Autumn is the ideal time of year for your family to thoroughly enjoy the outdoors. The crisp weather is just right without the scorching heat Summer brings and the frigid temperatures Winter brings. Autumn also has a special, simple beauty that no other season can offer. The leaves are turning into warm, rich hues and orange pumpkins are popping up everywhere you turn.
Playing seasonal-themed games in the fall allows your kids to enjoy the outside weather as well as get active. According to the National Wildlife Federation, many children are stressed, overweight and tuned out due to their lack of connection with nature. Outdoor play is beneficial for your children’s overall well-being including their mind, body and spirit.
From scavenger hunts to relay races, simple games can be set up right in your own backyard to help your kids de-stress, gain energy and explore the natural world. Active games are also the perfect kids entertainment for an upcoming costume party, harvest festival or birthday party.
Autumn Scavenger Hunt
Provide children with a checklist to search for natural items in your backyard. Items should be related to the fall season and be very specific for children to find in your backyard. For example, plan an autumn leaf scavenger hunt. Children can search for red, orange, brown and yellow leaves. Alternatively, turn the scavenger hunt into a neighborhood walk. Create a checklist of fall-related items to search for while walking around the neighborhood such as a scarecrow, a pumpkin or an autumn door wreath. The first child to find all of the items on the checklist wins the game. Also, have children take pictures of the items they find to create an autumn photo album.
Pumpkin Relay Race
Divide children into two equal teams. Place two pumpkins side by side several feet away from both teams. On the word “Go,” the first player in each team must run to the pumpkin and tap it, and then run back to tag the next person in their team. The next player must repeat the same process and so on. The first team to finish wins the game. For a different game variation, create a start and finish line. Provide each team with a pumpkin. On “Start,” the first child in each team must roll the pumpkin on its side to the finish line and then roll it back to the next child in their team. The team who finishes first wins the game.
Driveway Pumpkin Bowling
Set up ten plastic pins in a triangular shape like you would see at a bowling alley. A small pumpkin can be used as a bowling bowl. Have children stand a few feet away from the pins and take turns rolling the pumpkin on its side to knock down the pins. Place the pins back up after each child has a turn. The child who knocks down the most pins during his or her turn wins the game. Have several small pumpkins handy just in case any pumpkins bust. If you don’t have any pins at home, empty plastic bottles can be used for pins.