I decided to develop some fun activities and embrace the extra time together by celebrating the fall season.
I love to celebrate the fall season, which is a favorite of mine and my eldest daughter. We focus a lot on writing and keeping a journal of what we have read, especially if it is particularly memorable in some way. So, we decided to incorporate writing and other fun family activities into themes, particularly with seasons. My elementary-aged daughters finished off the last school year with a poetry unit that unleashed a lot of creativity. I hope that some of these ideas inspire you as well.
The first topic is fall appreciation books to read with children. I include some for younger preschool and early elementary-aged children and some more appropriate for older elementary and middle school ages that are themed towards scary Halloween stories. Here is a short list of some of our favorites:
1. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro
2. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
3. Leaves by David Ezra Stein
4. Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
5. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz
These are scary stories and fun to read with older children:
We also enjoyed reading and discussing these fall-themed poems. We particularly enjoyed “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost, “October” by Robert Frost, “Fall” by Edward Hirsch, and “Besides the Autumn Poets Sing (131)” by Emily Dickinson.
After reading poetry, we decided to write our own using some of the techniques and styles learned from their poetry unit at school. One of my kids’ favorite is concrete poetry (or shape poetry) because it combines art into creatively composing a poem. Here is an example of one from my eight-year-old daughter:
“Stars are bright. They shine in the night and glow upon us. They make me happy, and they also make me shine. I always love to look at them at night.”
We turned back to the fall theme by creating poems shaped like leaves, pumpkins, and apples. Another style that we used to write about the fall season and observations of nature are Haikus using three lines with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second, and five syllables in the third. Other poems styles we used to reflect on the fall season include synonym and antonym poems, limericks, and acrostic (using letters in words to begin a new word on each line).
I decided to choose our favorite fall dessert to recommend that we love to make as a family. Ina Garten’s French Apple Tart recipe is relatively uncomplicated and offers a great recipe using apples you bring home from your fall orchard apple picking. Besides apples, the list of ingredients is relatively short, which helps in the planning and preparation. Definitely pair it with some ice cream.