, courtesy of an amazing Creator! Or, if you have kiddos (or are a kid-at-heart yourself!) take a leap into a pile of leaves. Snap photos of the leaves before they completely disappear. Want to preserve these colorful pieces of art? Check out the instructions here for how to join your children in a craft project to press and preserve leaves.
Make some pumpkin muffins with your kids. Choose festive fall cupcake wrappers and freeze the extra ones, two to a bag, so that your family can enjoy the muffins all month long. Below is our family’s favorite pumpkin muffin recipe.
Note: For those with food allergies, the eggs can be replaced with egg replacer (we use the Ener-G), the milk replaced by Rice Dream rice milk or another dairy substitute, and the flour can be replaced by a gluten-free variety (we use King Arthur gluten free all-purpose baking mix).
1/2 cap vanilla
2 C. flour
2 Eggs (or egg replacer)
1 cube of butter softened
3/4 c. pumpkin
3/4 c. milk (or rice milk)
3/4 c. sugar
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1 tsp baking powder*
1/2 tsp. baking soda*
*if these ingredients are not already included in the gluten free baking mix you use
Bake at 340 degrees for about 15-16 minutes.
Allow to cool and enjoy!
Take a bike ride. Our family loves riding our bikes on the numerous trails near our home. Once October hits, time for bike-riding is at a premium with the shorter and colder days, so take advantage of those last lingering sun rays and the brilliant fall foliage.
Think about a new exercise program indoors. The cold and long (in some parts of the US) winters are perfect for thinking about and acting upon a new indoor exercise program. Of course, be sure to check with your doctor first before starting any new exercise. The options are numerous, including joining a gym and participating in indoor cycling classes, weight training programs, or water aerobics classes. Or, if you prefer, hang out at home with a video, a stationary bike or treadmill, or develop your own dance routine. Make it a family event by encouraging your spouse and kids to join in getting healthy with you.
Snuggle beneath a heated throw and read that new book you’ve had your eye on. October is National Book Month and is the perfect time to take a much-needed break, even if it’s only for a few hours a week, to indulge in your favorite genre.
Read a book to your kiddos. When my girls were little, I had a couple of the books we read together completely memorized, and could literally read them with my eyes closed. Whether an old book that they’ve heard a million times or a brand new book courtesy of a trip to the library, take the time to read to your kids. And not just in October, but all year long. The benefits of reading to our children are numerous, and they foster a closeness that can’t be duplicated.
Show the love of Christ to the least of these. Start thinking about Operation Christmas Child. Collection week this year is November 14-21, but as we all know, time zips past faster than ever these days, so grab your family and go shopping this Christmas (a bit early!). Our family has a tradition where we shop for the children the last Saturday in October.
Operation Christmas Child provides boxes of toys, school supplies, and hygiene items to underprivileged children in other countries. Not only that, but through these boxes, precious children have an opportunity to know the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.
You can even build a shoebox online if you’re crunched for time.
All of the information for this amazing ministry can be found here. Please take special note of the items allowed (and not allowed!) in the shoeboxes.
Many people will be able to foster a child. Some will be able to adopt a child from foster care. And several will be able to help provide clothing and toys to children in foster care.
A friend of mine who works with foster children and their foster parents told me today that some children arrive in their foster homes with nothing. Some have no clothing, not even underwear or pajamas.
Put together a foster care kit for children placed in emergency foster care by providing the following: new or gently used clothing, a new toy (stuffed animal, coloring books and crayons, etc.), a book, and a new toothbrush/toothpaste combo. Deliver the kit to your local family services agency.
Summer is on its way. Here, in no particular order, are five fun things to do to celebrate the season.
Plant flowers. Our family decided a few years ago to plant most of our flowers in containers. This is much easier to maintain. Want a fun way to bless others this summer? Plant a container of blooms for a neighbor or for someone who may be unable to plant some themselves.
Play on the swings. When was the last time you sat on a swing, pumped your legs, and pretended to fly through the air as you did as a kid? Bring out the inner child in you—it will create a fun memory for your own kids. Trust me.
Take the family out for ice cream. There’s nothing that says summer like this delicious frozen treat.
Read a good book in a hammock, on the porch, on the beach, or while relaxing in the mountains.
Build a DIY birdbath. Stay tuned in a future post for a super easy idea I’ll share about a DIY birdbath that has been a hit for our resident birds for the past couple of years.