Autumn is here! Temperatures are getting cooler and days are getting shorter. Fall is a favorite of many families. There are so many things to enjoy about the fall, but what happens when chilly and rainy days upset your plans for a sun-filled perfect autumn day? Most of the following activities can be done inside, with warm dry clothes, still creating seasonal memories with your Cloverbuds.
Rainy Weather? Go out Anyway! In his 1973 book, “Coast to Coast”, Alfred Wainwright wrote “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” Sometimes, rainy days make the best days outdoors. Popular outdoor areas, like pumpkin patches, the zoo, and the parks see a reduced attendance rate on less than picture perfect days, so you’ll have smaller crowds. Places like the zoo or aquarium have interspersed buildings that can provide a quick place to duck in if the weather is especially blustery. If you’re looking for an inexpensive outdoor experience, local metro parks or your own backyard are the perfect solution. Take your Cloverbuds (be sure to tell parents in advance so they can dress their Cloverbud for the weather) on a wet weather scavenger hunt for the biggest and smallest puddle, see who can create the biggest splash, find animals tracks in the mud, or make leaf boats to float. A bonus of parks and trails is gathering fallen leaves or materials to use to make art but be sure to leave the wildflowers for others to enjoy. (Know and follow your local park guidelines. Some have policies that state the only thing you should take is pictures.) So be prepared for a little rain and a little mud. Pack that extra change of clothing, strap on those rainboots, grab the raincoat, and enjoy the wet weather!
Looking for indoor activities to use with your Cloverbuds this fall? If you have leaves available in your backyard (or collected after a hike), use them to make some amazing works of art. Leaves can be used to make a nature art frame, or used outside for games and activities. Fall wildflowers such as ironweed and goldenrod make beautiful backgrounds for your frame too.
Thinking ahead to upcoming holidays, floral arrangements or wreaths make excellent indoor activities. Using materials from the discount store and hot glue, fun fall decorations can be made with budget friendly materials. Cut the center out of a paper plate and glue leaves and pinecones around the edges for a fall look or go spooky with tissue ghosts and black construction paper handprints.
Homemade play dough never goes out of style and can be used more than once if it is stored properly. Check your spice cabinet and add cinnamon, pumpkin or apple pie spice, or nutmeg to create a fragrant hands-on fall theme play day! Be sure to tell Cloverbuds not to eat the homemade play dough.
Carve pumpkins and use the seeds to make a salty snack or dye them and use for counting, making patterns, color sorting or creating seasonal art! Learn how to dye the harvested seeds and find a list of STEAM seed activities here.
Don’t forget to check out the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch in a few weeks to register those apple crunches for Ohio which helps celebrate October as Farm to School month. Every tasty bite counts!
Written by Lindsey Van Gundy
Don’t forget to check out the 4-H Cloverbud Connections: https://u.osu.edu/cloverbudconnections/