Family-friendly autumn activities

With school in full swing, kids may begin to reminisce of summer days of lazing around the house, enjoying a relaxed breakfast with mom and dad, splashing around the community pool, and building sandcastles at the beach.

But the change in season brings a host of fun things you can do with your children. Boost their spirits with these family-friendly activities:

1 Look at leaves—then jump in them. Visit a park or trail to admire the beauty of the red, orange, and yellow leaves. Let your children get messy as they jump into piles of leaves or have leaf fights.

2 Go apple-picking. Apples are prime for the picking in autumn. Bring your family to an orchard for an educational and enjoyable outing. Your children will learn about harvesting practices as they pick fruit and you can feel good about supporting your local farmers.

3 Bake something with pumpkin. Pumpkins are a great source of beta-carotene; vitamins C, K, and E; and lots of minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron. Go online to find some kid-friendly pumpkin recipes that you and your children can try. Then enjoy your finished product—or better yet—share it with others.

4 Donate to charity or volunteer. Your local food bank may need an extra set of hands to pack and distribute canned goods from fall food drives. Teach your children about the importance of helping others by volunteering together. You can also encourage them to help children and families in need around the world by donating gift items like school uniforms and vegetable seed kits through Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, an international child development organization. Information is available at www.ccfcanada.ca/Gifts.

5 Participate in community events. Look into your town’s local listings for special festivals and events. Or make new friends by hosting a fall-themed neighbourhood potluck, complete with fun games for kids, like bobbing for apples or a scavenger hunt.

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