The girls' age gap is what makes things most difficult for me in terms of taking them all out & about. Harper can play all day & easily skip naps, Eloise is a bit of a ticking time bomb when we are out in public if she gets over tired/hungry/bored, and just completely forget it if I have to sit down to nurse Claire. So with the change of seasons, I think the girls are ready for a little change of scenery when it comes to playtime each day. So, I am sharing a few ideas for Fall activities for toddlers, all of which can be done with a coffee in hand & none of which involve dumping nine hundred bags of corn kernels into a rubbermaid for sensory play. Or what I like to call, eternal cleanup.
1. Nature Scavenger Hunt // Make a list of things the kids can find outside (acorn, pine cone, yellow leaf, etc.) and then head to the park (or your yard) for them to fill up their bag. This is a fun way to switch it up instead of just playing on the playground, which is especially fun for younger kids if you or better yet, their older siblings, can help them find all of the goodies!
2. Pumpkin Bowling // The girls spent over an hour doing this the other morning. At the pumpkin patch, we grabbed a few small, lightweight gourds that could stand upright-ish, and some small, round pumpkins to use as "bowling balls." Harper loves to stack things & set things up, so she was in charge of the pins, and Eloise in charge of destruction. Anyone surprised? ;) Super fun, and can be done inside or out!
3. Festive Sugar Cookies // Making homemade sugar cookies can seem like a pain because of how long the process is, but they really are easy & so much fun for kids. If you prep the dough the night before, it can sit in the refrigerator until you're ready to roll it out, it is less sticky this way & allows you to split up the work. Baking with my kids is easily one of our favorite things to do together.
4. Trunk-or-Treat // Check your local area calendars & newspapers for events in your city, there will most likely be a few fun trunk-or-treats for kids during the entire month of October. Usually all you have to do is bring a bag of candy to donate, but the kids will get another excuse to dress up in costumes & have a fun time trick or treating, good practice for Halloween night!
5. Apple Picking // This was one of the most fun activities that we did last Fall. Pulling the kids in a wagon, when the weather is cool & getting to fill up on yummy apples (and apple pastries!) is pretty much a dream.
6. Chalkboard Pumpkins // A lot less messy than painting pumpkins, and more fun because you can do it more than once. Grab a few craft pumpkins from Target/Hobby Lobby, spray them with a few coats of chalkboard paint & once they're dry for 24 hours, let the kids decorate them with colored chalk! It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! is one of the girls' favorite books & would be a perfect guide to helping kids create different pumpkin faces.
7. Homemade Play-doh // There are tons of recipes for homemade play-doh, lots involving pumpkin pie spice or even real apples, others involving essential oils that can naturally encourage your kids to calm the f down. ;) A standard recipe we use is 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 2 tbsp cream of tartar & 2 tbsp vegetable oil. You can scour pinterest for more recipes, flavors, additions, etc. or just add food coloring for fun. So whatever it is you're looking for, DIY play-doh is less messy, usually edible & smells infinitely better than the store bought stuff. Add some plastic Halloween cookie cutters or pumpkin carving scoopers & you're set!
And let me just throw in the disclaimer of the century. Most days are pajama days here, breakfast is cereal or frozen waffles, and our best attempt at a super fun activity is coloring together or playing hide and seek, while I hide in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher as the girls count in the other room. So these activities are merely a little change-up from our very normal, day to day, all are easy enough & certainly don't require "super mom status." As always, if you have activities to share that are fun for toddlers with young siblings & doable for a mom likely wearing a baby, be sure to share!! :) XO