1. Get Reading
Head to your local library or bookstore to find some great Fall books to bring home and enjoy together! Snuggle up on a cozy chair with some new reads in hand. Some of my favorites: There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves (or better yet, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey!), Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt, I Love Fall!: A Touch-and-Feel Board Book, Leaves, Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn. There are also plenty more specifically on Thanksgiving like Turkey’s Thanksgiving Adventure, Llama Llama Gives Thanks, Five Silly Turkeys, Thankful
2. Bake a Pie or Make Candied Apples as Family Treat
Enjoy something delicious – but first put in the hard work together by picking the pie type, candied apple add-ons and preparing the ingredients. This might be a super messy project but it can also be awfully fun.
3. Do Some Fall Crafts
Although I try to think of myself as somewhat creative, there is no way I am going to come up with better ideas than this list or this one for fall crafts as a family. Thanksgiving stickers are always fun and easy (and stickers are always a hit in my house!). These scratch leaves are super entertaining and easy on-the-go (we did pumpkins this October!).
4. Make Fall “Ice Cream”
Someone very generous gave us a Breville Ice Cream Maker for a special gift last year and it is amazing. Amazing. The ice cream is delicious and the whole process is easy from start to finish. Fall ice cream like spiced pumpkin, caramel or peppermint? Count me in, especially when it is efficient.
5. Get out the Fall Decor
I use to truly love helping my mom get out all the holiday decor and set it up around the house. It is one of my fondest memories as a child. We’d put on Christmas music and set-up a little snow village, international holiday decorations she had collected over the years and end the night with the whole family decorating the tree. There may or may not have been hot chocolate involved, I like to think that there was.
As an adult, I like to repeat the excitement of decorating for the holidays for every big holiday in our house (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter). For Fall – letting the kids help find places for everything and set it all up is super time consuming, but fun. Share this joy with your kids too!
6. Schedule in Weekly Walks or Bike Rides as a Family
Make it an adventure to get out in the cool crisp air together, watch colors change, even make it into a scavenger hunt! We like to walk around and check out everyone’s Halloween decorations in October. It is good for your health, happiness and time together!
7. Go Apple Picking or Attend a Harvest Festival
Oh what fun fall fests are! Whether you can get yourself to a full harvest festival or simply find somewhere to go apple picking on your own time – make it a family event that everyone can look forward to.
8. Make a Delicious Stew Together
Cold weather makes me crave warm meals. Enlist the whole family in picking out a recipe to make a hot stew or soup to enjoy together on a cool evening. Having the kids plop in all the ingredients will be easy enough, right? Ha. A crock pot or instant pot will make this one easier.
9. Enjoy Fall Treats
If you have a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, get the whole family bundled up for s’mores and hot chocolate outside after dinner one night. Even better, make it a fall potluck (“friendsgiving” if you will!) and invite over friends or neighbors for some early November yummies.
10. Write Your Thankful Lists
Have everyone put together a list of at least three things they are thankful for this year. You can make it a big craft project with names and art or make it as simple as adding them to a family chalkboard. Having them up all month long and making a big deal out of recognizing the importance of our blessings is so great for the family mindset!
11. Volunteer Together
Make it part of your Thanksgiving monthly tradition to volunteer as a family. It doesn’t have to be on Thanksgiving – you can pick a weekend or two before the holiday and find a cause you all can participate in like planting trees, picking up trash, collecting can goods, or other.
12. Fall Cleaning
Kids love cleaning, right? Just saving the best for last here. With the holidays coming up, maybe it’s time to purge. It’s also a good time to think of others. Pick a day to have everyone help clean out closets, cupboards and toy bins to give to goodwill. You’ll make room for anything that may come your way during the holidays and feel a sense of relief having your house a little less packed.