How to enjoy Autumn

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The Autumn months are officially here, there's a chill in the air and the days are shorter, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself. Even when you spend your days at home with the children there are great ways to enjoy Autumn.
a young boy playing in a pile of dead leaves, the sun is shining and there are trees in the background.


Leaves



What comes to mind when I think of Autumn is the coloured leaves, the wonderful colours that surround us during the cooler months.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. 
Albert Camus.

Doesn't that just say it all?

Coloured leaves cover the trees and the ground we walk on and somehow make the season more beautiful. As a mum it's easy to forget that autumn can be a great month to have fun with your children, despite the weather. Trees are everywhere and they're shedding their colourful leaves, they're falling to the ground and forming piles or sheets. And right there, in your own back garden (perhaps), or at the local park, you can have lots of fun.

Grab a rake and gather all those leaves together (if they aren't already), make the biggest pile of leaves you can. Then let your kids play - don't nag them about getting dirty, don't worry about them being cold or getting wet, just let them play. It is a magical thing to watch when you just let them free. Their smiles will say it all.

Check out the fun these children have:


The Leaf Cam was set up by the Forestry Commission England following research. The tantalising 6 foot pile of leaves was set up at Bedgebury Forest and Pitenum and the Leaf Cam captured the public's weird and wonderful reactions. Leaf fights, angels, and being buried in leaves, the pile was barely left alone, as children were encouraged by their parents to get stuck in.

29% of British parents claim their children are missing out on the enjoyment of playing with a pile of leaves, a part of autumn that they enjoyed as a child. So why not gather those leaves together?

When I was walking to school with LP recently we encountered a sheet of leaves, they were beginning to form a pile. It was a gorgeous morning, the sun was out and while it was a little chilly it wasn't too cold, so, even though we were on our way to school, I let LP play. I even joined in. He had fun kicking the leaves up into the air (like I showed him) and dancing around as they floated back to the ground. Those few minutes warmed my heart and made me smile, and thinking of it right now brings a smile to my face.

A boy playing in the leaves before school



Collect Conkers


As the leaves drop to the ground so do conkers and I remember when I was at school this time of year was when the competitions began. Who would find the biggest conker?! The boys, and even some girls, would spend hours on end walking through parks and woodland scouring the ground for conkers.

a squirrel surrounded by orange, fallen leaves, grass poking through.


The squirrel above reminds me of our squirrel, he/she must live locally and we have an oak tree in our garden. Every year as the trees lose their leaves this squirrel scurries to and fro in front of our patio doors collecting the acorns. It is such a lovely sight, he/she spends days on end gathering acorns, he/she passes the doors hundreds of times, and it makes me smile.

Unlike the squirrel I've only ever taken my boys to Wollaton Park once to search for conkers and it was towards the end of Autumn so we didn't find many, but this year we're going to do more. The great thing about searching for conkers is that it gets your children outdoors, doing something fun and enjoying being out in the cold. Just make sure you wrap up warm if there's a chill in the air!


Sunset


The sun is setting earlier every day which means that you, and your children, get the chance to see a serene sunset (weather permitting). Watching the sunset can be a calming experience, as the sun dips below the horizon its light shines and paints the sky in the most beautiful colours. Purple, orange and pink hues fill the skies and makes you want to capture the moment.

Autumn sunset over a lake, mountains and trees in the background


Sunset is also another opportunity for you to teach your children about the world. As you watch the sun go down you can explain that the sun isn't actually going down but that your part of the world is turning away from the sun. Watch as they look at you in awe.


New clothes


Whether it's you or your children you enjoy buying for most Autumn is a great time to shopping. Festive jumpers, sweaters to keep you warm, scarves, and gloves fill the shop windows. The change in seasons mean you can change up your style too.

I love shopping in autumn - new jumpers for me and the boys, leggings, jeans, boots, I could go on. Wrapping up in warm clothes that also make you feel good while you take the children to the park to enjoy the falling leaves is my idea of a great Autumn day.

quote from Emily Brontë "Every leaf speaks bliss to me, Fluttering from the autumn tree..." falling leaves in the background



Food and drink


After the salads and lighter food of spring and summer it's time to enjoy some foody comforts; soups stews, hot chocolate, and warm milk (to mention a few).

Anything that warms you from deep inside and keeps a glow going for a while is great. Eating a healthy, warming meal before heading outdoors to enjoy fireworks or go trick-or-treating will ensure you'll stay warmer for longer.


Snuggling


Autumn is the best time of year for snuggling, whether it's under a blanket while watching a great movie or reading a book, or wrapping your hands around a hot coffee after spending time outdoors.

gloved hands surround a hot, steaming cup of coffee


Spend the day outdoors playing with your children, enjoy the time and don't worry about the cooler weather. Forget about chores, daily woes, just go out and enjoy the day. Then, once you get home, make hot chocolate for the whole family, grab your favourite blanket and snuggle beneath it while you all watch a movie together.

Now that sounds like the perfect autumn evening.

Like 92% of people I feel happy when I think of Autumn, do you?

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love - that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one's very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. 
George Elliot

That quote makes me want to sit on my sofa, underneath a snuggly blanket, reading my favourite book.

How do you enjoy autumn?

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