GeocacheSummer is over and the family is settling back into their normal school year routine. Summer vacation is only a memory now, but that doesn’t mean you only have months of drudgery and boredom in your future. In fact, autumn may be the best time of year for family activities, because it’s neither too hot nor too cold. If you need help coming up with more unique ideas than just going to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch, here are some suggestions for fun things your family can do together.

Make a Sensory Table for Kids

Little kids need to keep their hands busy, and one favorite way to do this is to set up a table or bin filled with items that have textures to explore. Some of the most common sensory tables include a sand table or water table. But autumn naturally brings us some materials that make great content for a sensory table, like sunflower seeds or birdseed.

Make a Leaf Maze

Raking the fallen leaves can be a big job, and adults don’t usually consider it to be much fun. Try putting a new spin on it by creating a maze in your driveway out of the piles of leaves you’ve raked. Your little one could either walk through the maze or drive a toy truck through it. To make the maze a little more challenging, have them go through it at night!

Roast Your Own Pumpkin Seeds

Carving jack-o-lanterns is a tradition for most families, but what do you do with the goopy insides of the pumpkin? Rather than throwing them into the trash, you can make them into something edible and delicious. Put the seeds in a colander and rinse off the pulp, then place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees to dry them out. When they’re dry, coat them with a bit of oil and toss with your favorite seasoning combination. Salt and cumin or parmesan and oregano are great if you love savory tastes, and cinnamon and sugar make for a sweet treat.

Try Geocaching

Geocaching combines technology with time spent in nature to create one big scavenger hunt! Kids will love using a geocaching app on a smartphone, along with the phone’s compass, to locate clues that are hidden outside and often camouflaged. Geocaching has gotten pretty popular, so if you hunt your way to a spot with a logbook, be sure to sign it to let future seekers know you were there. Make sure to replace anything you take out of the cache. Wear comfy shoes, take a pen and have fun!

Make Your Own Candy Corn

This activity requires a little bit of skill in the kitchen, but you don’t have to be an expert to get really big and impressive results. You’ll want to do an online search for “homemade candy corn” to find a recipe and tutorial, but it basically involves making a sweet version of play dough and food coloring, then rolling it into colorful strips. It’s a bit time consuming, but it’s a lot of fun and the results will really wow people.

Autumn is the perfect time for spending time together as a family, indoors or outdoors. Take advantage of the cooler weather and the many treats nature has to offer and you’ll make it a season to remember.