Here Are 10 Affordable Ways to Engage Your Kids This Fall

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Parents know that keeping their kids engaged helps them stay away from mindless hours in front of the TV or computer. Still, that can be challenging when your seasonal responsibilities shift from summer to autumn. Check out a few easy and affordable ways to engage your kids this fall and help your family enjoy the season together.

1. Visit a Farmers Market

Most towns have a farmers market weekly, biweekly or monthly. They’re free gatherings where you can walk around and browse local produce, art and other goods. Your kids can join you for recurring visits to learn about the many ways small businesses and artists contribute to your region.

2. Paint Pumpkins Together

Carving pumpkins is a fun fall activity, but young kids aren’t old enough to handle sharp objects. Paints and brushes allow everyone to decorate a pumpkin together. The pumpkins are especially affordable when bought from a local farm.

Painting alongside each other is a form of associative play, which teaches kids to practice social behaviors while having fun with individual activities. They’ll continue using those skills in school and with friends, so it’s an important project that will help your kids later in life.

3. Go to the Zoo

Zoos charge minimal fees for kids who want to learn about animals and attend interactive exhibits. See what your local zoo charges and plan a family trip. You’ll take advantage of the cooler weather so everyone has a good time without getting overheated.

4. Make a Recipe Together


Break out your favorite fall recipes — and maybe a new one for your kids. They could help you decorate cookies with orange icing, bat-shaped sprinkles and other fall-themed decorations to stay busy while having fun.

5. Create Halloween Costumes

As Halloween approaches, think about making costumes with everyone. They could choose from fun ideas like becoming Waldo from Where’s Waldo, picking their favorite breakfast food or dressing up as bees while you’re the beekeeper. You might even be able to make them with clothes you already have at home.

6. Enjoy a Family Walk

Cool evening breezes create the perfect environment for nightly walks. Chat with your kids while strolling around the neighborhood or hiking local trails. They’ll get extra exercise without overworking themselves into exhaustion or crankiness.

7. Visit a Corn Maze

See if a nearby farm is hosting a corn maze this year. They’re often free to attend and have other activities that raise money for the farmers. Your kids will have fun adventuring through the maze and you’ll get some cute snapshots for your family photo album or Instagram account.

8. Rake Leaves and Jump in Them

Jumping in a pile of leaves is a beloved autumn activity and one of the most affordable ways to engage your kids this fall. Buy a few mini rakes so your kids can join you while raking all the leaves in your yard. They can run and jump into the pile while listening to their favorite music on a mini portable speaker. Don’t forget to reward them with a delicious, hydrating drink like apple cider or juice.

9. Try a DIY Bird Feeder Craft

Many bird species migrate in the fall to reach a warm weather location before winter arrives. You’ll likely see more flying through your yard or landing in your trees. Consider making different bird feeders with your kids to help the birds find a few snacks on their way through town.

Children of all ages can make bird feeders. It just depends on which craft you choose. Little ones could thread Cheerios along a string and hang it like a bracelet on a branch. Older kids could make a bird feeder out of Legos, paper towel rolls or empty soda bottles. Give them a few options so they can pick the craft they like the most and enjoy their craft time even more.

10. Start a Bonfire

There are a few ways your family can enjoy bonfires during fall evenings this year. You could make one with stone slabs or brick in a single afternoon. If you don’t have the time or backyard space, you can also order a portable stove bonfire that uses gas to create aesthetically pleasing fires on a tabletop.

However you decide to create your bonfire, your family will create great memories sitting around it before the winter weather makes it too cold to sit outside. Use the fire to make s’mores or popcorn as tasty desserts. Everyone could also sip on hot cocoa and talk about their day while watching the flames and listening to them crackle.

Have Fun With Your Kids This Fall

There are many affordable ways to engage your kids this fall. All you need to do is pick a few activities that they’ll love the most. Whether you decide to go to the zoo, paint pumpkins or wander through a corn maze, this will be the best autumn season yet.