6 Best Autumn After-School Activities for Children
Autumn is a time many associate with home activities – TV, games, a hot tea. Some people catch up on their social activities; others drink more coffee, eat more comfort food than usual, or hide under the blanket with a favourite book or catch up on the Netflix series.
But September is the time of year when the weather still allows us to be active and creative outdoors even though the memories of warm summer afternoons are slowly fading away.
We prepared a list of September activities for children, which hopefully will help with the transition from a hot sunny summer into a cosy and chiller autumn season.
1. Go on a fall nature walk with treasure seeking.
A ‘warm blanket and a cup of tea’ scenario is tempting when days become shorter. But in September we still remember the warm summer days and naturally still have the energy to go outdoors. Try to use this time to be active before the winter kicks in. Now the leaves begin turning a rainbow of colours, and the outdoors is just wonderful. Make a list of things for your child to find while walking. They can be, for example, various leaves, conkers, cones, acorns and rowan berries. This treasure-seeking activity is great for small children, but often older ones like to join too! It gives everyone a sense of adventure. Collect all your findings to use later at home.
2. Create rowan bead jewelry and chestnut men.
Now you can spend the rest of the afternoon engaging in manual activities. Necklace making can be especially fun for girls. You have to collect a lot of rowan berries to make a beautiful necklace or a bracelet. Encourage children’s creativity by allowing them to mix and try new designs. Creating chestnut and acorn men is great fun for all children (especially those who like manual work), as well as for you!
3. Make a leaf album.
Creating a leaf album can be an attraction for all. It engages children of all ages to work together, support each other and learn. Go outdoors and explore your local woods or parks. Collecting colourful leaves, assigning them appropriate names and sticking them to album pages allows children to create a wonderfully colourful book full of autumn treasures. It also teaches them about nature and encourages curiosity.
4. Go apple picking.
Or make a trip to your local farmer’s market to choose apples. Make sure you get several different varieties and have a taste test! You can prepare some delicacies out of the apples you sourced, e.g. baked apples with jam and cinnamon or an apple pie. Home baking together teaches children how to prepare their food, encourages creativity and gives a sense of accomplishment when you can all enjoy the fresh cake you made together.
5. Family bike ride.
September is a great time for family biking. This is a good time to teach children to ride a bike or do it together! Even when it is cold, cycling activity warms you up and adds the energy necessary in the period of increased morbidity. The paths and parks are less crowded than in spring or summer, and children who love to be active are willing to engage in various activities.
6. Go mountain walking.
Mountain walking is not only for summer days. On sunny autumn afternoons, mountain walking is as much pleasure, if not more. The usually crowded paths are becoming quieter. But what if it’s cool or maybe even drizzles a little? Don’t let it discourage you. It makes it more adventurous! Children love to explore and be active. Sometimes on the path, you have to warm up with hot tea (make sure you pack up a thermos and some snacks), sometimes add a hat and gloves, sometimes due to the fog there are no beautiful views, but … there are beautiful memories and a sense of fulfilment and pleasant fatigue.
Hot chocolate back at home never tastes better than after walking on a cold day. Mountain walking doesn’t have to be a full-day activity; you can do it after school in your local area. You don’t have to hike or climb tall mountains to feel a sense of accomplishment. Choose the little local hills that are easier if you’re walking with smaller children. Make sure you adapt outfit to the weather. If the clothes are right, no trip to the mountain will be a challenge!
It’s good to remember that what is interesting for adults isn’t always exciting for children. They are naturally curious, explorative and creative. Outdoor activities can benefit children in many ways, but also strengthen the connection between all family members.
We hope we managed to encourage you to try more active ways of spending time after school, even on cooler days. Not only is it possible, but such activities are a source of energy for everyone on often monotonous and shorter gloomy days. It’s worth a try!