Fall is upon us which means it's time for our favorite pumpkin spice latte, football on the weekends, leaves changing colors, and colder weather. As the temperature drops, finding ways to keep your kids active and healthy can be a challenge and it's easy to fall into the trap of video games and other indoor activities. Fortunately, we've put together five of our favorite autumn weather activities to keep your kids on the move this fall.
Autumn Nature Hunt
Put together a list of your favorite fall nature items and turn it into a game by putting together teams and seeing who can find all the items on the list first. It may be a good idea to put a time limit on the hunt so that if they can't find some of the items on the list, the game doesn't drag on forever.
Here are some sample things you could include as part of your nature hunt:
- Maple tree leaf, oak tree leaf, _____tree leaf
- Pine needles
- Piece of bark
We can all use some extra hands when it is time to rake leaves. Excite your kids into helping by using them to make a leaf maze!
What is a leaf maze? It's easy. Use the leaves to draw the lines of a maze for your little ones to run around (and through). Make a game of it by timing how long it takes them to get from the start to the finish of the maze. Shortest times wins!
An even more fun way to put together a treasure hunt is with geocaching. For those of you wondering what geocaching is, Wikipedia defines it as: "an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world."
So how does this work?
- Find a geocaching app to download to your phone, there are many available, just do a search for "geocaching" on your iPhone or Android phone
- Gather items you're going to hide for you geocaching treasure hunt, usually something you can hide a note inside for people to read before moving onto the next item
- You'll then want to use the app to mark the location of items you're hiding that your kids will find later
- Once you've hidden and marked the location of your items with your geocaching app, it's time to start your fun adventure!
These are some general rules of etiquette in the world of geocaching that you'll want to know and teach your children:
- There will be a log included with the item, once they've found it, they should sign the log and return the item for the next person to find
- If they decide they want to take the item, they should replace it with an item of equal or greater value so the next person doesn't arrive to find the item has been taken and replaced with nothing
Keeping your family active and healthy this fall and winter is an important challenge for all parents. If you or your kids do fall ill, the Primary Care team at Augusta Health is here to help you.