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Autumn amenities

October 19, 2009

by Jenni Sebora

It seems as if we have surpassed autumn and moved right on into winter, hopefully this winter wonderland weather will be short lived and we will have time to enjoy autumn amenities.

Although my daughters have already made snow angels and a snow person, they have requested the annual raking of leaves for a leaf romping.

I am sure the leaves are playing hide and seek under the thin blanket of snow, ready to be raked in a pile with their leafy partners.

Of course, Halloween may be a part of many people’s celebration of fall too. Here go some fun activities to do with your wee ones or not so wee ones to celebrate this special season of fall and Halloween.

Candy corn is one of my favorite fall treats, especially mixed with peanuts providing that sweet and sour taste for your taste buds.

Here is a candy corn craft project, you can’t eat it, but it sure is cute. My Girl Scout troop made them last year so I can attest. You can use these as a festive candle holder or just a container for clips, coins, etc.

You need a small to medium terra-cotta pot, yellow, red and orange craft paints, a paint brush and a painter’s marker or permanent marker works too.

Put a piece of waxed paper on your work area (the painted pot won’t stick to the waxed paper and if it does it won’t leave residue like newspaper does). Paint the pot white.

When dry, paint one color at a time of orange, yellow and white stripes (Kaboose.com). When dry, use your marker to put a face on the front.

Fall also provides us seeds of different plants. Collect some seeds from a pumpkin (dry them out), sunflower or some other flower and create a seed mosaic on tag board or cardboard.

How about brewing up some magic potion in a cauldron for some good Halloween party effects or just for some science fun?

Put two tablespoons of water in your pot or cauldron and stir in a tablespoon of baking soda. Pour some vinegar into the baking soda/water and watch your potion bubble. My children and I have used this for miniature volcano experiments too. (craft idea: Kaboose.com as well as trials of my own experience)

Use your fingers, an ink pad or some paint and make some Halloween fingerprints. Make some jack-o-lanterns, spiders, ghosts, etc. using your fingerprints. Have your child add other details to the prints for the finishing touches, such as stem and face to your jack-o-lantern print.

Read some Halloween spooktacular books at your library or at home. My children’s favorites:

• “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” by Linda Williams, Scholastic Inc. (this is my favorite too)

• “Corduroy’s Halloween” based on the character created by Don Freeman, story by B. G. Hennessy – Scholastic Inc.

• There are a few different Berenstain Bear Halloween books also that are always delightful.

An autumn poem to share by Judith A. Lindberg, “Shades of Autumn”:

“A tangerine and russet cascade Of kaleidoscopic leaves

Creates a tapestry of autumn magic

Upon the emerald carpet of fading summer.”