Exploring Autumn

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By: Angy Talbot –  ECFE Blog Writer/ School Readiness Teacher

There is so much to see and explore in the autumn months.  The leaves begin to change, the weather starts to cool, and our days begin to shorten.  There are many entertaining activities you can do this time of year with your children.  One of my favorite things to do with my daughter is to go to the pumpkin patch.  She always takes great care in choosing just the right pumpkins that we will carve.  At the pumpkin patch they often have corn mazes and hay rides.  I must admit I am always the first one to make it out of the maze!  Here is a wonderful website, Pumpkin Patches and More, to find pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and farms in your area:

www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/MNpumpkins.php.  This site also has great resources from how to choose pumpkins, pumpkin recipes, and the history of Halloween!

Not only do we think of pumpkins, apples are also at their best this time of year.  It is so fun to go to an apple orchard to pick your own apples or to taste all the different types of variations of apples.  My daughter was surprised how different each apple tasted.  Pink Ladies are her favorite!  To find an apple orchard go to the Minnesota Department of Agricultural website at: Minnesota Grown.Com  http://www3.mda.state.mn.us/mngrown/?gclid=CKOwzcfPjLkCFWNgMgod8HgARg

On this website you can also find:

  • Farmers Markets
  • Berries
  • Garden Produce
  • Sweet Corn

There are many various fall festivals and events throughout Minnesota.  To find where and when they are, just go Explore Minnesota at:  http://www.exploreminnesota.com/events/festivals-events/index.aspx.  Not only do they have a list of the many events, you can look up events by city.  You can even pick dates of events so you can find and search for fun activities throughout the year!

The Sherburne County National Wildlife has many wonderful opportunities for fall tours; their website is:  http://www.fws.gov/refuge/sherburne/.  The Fall Wildlife Festival is on Saturday, October 5th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.  This annual fall celebration of wildlife includes live birds, horse-drawn wagon rides, bonfire, nature crafts, wildlife discovery, food, silent auction, and more!  For more information, call 763-389-3323.

Now we can’t forget all those simple pleasures of the season.  This is a great time to be outside going on bike rides, walks, or just exploring the great outdoors.  There is so much for children to hear, smell, touch, and see.  All their senses can be used exploring the outside world.  Indoors activities such as decorating for the season, making apple pie or preparing that perfect Halloween costume are all things that can bring joy in Autumn.  Children love to help, and making them part of all the activities helps them to appreciate and enjoy them with you.  Children enjoy the simple activities of finding leaves, acorns, and pinecones or going on a scavenger hunt.  Raking a big pile of leaves and letting them play in it or letting them rake leaves is always a big hit for kids.  I found a website with fun autumn ideas, including over 150 autumn downloads!  Go to Woodland Trust at:  http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/autumn/

As stated by William Allingham, “Autumn’s the mellow time.”  So take this time as an opportunity to relax and enjoy the uncomplicated fall season.

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