Friday 12 October 2018

Hello Autumn!

I don't know about you but, once I've got over the fact that Summer is done for another year, I begin to remember just how much fun Autumn is. As a teacher, I always see it as a new year and the chance for a fresh start. It's a time to get back to routine and, as much as I'll be bemoaning that in a few months time, there's something to be said for it. I can't deny, the fact that it rolls into my favourite time of the year (with three birthdays along the way) is pretty exciting too!

After the most spectacular summer though, I have to admit that I've become very lazy when it comes to entertaining our three children, having come to depend on the fact that we were outside almost every single day, and feel slightly lost for things to do now that Autumn's blowing in (although the weather is still being kind). It's the same every year, and with each new season, until I look online at the UK calendar for inspiration.

It was Harvest Festival for our little ones last week, so I thought it was about time I dusted off my keyboard and shared some of our plans in case you are looking for inspiration now Autumn is well and truly here.

1. Get down to your local farm/farm shop. Yes, I know it's October, but there's still plenty that's ripe for the picking! Harvest festival was a great excuse to get my children talking about food and yesterday we paid a visit to Sharnfold Farm so they could choose their own and they loved it. It's the activity that keeps on giving as it gives you the perfect chance to get your little ones involved in the cooking and excited about eating fruit and veg too.

2. The Forestry Commission is great at putting on trails featuring some favourite Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler characters. This Autumn it’s the turn of The Highway Rat (if you're in the South East look for Bedgebury Pinetum, Jeskyns Community Woodland and Alice Holt Forest) and there are  activity packs online (see the trails link above) to give them some fun activities to do.

4. The leaves are turning and the blasts of recent windy weather mean they're starting to flutter down already. Collect them and get arty, just like when you were a child, with leave painting, making Autumn garlands, a collage or take some paper and crayons to the park and do a tree rubbing. If you're looking for somewhere to go where Autumn really reveals itself, Sheffield Park is a must; we've been each Autumn for the last few years. Keep an eye on social media to see when the best time is as it changes every year.
5. I've got a *bit* of a pumpkin obsession and if you can’t go pumpkin crazy in October, when can you? We are getting more and more spoilt for choice with pumpkin patches, trails and events but we are regulars at Sharnfold and the trail this year is their best display yet. Ours raced around it for most of yesterday morning and we're going back again next week. In all honesty, ours are too young to carve pumpkins so I let them draw a design on before I (attempt) it myself and, if you want to light them, why not use electric tea lights as a safer option.
6. As the evenings get darker, make the most of the clear coastal skies and go stargazing. We don’t venture farther than the garden, the next full moon (the Hunter’s Moon) is 24th October, so fingers crossed for clear skies. If it's past bedtime, look out for good sunrises and sunsets as the days get shorter - there are some absolute stunners at the moment.
7. Pop on your wellies and go hunting for puddles to splash in. Actually, that's easier said than done in the South East at the moment, but there are still a few to be found and, no doubt, I'll have jinxed it writing this so there'll be lots soon!

These are just a few old favourites of ours but they’re just as much fun year after year so I hope I’ve given you some ideas. I’ll have more on my social media if you fancy a peak (@thatsmybabyblog).


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