In a blog we posted last April about the importance of traditions, we pointed out that around the world, traditions and rituals in family life are linked to increased happiness, emotional well-being, and a greater sense of identity in children. Whether it’s Sunday dinners, birthdays, or family game night, having routines that you do as a “family” is important on many levels.
The Autumn Equinox September 22nd also marks the first day of fall! This makes for the perfect time to honour the turn of another season with your child. If you’re interested in sparking a love of autumn through some family fun, here are a few ideas:
1. Learn some fun facts about the Equinox
The word equinox is derived from Latin, meaning “equal night.” On each equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night are said to be equal. The equinoxes are considered a day of balance because day and night are approximately the same lengths. One equinox happens in March (Spring Equinox), and the other in the fall (Autumn Equinox). Here are some fun activities to do with your child, to help them understand the meaning of the fall equinox: https://www.kidzworld.com/article/2526-autumn-equinox
2. Create a seasonal rhythm for the home
Use this time to create a seasonal rhythm in your home – this will help you get things done and create balance in the home. Children thrive on routines. Some are daily, some are weekly, and they can also be seasonal. Equinoxes are a great time for getting rid of clutter, letting go of those unused toys and giving away the outgrown cloths. Once those things are let go of, a seasonal bucket list is great way to get everybody involved in what they’d like to do the coming season.
3. Have a fall scavenger hunt
CBC has a great “print and play” autumn scavenger hunt guide online. Or, if you aren’t up for organizing it yourself, consider going to one at Evergreen Brickworks.
4. Create a fall nature table
Nature tables give children the opportunity to play with objects found in nature, helping them notice the little changes that happen when a season shifts, and connect with the natural world. They also create a sensory experience for the child, and can be used for pretend or imaginative play. Consider what the season represents for your family’s culture, values, beliefs, celebrations. Then, go around your home with that in mind and you’d be surprised what you can find (rocks, leaves, sticks, acorns, pine cones, seasonal art and crafts, silks and candles in the season, fall books for kids, etc)! Put these together, and voila!
*Of course, include only objects that are safe for your child to handle. Keep small and breakable objects off the table until you think your child is mature enough to handle them.
5. Go on a family nature walk in High Park
This is a great opportunity for young ones who need to get out, and are no longer using a stroller (but you can carry babies in a carrier of course). “Grandparents, parents, teens, children and babies alike will love this chance to discover the natural wonders in High Park’s incredible savannahs, woodlands and wetlands. Walks are led by our amazing nature interpreters, as well as the High Park Rangers and the High Park Eagles Youth.”