For grandparents there are lots of creative activities and garden tasks you can still enjoy with the grandchildren throughout autumn.
If you have a vegetable patch, get them involved in picking the autumn harvest so they can learn more about how food is grown. It is also the perfect time to introduce activities and traditions associated with the harvest festival – such as making corn dolls. Why not help your grandchildren create some simple ones by collecting and drying grasses grown in your garden borders?
As autumn progresses the traditional celebration that gets us outside is Halloween – always a wonderful excuse for a party that all the generations can enjoy. Treat your grandchildren to pumpkins and squash in different shapes and sizes and encourage their creative skills by getting them to draw ornate and decorative patterns, as well as some traditional ghoulish faces. You can then do the tricky bit and carve out their designs for them – which is bound to ensure plenty of laughter. Keep the scooped-out insides for making pumpkin muffins with them later the same day.
An outdoor table can easily be transformed into a Halloween-themed party table with tiny pumpkin and gourd lanterns, and jam jars filled with sand and candles and decorated with berries and leaves. And why not make autumn-leaf bunting by attaching varying shapes and sizes to some garden twine and stringing it up between the trees?
Perhaps one of the most fun, traditional activities for autumn is a conker match. If you have a horse chestnut tree in the garden, make the most of the bounty that falls to the ground. Pierce a hole through each conker with a skewer and thread through a length of string knotted at the end so that the grandchildren can have competitions to see whose conker lasts the longest. Similarly, enjoy outdoor games such as apple bobbing, which is the perfect excuse to encourage children to gather up any fallen fruit and tidy your garden in the process!
Bonfire parties are also fun times that you can share with your grandchildren, allowing them to enjoy fireworks and sparklers in a safe environment. Scour the garden together and tidy up dead branches and sticks from which to build the bonfire, then host a family gathering. Buy foods that can be cooked on the bonfire safely, such as sausages and marshmallows on sticks that are both fun and tasty. Any apples collected by the grandchildren during the day can be made into toffee apples to serve as a sweet treat.
When the parties are over, the children can be encouraged to help in the greenhouse, brushing out pots, and storing them for future use. Simple but creative tasks could include making plant markers out of wooden lollipop sticks, either by writing the name on with a permanent marker pen or by attaching the empty seed packed with glue and sealing in a waterproof wrapping. Children will also enjoy planting seeds in trays and watching their progress during the coming months, so look out for seasonal varieties to keep them busy.
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