I love the change of seasons, but I must admit that the summer to fall change is my favorite! Maybe living in the South gives the change to cooler days and nights more of a welcome. And I do love the colors!

Bringing autumn inside is easy and free! Beautiful baskets of leaves and nuts, acorns and pinecones. A decorator’s delight! This is also a great time for outdoor play. Mother Earth is rich in decorations and condiments for mud pies and other pretend foods!

Some fun things to do are to make people out of things found. Pinecones, acorn tops seeds and sticks can make some cool creations. Nestle these guardians of the woods under plants, bushes or beside trees. A little clay or glue will hold them together. You can even accessorize them with little strips of cloth for scarves!

Don’t forget pressing beautiful leaves between 2 pieces of wax paper. One year we shaved crayons onto the wax paper with leaves, topped it with a second piece of wax paper and pressed with an iron. What lovely works of art. Tape them to windows, cut into bookmarks or let your child come up with a use.

Seeds are bountiful now. Cover a Styrofoam ball with glue and roll it in a bowl of seeds or even beans. Split green and yellow beans and poppy seeds are just a few ideas. Match the size of the ball to the seed or bean. When dried, fill a bowl or basket with them. Kids love making them and they make nice gifts too.  Build a fairy house of twigs and side it with seeds and beans.  Use cinnamon sticks as the door.

Now is also a natural time to introduce warming food back into our meals. Spices such as cinnamon, chili, paprika as well as soups and stews help our bodies adjust to the change. In our home, granola is replaced by porridge for breakfast and hot chocolate or warm cider in the afternoon instead of cold juice or lemonade.  Helpful hint: The more Vitamin C you can get into your family now the better. That way when the inevitable sniffle season hits, your family will be ready for it. Apple cider and warm applesauce are fun sources, so is raw broccoli and  spinach dip!