Simple Ways To Celebrate the Fall Equinox with Kids
Fall can be a super stressful time of year for families. As school-aged kids return to school, those relaxed summer days too often give way to stress, overscheduling, tummy bugs, and lice checks. Looking for an antidote to all the pressure? The Fall Equinox on September 23 serves up the perfect opportunity to slow down, get present, and connect with our kids, our partners, and our communities. To that end, below you’ll find a few of the ways our family loves to celebrate the Fall Equinox. Curious what the fall equinox actually is? Check out this post with a few Fun Facts About the Fall Equinox.
1. Get Outside and Look for Signs of Fall
Since our kids were wee, our family has loved heading to Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont to look for signs of the season, which is exactly where you’ll find us on the Fall Equinox. We love looking for the first colorful leaves, watching squirrels begin to hustle, and popping jewelweed pods so we can see the seeds fly through the air. Mass Audubon and The Trustees of Reservations offer endless opportunities for your own family outdoor adventures throughout the state. You might even want to try including a fall themed Nature Scavenger Hunt in your travels.
2. Celebrate the Harvest
Many cultures have long used the Fall Equinox as a fabulous excuse to celebrate nature’s bounty. In New England, this means everything apple, pumpkin, corn, and delicious. Head to one of these 35 Fall Festivals in Massachusetts or go on a family apple picking adventure (check out Where to Eat + Pick Apples in Massachusetts if you need destination ideas!) to get into the seasonal spirit.
You could also try something closer to home by working as a family to prepare a feast from your own garden. Christine’s tips for How to Get Kids Cooking will come in handy if you’re trying to figure out how to include your kids in the harvest meal prep! And you can look to some of our Eat Seasonal posts for great apple recipes and cranberry dishes.
3. Get Ready for the Winter
Traditionally, this time of year would have been all about getting ready for the long, cold winter months ahead. Stocking firewood, preserving fruit, and pickling and dehydrating veggies were seasonal rituals that people depended upon for survival. Here are a few of the ways your family can get ready for the coming cold weather:
Older kiddos who already cook and bake can easily get in on some simple canning projects. I love this Little Sous canned fruit recipe because it’s flexible and fun, and gives kids a lot of options to make it their own. They also offer some great tips about how to make canning kid-friendly and fun.
Making our own lip balm for ourselves and to give away to friends is a beloved annual tradition in our house. And this Orange Pomander lip balm recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs is my absolute favorite.
Check to make sure everyone’s mittens, hats, snow pants, coats, and boots fit. If not, order bigger ones and donate outgrown winter gear to families in need.
4. Be Grateful
Fall Equinox marks the beginning of a season of gratitude. Just as harvest celebrations give us the chance to honor all the effort that produced our bounty, let the equinox be an opportunity to give thanks for the fruit of our work over the past year. In our house, we like to reflect on what we want to create through the seasons and year to come. A few simple ways to do create a Fall Equinox gratitude tradition?
Create a Gratitude Tree. Gather a few bare branches and place them in a vase. Cut out a collection of paper leaves for family members to jot down a daily gratitude. Hang your leaves with pretty ribbon or string. Or you do what our family does and make a paper trunk and branches for your wall. Need more gratitude tree inspiration? Blissful Kids curated this lovely roundup of gratitude trees.
Start new gratitude journals together and spend time as a family writing and reflecting in them. Scholastic shares a few tips for helping kids feel happier through gratitude journaling.
Create a gratitude jar, write thank you letters, or try any one of these 20 Ideas to Teach Children to be Grateful.
Need some more inspiration? Check out Christine’s advice for Simple Ways to Foster Gratitude and Connection, then take a peek at the top tips offered by two social workers at Floating Hospital for Children on How to Cultivate Gratitude in Kids. You can also take a listen to Episode 102 of the Edit Your Life Podcast, Editing In Gratitude.
5. Snuggle Up and Read
Really, this is something my family loves to do four seasons long. Beach and pool deck reading may be over for the year, but it’s time to pull out a few cozy blankets and curl up on the couch together with a good book. To that end, I joined forces with my third and sixth grader to put together this list of our favorite fall-themed books for you. Even though they are older now, they still love these old favorites.