It was with a shock this week that I realized autumn is very nearly over! As a family, we have been so busy (who isn't?) and much to my chagrin, every member of our family has been sidelined with some form of illness or another for the better part of the past two months, with only a day or two of relief sprinkled in here and there. That being said, I would like to take this time to wrap up our Playing Through Autumn series. We have had such a marvelous time exploring the wonders of this beautiful season. For years, I was so excited to have a child of my own with whom to share all the things I love about autumn, and this year I was able to see that dream realized. Admittedly, I am sort of bummed that we weren't able to do all of the things I had planned for the tot with this series (see above regarding illness), but it is with a sigh of relief I realize we now have a basis for our plans for next year.
Thirty days of seasonal experiences, outdoor adventures, cooking projects, sensory play, fabulous books...okay, I really need to stop beating myself up. We have had a wonderfully engaging season! Here's to our adventures still to be had in the coming seasons - cheers!
This one was pretty exciting for me as a blogger - it got more that 10,000 views in just over one day! As a mama and teacher who loves autumn and sensory play, it was a fantastic way to start off the series!
This was one seriously fun activity! The tot loves anything that gets her outdoors, and this one had her listening for many of her favorite sounds - cars, dogs, kids playing. We heard some unexpected sounds as well, which just added to the fun! Mama's Favorite Activity:
It was really hard for me to pick just one activity from the series as my favorite, but if I'm forced to narrow it down to only one, this is definitely my pick. Once again, we were outdoors, so the tot was hooked and it was so fun for Hubs and I to watch her experience so many new things in one outing. Hunting for pumpkins is certainly the pinnacle of autumn experiences, and more than a month later, she's still talking about it. I hope you were able to find some inspiration here along the way and remember...if you didn't get around to everything you wanted to do this year, there's always next autumn!
I am absolutely ecstatic about Thanksgiving! I have so many things in my life to be thankful for and each year I get so excited to see family and friends during the holiday season. This year I am particularly excited because the tot is now old enough to start understanding what Thanksgiving is all about. To help prepare her (and myself!) for all the joy that Thanksgiving has to offer, I rounded up some of our favorite Turkey Day reads - books to really be thankful for!
Over the River and Through the Wood
Written by Lydia Maria Child
Illustrated by Christopher Mason
A Plump and Perky Turkey
Written by Teresa Bateman
Illustrated by Jeff Shelly
One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims
Written by B.G. Hennessy
Illustrated by Lynne Cravath
'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
Written & Illustrated by Dav Pilkey
Thanks for Thanksgiving
Written by Julie Markes
Illustrated by Doris Barrette
Merrily Comes Our Harvest In: Poems for Thanksgiving
One of the best things about the autumn is all of the delicious pumpkin flavored treats you can find anywhere you go. We recently decided to add our very own kitchen to the list of locations and whipped up a tasty batch of pumpkin muffins!
First things first: aprons on!
This is a really simple recipe and easy to manage for those little helping hands. The tot had a blast plopping the pumpkin into the bowl and then mixing all of the ingredients (see bottom of post for the full recipe).
Our finished product tasted as good as it looked! Of course, the tot had the honor of getting the first bite - after all that hard work, who could say no?
Easy Pumpkin Muffins
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Measure all ingredients in a big mixing bowl. Beat together well for 5 minutes. Pour into cupcake pans (fill more than 1/2 full). Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
One of the hot topics associated with autumn in our house is the migration of all the local birds. The tot is absolutely fascinated by birds, and lately we've noticed that there haven't been as many around as usual. Try explaining to a toddler that her beloved feathered friends have taken a vacation south - she just can't understand why they would leave! There are a few birdies left in our neighborhood, and plenty of squirrels too, so we decided to put out some food for the critters that remain, which made us all feel a lot better.
Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders
What You Need:
Cookie cutters in various shapes (we went with autumn shapes, of course!)
Peanut butter (or soy nut butter)
Yarn or pipe cleaners
Toast bread. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the toast. Poke a small hole at the top and string through with yarn or pipe cleaner. Smear the toast with peanut butter mixed with vegetable shortening (this keeps the peanut butter from sticking in the bird's gullet). Gently press the shapes into the bird seed. Hang outside for the birds to enjoy!