I love the fall. I love the crisp, cool air, the flavors, the colors, the scents, the excitement in all the change that is happening all around me.
Last Sunday was the first day of Autumn. We celebrated appropriately by going back to the apple ranch with Daddy and some friends to pick apples. X-man outdid us all by managing to pick -and carry all by himself- 7 pounds of excellent apples. We have a whole lot of apples in our refrigerator right now and we are definitely all keeping that doctor away!
It seemed appropriate to take this week to do the Fall Fun Grid of the Outdoor Hour Challenge. We ventured out to a new park, a little ways from our home to see what we could accomplish there. We packed a picnic lunch that of course included an apple for everyone. (Eat a Fall Fruit– check!)
I showed them the grid and being as they are my children, they were quite enthusiastic about having a list of things to accomplish. Princess K especially loved the grid and held it for a long time to figure out what she needed to do next.
So, we gathered all sorts of leaves- red, orange, yellow, brown and a variety of shapes and sizes. Princess K found all sorts of little acorn like things all over the ground under the tall trees. (Take a walk and look for acorns, cones, nuts, or seeds- check!) It was very breezy and we sat under the trees and watched the branches sway and listened to the leaves rustle. Sadly, we did not see too many leaves fall while we were there. (Sit quietly under a tree and watch the leaves fall on a breezy day- half a check!) We still enjoyed our time at the park on this lovely fall day.
Yesterday afternoon, when the little guys were taking their naps, we went out to our backyard. We took pictures by the tree (Have a parent take your photo with a tree in your yard– check!) and sat under the tree to play I Spy (Play I Spy with someone in your family while sitting outside- check!). We spied the gray clouds, the yellow lemons, black ants, a red wheelbarrow and green rosemary leaves. It was precious time. They continued the game for a little while after I had to head back inside, get the little ones up and do something about dinner.
We put all the colorful leaves we’ve collected in the past few weeks in a wooden bowl and set it in the center of our table. (Gather colorful leaves and make a bouquet or a table display- check!) It is pretty and very decorative, though unfortunately, it attracts Toddler Tornadoes. They are drawn to it. Dumping and crushing are involved. Oh well, I guess I can look at it positively: Shortstop is having some positive interactions with nature.
Finally, we pulled out our watercolor colored pencils and all made Fall Nature Journal pages of our leaves and acorns and our memories of the trees we saw. It appears that my memory of the tree is quite different than Princess K’s memory.
Regardless, both X-man and the Princess really loved using the watercolor pencils. They were very enthusiastic about the new medium. It makes me excited to try the apple pastel drawings with them. (Make a fall page in your nature journal. Decorate it with fall colors- check!)
We didn’t officially “choose” a window to look out of each season, but we do often gaze out our sliding glass door to our backyard. Today we noticed that there are a few more leaves on the ground than there were before. We’ll have to keep a lookout for changes as the weather grows cooler.
Thus, our Fall Fun Outdoor Hour Challenge is completed. Our next nature study will involve apples. Lots of apples!