One of the most common questions that I hear parents asking is “how do I get my child to listen better?” Now, the answer to this can obviously be complex and unique to each parent-child relationship. As a therapist and parenting coach I also know that one of the best places to start addressing that question is by starting at the beginning – attending to the relationship between the parent and child. As human beings, we strive to be in connection with others and the connection between parent and child is one of the strongest drives we have. Children need to have a strong attachment to their parents; their survival literally depends on it.

autumn activities for kids connection through natureWhen I work with families, one of the first things I like to incorporate is more time for connection. Autumn provides plenty of fun ways to connect with your child. Below you will find 5 fun autumn activities for kids to enhance the connection with your child this fall. Maybe these ideas will help spark some creative ideas in you, or your child too. Don’t forget, they may have some great ideas for enjoying the season as well!

Nature Walk

Nashville, or your local area, has plenty of autumn beauty to take in. Pick a trail and enjoy all that fall has to offer. Encourage your kids to breathe in the fresh air, is it different than summer or winter air? What can they smell? What do they see? What are the animals doing? How many different colored leaves can they find? What is the biggest leaf, the smallest? How many kinds of seeds or nuts can they find? If you have an older child, simply take the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors together. Going for a walk in nature is a great way to connect with one another!

Pumpkin Cooking

Cooking or baking can be a great way to connect with kids of all ages. Not only does it teach them a valuable skill, but it also helps you spend undivided 1:1 time together, making memories in the kitchen! Use pumpkin puree to incorporate a fun new taste into everyday favorites such as oatmeal, cookies, muffins, yogurt, hummus, or brownies. A variety of recipes are available online, or, if you are talented in the kitchen, maybe you can come up with some of your own!

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Kids of all ages enjoy participating in a scavenger hunt. These can take place at a park, while walking/hiking, or even in your own backyard. You can create your own scavenger hunt or find some online.

Play in the Leaves

Throw back to our own childhoods, right? How many of us grew up playing in leaf piles that our parents made as they were cleaning up the yard? Kids love getting to jump into piles, throw leaves into the air and watch them fall, and get buried in them. Try making up games or try one of these:

Autumn Pictures

This works best if you have a hot glue gun ready. When you are on your Nature Walk, or just playing outside, have your child gather items that they can then use to make nature pictures. Allow them to use their imagination and get creative. Some kids will make abstract designs while others will make specific scenes or animals. Don’t forget to join in the fun yourself! Your child will love seeing the creation that you make too!

We still have plenty of gorgeous autumn weather ahead so have some fun connecting with your kids while you enjoy the season!