Celebrating Fall

There’s so much to do with young kids in the fall.  Second grade is the perfect time for a field trip to the pumpkin patch, for example.  Lots of small farms offer pumpkin patch excursions for kids this time of year, and some even combine that with a fun hayride too.  Apple orchards are fun too, especially for pick-your-own apples, and homemade apple cider!

Anything having to do with a harvest theme is popular in the fall, from September all the way through Thanksgiving.  It’s also harvest time for winter squash, turnips, and all sorts of other garden produce too.  Maybe a lesson about gardening or plant life cycles would be useful, or even something having to do with the weather and the importance of bringing in the harvest before the first frost.

You can also make pies, bread, and other pumpkin treats, or learn how to make applesauce or apple cider with your second grader.  They’ll enjoy the food even more if they helped to make it!

Another beautiful way to celebrate fall would be a hike in the woods to admire the fall foliage.  State parks often have hiking trails, and some city or county parks too, and you could even bring some friends along and pack a lunch.  Talk to your kids about the changes in nature in the fall, and how animals and plants prepare for winter too.

creative writing

Did you ever have to do that writing experiment in elementary school where the teacher makes you close your eyes for a minute and try to clear your mind?  Then you open your eyes and write down whatever pops into your head.  Most kids hate this kind of thing because the lack of direction makes them a bit uncomfortable.  It’s one thing to have a writing assignment, and quite another to be left floundering, trying to figure out what you’re “supposed” to write!

But this sort of experience is a type of creative writing, and sometimes it’s actually quite a good idea to write in a more unstructured and free-flowing way.   In second grade, many kids enjoy telling stories, so you can ask your second grader to write a story, either anything they want, or within certain parameters, and this is a painless and fun introduction to creative writing.

There are books and websites galore with suggested writing prompts for kids, which are suggestions for what topic to write about.  Quite often these prompts will consist of a sentence or two and the child should complete the thought in a story.  For example, “If I had a million dollars, I would…..” or “As Sally got off the school bus this morning, a squirrel came by and grabbed her lunch bag.  Then he ran up a tree with her lunch and Sally…..”

Creative writing and storytelling is great to expands kids’ minds and sharpen their writing skills too.  Who ever said there was no room for imagination at school?  Make creative writing part of your homeschooling day!