1.Tap your inner arborist.
An arborist is someone who knows a lot about trees, shrubs, vines, and woody plants. Your kid could be one! Say she likes trees. Let her get to know the ones around you, now, in the fall, when the air is brisk, the leaves are turning colors, and the neighborhood trees look super pretty. Gather up leaves and bark (at home or on public property), and take pictures. Identify samples the texture and color of the bark; the shape of the trees; and the leaves’ size, shape, color, and other features. Create a guide to area trees and distribute to interested neighbors.
2. Remember who loves you.
On Grandparents Day, Sunday, September 10, celebrate the people who would go to the moon and back for you. Go ahead and party like there’s no tomorrow. Visit, call, Skype, send cards, write a letter, or just spend time with Grandma and Gramps. Got time left over? Connect with an elderly relative or a neighbor who needs cheering up. Exchange ideas and listen intently. Demonstrate empathy and share a sunny outlook. Contact community leaders, local clergy, even activity directors at school for more names and addresses if you have time to spare this month and want to expand your circle.
3. Be a rock star.
Get to know the ground beneath your feet—before winter sets in and frost or snow blankets the area. There’s an exciting world down there, studded by rocks and pebbles and teaming with life (worms, beetles, grubs, plants roots, snakes, insects, and spiders). Grab a shovel, dig in, and search for examples of each to identify. Give each family member a task. Temporarily store samples n a glass jar and a lid with holes; when you’re done, return all lifeforms to their environment.
4. Discover foot golf.
No kidding.It’s a lot like golf and a little like soccer. It’s perfect for an autumn day and is the hot sport that you’re going to love but didn’t know you were missing, say foot-golf enthusiasts.Kid-and-parent pairs of varying skills and ages can play this together on a formal foot-golf course. Or try a friendly round of at home, adapted for your space, and wear anything you want to be comfortable.
5. Or try archery.
Really. It’s a crazy awesome activity for kids and parents. It’s fun, safe, and inexpensive, and participation pays off big-time—physically, socially, and academically. Archery builds skills, confidence, discipline, and awareness, as well as core strength, balance, hand-eye coordination, and stability. Sounds good, doesn’t it? You probably remember archery from The Hunger Games, The Hobbit, or Robin Hood. (The later also happens to be a pretty good adventure story to read together, as a family, afterward.)
6. Do something out of character.
Friday, September 1 is National No Rhyme or Reason Day. The phrase no rhyme or reason means “for no apparent purpose or explanation.” But think of it as “just because,” and then be super nice to a sibling, help a neighbor carry groceries, walk the dog, or do the dishes without fussing, for no rhyme or reason. The recipient of your kindness will reap the benefits, and you, the do-gooder, will be better off for it.
7. Get lost. In a corn maze.
Really. It could be the coolest thing you do all season. With luck—and legwork—you may be able to find a maze close-by that’s well designed and large enough (two miles or more) to keep highly energetic kids busy for several hours. Depending on where you live, you also may be able to find one that suits your family’s needs: not too scary, not too childish. Are there maps or aerial photos to help you navigate? Check trail conditions before you go. Ask what happens if you get lost. If you have young kids, make sure the maze you have in mind is stroller friendly.