A new season is here! Whether you live in an area of the country where you are energized by the advent of cooler temperatures and colorful leaves or if you live in an area where you depend on seasonal shops to let you know the season has changed, the time has come to fall for fall!
Who can resist crisp apples, richly colored pumpkins, charming scarecrows, and brightly colored chrysanthemums? Along with diminishing daylight and a nip in the air, there is no wonder we welcome this fall season!
There is a different energy to this new season. In previous years, the harvest season and the start of the school year brought on the excitement of newness. New friends. New challenges. New events. New emotions. Even in our current world of restrictive events and altered school life, the fall season can offer opportunities for family fun and memory-making. At this time, children are challenged to higher levels of learning, while parents and caregivers are challenged to a different level of juggling work and care. Minsters of children are sending cards, calling the sweet families in their care, and reminding them they are loved. Out of a life of challenges comes creative problem-solving opportunities!
Tackle these new challenges by being proactive. Think about sprinkling special days and activities throughout the season to keep everyone active and to accentuate the blessings your family can appreciate.
It is said that gardeners are optimistic people. Online gardening catalogs are plentiful and the thought of bright yellow daffodils popping out in the coming spring can give us all something to anticipate. A cool afternoon and a bag of bulbs will make for a satisfying activity. Circle March on your calendar to watch for green foliage to peep through the spring dirt!
Gather the family and get in the car one evening. Listen to a family-centered audiobook; provide individual baggies of treats to each family member and drive! Consult your child’s teacher, a librarian, or a friend for age-appropriate book suggestions. Make it a weekly outing until the book is finished and follow it up with a discussion of your choice.
Go hunting for all the stuffed animals in the house. Corral them into a makeshift campsite in the living room or another room in the house. Pop up a makeshift tent, get the flashlights, and have an indoor campout! Of course, for the more adventurous family members, enjoy an outdoor campout. Talk about the travelers in Bible times that watched the night sky and camped outside at night.
This is a great opportunity to talk about people who work at night, animals that prowl at night, and ways the stars that direct travelers at night. God created the lights in the night sky to govern the darkness. God created the animals. Read Psalms 104:19-22. Explore the different kinds of nocturnal animals who live and hunt under the night sky.
Here are some suggestions for specially designated days to help you weather the months of fall!
- Special Sundae Sunday—yum… No hints needed here!
- Neighborly Neighbor Day. Offer to pick up sticks in the yard, bring in the trashcan after it has been collected, sweep leaves off the sidewalk, etc. Read 1 Peter 4:10-12. Talk about ways that passage reminds us that God has given each of you some special abilities so be sure to use them to help each other!
- Pitch-In-Potluck Super Night. Let each family member decide on a menu idea and allow them to be in the kitchen to cook if age-appropriate. Clean up duties are on the list, too!
- Challenge Day. On this day, pick one thing you want to learn, try, practice, or simply improve. Learn a new vocabulary word, teach your dog a new trick, extend your exercise routine, start an exercise routine! Maybe there is an old friend or family member you would like to reconnect with or there is a new situation to offer up prayers. Expand your horizons and step outside of your comfort zone!
- Mute it! Choose a day that a sporting event is on television—either a live event or a classic rerun- and mute the television. Your family will now become the courtside commentators! You will now provide the adlibs, the athletic descriptions, the stats, the history, etc. Choices of events are abundant on television or on youtube.com—tennis and soccer matches, football games, bike races, basketball games, even corn hole! Don’t forget the tailgate spread!
- "Good Night" Neighborhood Walk. Wear reflective clothing, carry a flashlight, and take a nighttime walk. Good night streetlight, good night mailbox, goodnight maple tree, goodnight stars, and of course, goodnight moon! Reflex on Genesis 28:15. Remind family members that God loves each one of them and is with us all the time.
- Appreciation Day! Everyone at every age is trying to do his or her best. Appreciate the tiny gestures of the youngest ones, the distracted gestures of the teenaged ones, the struggling gestures of the older ones. As we are told daily, "We’re all in this together." Express yourself!
Each day, along with the beginning of each new season, is a time to regroup, restart, reorganize and reconnect. Use the energy of the changing season to help with your own daily motivation and to enjoy this season that God has given us.