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Saturated smells, vibrant colours, natural treasures that trigger storms of enthusiasm: In no season is there more to discover than in the golden autumn. With this autumn activities for kids this fall becomes an adventure for explorers, builders and little fairies.
The wet earth smells earthy and intense. The colourful leaves rustle under the rubber boots… Time for a descriptive biology lesson. Under this tree we can collect shiny horse chestnuts for handicrafts and decorations, we roast the pointed feathery fruits later and acorns, acorn caps and all the cones we find are real treasures. When it rains again, we use them to make chestnut animals, autumn decorations and maybe even Christmas tree decorations and presents. Nature has so much to offer in autumn!
Equipped with rucksacks, baskets, provisions and thermos flasks full of tea, we set off on a great adventure. In autumn, the forest, meadows, park and city hold an incredible number of experiences in store for little explorers and fairies. All these adventures don’t cost any money, just the time, imagination and adventurous spirit of the big and little explorers.
Fairies, forest spirits, fauns and quite a few other legendary creatures live in our local forests. Legends and fairy tales bring them to life, and when the mist rises in the morning over the fir tops of the northern Black Forest and the little owl calls, as a child I believed in these creatures as firmly as I believed that my teddy bear was actually alive.
There is something mystical about the forest in autumn and it stimulates the imagination more than at almost any other time of year. It’s the ideal time of year for a picnic in the forest, where the children can slip into their fairy costumes, romp around in between and have fairy tales and legends read to them.
In a clearing, simply spread out the blanket, take some lovely fairy tales and legends with you and think of a few suitable tasks to stimulate the imagination. Braid leaves and berries in your hair, make bracelets out of bendable branches and decorate them with leaves. Pack a cuddly blanket when it gets chilly and warm up with a cup of hot tea and enjoy the forest full of splendour.
What does mushroom picking have to do with an adventure? Simply everything! And you hardly have to do or prepare anything for it. Just pack a basket, mushroom knife or pocket knife, identification book and provisions and drive to a forest that promises good prey. It is exciting to roam through the forest with the basket, because in autumn there are different mushrooms to discover everywhere. We all have a passion for picking mushrooms, and it is important to teach the little ones from the very beginning how to pick mushrooms properly or to call an adult when they find a special mushroom.
In this way, the children learn to keep their hands off the poisonous but beautiful fly agaric. And that many a witch’s brew has had its devilish effect with a green button mushroom. If you don’t know much about mushrooms, you should limit your picking to the most distinctive, high-quality edible mushrooms. The good thing is that in autumn the forest is so richly filled with these broad-brimmed, pointed-cone or bulbous-skinned delicacies that the basket is always enough for a meal.
At lunchtime, we have hot ravioli from a can, heated in a rustic way on a camping cooker for refreshment.
Here are my tips for mushroom hunting, with some essential info that you should definitely take to heart. When I was a child this was one of my most beloved autumn activities for kids.
Gear up with wellies, a rain jacket and clothes that won’t mind a little dirt and take the whole family on a trip to the nearest park. It’s best to take a few friends along too and form two teams for a real autumn leaf battle.
Each team has a captain who puts together their team. Now each team collects leaves and piles them up in as big a pile as possible within a previously agreed time – e.g. 5 or 10 minutes). And now the aim is to take down the opposing team’s pile of leaves and within 10 minutes make sure that your own pile of leaves is the biggest and wins. Of course, the best way to thwart the opponents’ attacks is to reach into their arms full of leaves and trigger a colourful shower of leaves.
At the end, there is a leaf battle until all the leaves are spread everywhere again.
Tip: Put the most beautiful coloured leaves aside while collecting them, press them later between the pages of a book until they are dry and make autumn decorations out of them!
Pine cones, pine cones, colourful berries, acorns, horse chestnuts, beechnuts, twigs, bark, moss. Go out and collect as many natural treasures as you can for crafting and decorating at home. It’s best to sort the different treasures into different bags or containers as you collect them.
If you are often outdoor, it is worth taking a look at Google Maps to find out where the trees grow and where there are other cones, fruits and nuts to be found.
Afterwards, you can use the natural treasures to build and craft works of art at home or directly in the forest. From small huts to autumnal door wreaths.
Chestnuts are usually found in parks. To make sure you’re successful, it’s worth not waiting too long so that not too many get there first and the tasty fruits are all gone. It’s best to put on gardening gloves, because the pointed fruiting bodies in their spiky shells sting. But they are also good to tread on carefully with your shoe so that you can reach the delicious inside.
Then it’s time to roast the chestnuts, and when the smell wafts up, the kids will want to go chestnut picking again next year.
Here you can find more tips on harvesting chestnuts and different ways of preparing them.
Horse chestnuts cannot be eaten, but they are very good for handicrafts. Just like their edible relatives, you only have to keep your eyes open and you can find plenty of them in parks and green spaces. Only collect the most beautiful chestnuts and make sure they don’t have any small wormholes.
Unlike chestnuts, they are round and not pointed. Use chestnuts, toothpicks, a wooden drill or paint to make cute chestnut animals. Here you can find instructions for making chestnut owls and chestnut deers.
A forest rally is a bit more elaborate to prepare and is suitable for children from primary school onwards. There should be several children with you and it is therefore worth taking along another supervisor to help out.
The smaller the children, the more it is about simply enjoying the forest with all senses and learning something. Each child gets an empty egg carton with 10 compartments in the bottom of which you have stuck 10 different pictures of natural materials that grow in the forest. The children now move through the forest in groups and put what they find and what they think fits into the respective space.
When all the children have filled their egg carton, you look together at what great finds they have found and each child gets a prize. For example, a small bowl of woodruff jelly that you prepared beforehand and brought with you.
Here you will find tasks and ideas for a forest outdoor game for young people and adults, where some tasks may appeal to you.
In Anne Montgomery’s classic children’s book Anne of Green Gables, the red-haired, imaginative tomboy and her friends build a hut out of twigs, branches, moss and leaves in the middle of the forest. There the friends meet, write imaginative stories, dream of chivalrous boys from time to time and Anne invents hair-raising horror stories. Inspired by the sounds of the forest, the atmosphere and her overflowing imagination.
Unfortunately, our self-made leaf caves don’t turn out to be quite as professional as this hut (but since we don’t live right next to a forest, that’s not a bad thing). Building is a lot of fun, and if you live in Berlin like we do, you can save a lot of time and, for example, use the collapsed structures of other builders in the Grunewald sand pit to quickly build a beautiful leaf cave with the children.
As a big Anne fan, eating biscuits and cake there and reading fairy tales or short stories to the children is part of it for me. What could be better than diving into the magical world of fantasy?
A Halloween treasure hunt is a wonderful surprise, especially for young children aged 4 and over. You take on the role of the witch Besenschreck and send the little witches and magicians on a search for the right ingredients for the magic potion. Click here for the complete instructions on how the Halloween treasure hunt for kids works.
Kids are sometimes coolness personified (and not just when they’re teenagers). Scavenger hunts are one of those things. That’s kids’ stuff, I’m already 12… But once a year they like it when it gets spooky and the scare goes down their spines. Equipped with torches and sparkling candles, they set off on a Halloween scavenger hunt that should offer some spooky surprises and action.
Preparing and implementing such a scavenger hunt definitely requires a little time and planning. It’s a great substitute for a Halloween party or a different kind of children’s birthday party!
On Abenteuer Freundschaft you can find tips and lots of links for preparing a Halloween scavenger hunt for kids.
Discover even more autumn activities for kids! On Abenteuer Freundschaft, there are new leisure ideas to discover every week for activities with children, your partner and with friends. Try something new, let your imagination take flight and enjoy life to the fullest.
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