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8 Fun Ways to Celebrate Fall With Your Family

8 Fun Ways to Celebrate Fall With Your Family

The Autumn season has begun. Leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter and the sun goes down a lot faster. School has started and most children are caught up in the anticipation of the coming holidays.

There are so many wonderful ways for a family to spend time together in the fall. The weather is getting a little bit cooler, but it is still warm enough to spend time outside together in the backyard or on the patio.

Here are 8 fun ways to spend family time:

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1. Backyard barbecue

It’s still nice enough in most areas to spend time in the yard. Whether you are scraping the remaining weeds out of the garden, or just hanging out on the porch, there are still plenty of evenings where you can gather as a family in the backyard. Having a barbecue is one way to celebrate fall. Throwing some meat on the grill, and a few veggies too, sounds good. Corn on the cob tastes incredible when it is wrapped in tin foil and grilled. Many homes have a patio that is already set up for parties and barbecues for family and friends to gather around the firepit, for a bit of food and fun, which can include roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.

Scott Robinson on Flickr

    2. Movie night

    As the evenings get colder, it’s a great idea to create a movie night for your family. You can plan dinners around the night, such as making it a pizza night or grabbing a meal at a restaurant. Popcorn and special treats can be included, and you can ask the kids what kind of movie they want. Just spending time together enjoying a movie is one of my favorite memories of my own family. Watching a movie together as a family helps to promote a sense of security in children and shows them they can enjoy being at home and don’t always have to be on the go to have fun. They can relax and feel safe in a loving home environment.

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    3. Leaf gathering

    You could plan a leaf raking day, or you could go on a walk with your children in the neighborhood for a leaf gathering excursion. Small preschool children and those in grade school would enjoy this kind of activity. After you have gathered many different types of leaves, you can sit down and look at them together and then paste them into a homemade book, or put them into frames. Using thrift store frames is an inexpensive way for children to cherish the leaves they have gathered with you. Another idea is to use the leaves for leaf rubbing pictures. You simply place the leaves beneath the paper and rub sideways with a pencil or crayon, to create a beautiful picture. You could also press the leaves in a book or leaf-presser, to be viewed in a week or so.

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      4. Tidy up the yard

      One of the best ways to celebrate Fall is to work on cleaning up the yard as a family. If you decorated your yard for Halloween, now is a good time to take it down, and you can clean up the yard by raking leaves. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday around the corner, you can also think of ways to dress up the yard for that. There are so many interesting ways to decorate your yard. You can use solar lights along the walkways to make your yard more visible in the evening or string lights in the trees for the Christmas holiday. The best time to put up lights is before the weather turns cold, so now is a good time to plan your decor. Children love to be a part of creating yard displays or yard art. Just shop around for ready to hang decor, or make your own. The important part is just doing it as a family and letting your children help make decisions and letting them put it together.

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      5. Family bike ride

      Everyone is familiar with bike riding, but it can be extra fun when the whole family participates. This can be a very relaxing thing to do, which helps build confidence in youngsters and to helps to create a bond between parents and kids when they go on rides together. This is one of the easiest things to do as a family and it usually doesn’t cost any money. You can bike ride around your neighborhood, or find some paved trails near a park in your city. Your children can enjoy the outdoors and also learn about things like how to wear helmets and how to ride safely. The whole family will be getting exercise too.

      Travis on Flickr

        6. Go on a hike

        Another idea is for the whole family to load up in the car and drive somewhere to hiking trails. This can be an exciting thing for the children because they are exploring new areas and building confidence, along with their muscles. Even very small children can go hiking. If necessary, you can carry your kids in a carrier on your back, if they are too small to keep up. Family bonding time is so very important, and it’s a good idea to do it as often as you can. There are many things to teach children out in nature, and it’s important to take time to let them enjoy it, and not push them too hard. If your children are very young, even a stroll at the park can be enough of an outing to make them happy. Being outdoors, especially in the fall, is a great way for all of you to enjoy the beauty of nature.

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        7. Bake cookies

        Baking cookies is a simple project to undertake, and it can get really interesting when you let your children do it with you. Walking them through the process and teaching them how to bake cookies, step by step, is something that nearly every child enjoys. Not only are they learning how to do something, but they can be having fun and then they get the reward of tasting them afterward. When the weather begins cooling down, baking cookies is a great thing to do with your kids. Or, if they like some other type of baked goods, you can do that too. Before you know it, they will be offering to do it themselves and you can supervise. They can make the treats, while you just watch.

        Brian Richardson on flickr

          8. Do a craft project

          The fall is a time best suited to craft projects for children, especially because they are back in school. You can use crafts to explore their interests and see what kind of projects they enjoy the most. Whether it is drawing, painting or putting pieces together with glue, crafting is one of the funnest things to do as a family. Children can learn to express themselves and enjoy creating something special, which can gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment. There are even garden art projects your kids can make.

          The coming of the holidays is a perfect opportunity to do craft projects with your kids. There are dozens of ideas available from many sources on the internet, or even at your local craft store that will inspire you to try doing new things with your children. They can make something special to hang on the walls, or on the door. Or, for Thanksgiving, they can work on table or window decorations, and for Christmas, they can start making ornaments for the tree.

          Family activities are something you should always make time for in today’s busy world. It may seem hard for families to come together in the fall, because of busy school and work schedules, but you should take the time to do them. When you make creative use of everyday activities, you are bonding with your children and building memories of family fun that your kids will remember for years to come.

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          Karen Bresnahan

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          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

          Boundaries are limits

          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
          • When do you feel disrespected?
          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
          • When do you want to be alone?
          • How much space do you need?

          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

          Sample language:

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          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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          Final Thoughts

          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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