The following post is by editor Kara Fleck and originally appeared in October 2010. I’ve updated it for 2011 with some new ideas and links. Happy Autumn!
Last week I mentioned my personal goals for this Autumn. Part of that is to be mindful of slowing down and being aware of what is going on around us – indoors and outdoors. I want my family to experience this time of year, not just as dates on the calendar, but as an opportunity to use all of our senses to really savor the season.
I thought it would be fun to list some of the different ways we can experience the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of Autumn with our kids.
What Does Autumn LOOK Like?
The hallmark of Autumn is the changing colors of the leaves, of course. This provides opportunities to create leaf rubbings and other leaf related crafts. We can rake leaves together, which naturally leads to jumping in leaf piles!
Yesterday, we made a map of our backyard. The kids and I have been talking about the trees in our yard and what they look like now versus what they looked like a few short weeks ago. We wonder what they will look like in the Winter time.
Beautiful leaves are not the only sights of Autumn …
- What is happening to the grass? The flowers?
- What are the insects and animals doing?
- What does the garden look like now?
- Do you see any acorns? Walnuts? Seed pods?
What Does Autumn FEEL Like?
As the weeks pass and the weather changes, we begin to experience chilly Autumn days. Our clothing reflects the temperatures as we don wool sweaters, waffle weave long underwear, thick socks, and perhaps even a puffy down vest or a coat before we go outside.
There are other ways to feel the season:
- The textures of hay bales
- The varied surfaces of pumpkins and gourds
- Difference between the silky petals of the mum’s flower and its leaves
Go on a nature walk and ask your child …
- What does the sun feel like on your skin? What about the shade?
- Is there any wind today? Can you feel a breeze?
- What does the air feel like? Dry? Humid?
What Does Autumn TASTE Like?
For me, the tastes of Autumn are fresh baked bread, homemade applesauce, and my Aunt Anna’s pumpkin pie. One of the dates on the calendar I most look forward to is Thanksgiving, and the delicious food is certainly part of the appeal!
Here are some recipes on my wish list to try with my kids this season:
- Spiced Apple Ice Cream ::: Gidget Goes Home
- Pumpkin Cheesecake ::: Simple Bites
- Harvest Pumpkin Dip ::: The Picky Apple
- Browned Butter Fruit Crisp ::: Backseat Gourmet
- Apple Pie ::: Simple Bites
What recipes does your family enjoy during Autumn’s cooler days?
What Does Autumn SMELL Like?
There are good smells coming from our kitchens in Autumn, it is true. What other wonders can we experience with our sense of smell this time of year?
To my family, Autumn smells like …
Autumn smells like the first fire in the fireplace and beeswax candles on the dinner table as night’s darkness falls earlier and earlier.
What Does Autumn Sound Like?
This time of year may not be as noisy as the Spring, when new life is bursting forth, but there are still plenty of sounds in Autumn’s symphony.
- the geese honking as they fly overhead
- the wind rusting the leaves
- crackling campfires
And at our house we can hear the tractors as the farmers nearby harvest their crops. Indoors, Autumn sounds like the clicking of knitting needles and popcorn popping for an afternoon snack.
What about you? What does Autumn look like to you? What sights, smells, and sounds evoke this time of year for your family?