When autumn arrives, it doesn’t mean you have to give up playing outside with your kids. For much of the season, the weather is fine to get out in the open air. You just might need a jumper and raincoat close at hand. In fact, we have put together fiver fun autumn activities for kids in the garden that you can enjoy together.
Research has shown that exposure to good bacteria in the natural environment can support children’s immune systems and that gardens can play a pivotal role in helping young people develop.
School studies show that gardening also improves the mental and physical wellbeing of pupils, while 90% say it plays a role in skills development.
So here are the ways to keep them entertained outdoors in autumn.
Autumn activities for kids
1. Become a pomologist
Pomology is the study of fruit and its cultivation, and there is plenty to study in gardens and wild spaces in every corner of the country. Spend a day picking or buying different varieties of apples and see which ones taste best. Then make yourself the king of all apple crumbles.
2. Plant spring flowering bulbs
If you want your garden to be filled with cheerful flowers next spring, now is the time to get planting. Bulbs like snowdrops, daffodils, crocus, grape hyacinths, iris and winter windflowers will give your garden a fantastic burst of colour in the springtime. Put in the hard work now and you will feel the benefits next year.
3. Make an origami seed packet
Making an origami seed packet is a great way to store seeds that you have collected from plants in your garden. It is one of those crafty autumn activities for kids that will keep them busy as they perfect their process.
Recycle a page from an old magazine or use some sheets of scrap paper to make a useful pouch. Get into your garden on a dry day to harvest seeds. You can collect seeds from fleshy fruits by mashing them through a fine sieve and rinsing away the pulp in cold water.
Store your seed packets in an airtight container along with some desiccant like silica gel and put them in the refrigerator. This way, your seeds should stay viable for many years. Remember to leave some fruits and seeds on garden plants for the birds to eat over winter.
4. Make a wildflower piñata
Making a wildflower piñata is a fun way to spread wildflowers and a brilliant and messy activity, especially during a celebration. Papier-mâché around a balloon makes a perfect piñata that you can decorate any way you like. Once it’s ready, fill it with loose wildflower seeds and hang it where you want your seeds to land.
Arm yourself, or your kids, with a bamboo stick or a trowel and take turns whacking the piñata. Choose hardy annuals like pot marigold, field scabious, field cornflower, feverfew, delphinium, nigella and poppy and sow in September or early October. This will give them time to grow before the winter frosts and snow.
5. Create art from the garden
Get outside and collect natural materials to create art from the garden. Use autumn leaves, stones, twigs, branches, plant fruits, flowers and anything else you can find this autumn to create wonderful natural art to share.
Why not research artists who have used nature as their inspiration for their artworks? Think about different textures, colours and shapes of plants. Alternatively, you can use a scavenger hunt style game and create your art from whatever you find.
This is one of those autumn activities for kids that you can take inside in the case of a sudden rainstorm too!