That’s right folks mid-term break is looming and if you are like every other parent on the planet, you’ll be wanting to keep those kids occupied all week.
You may be thinking: “I got this. I made it through Summer and that was a lot longer!”. Well, October ain’t no “pap your kids out the back in a swimsuit with a paddling pool and everything will be alright” kinda season. At least, not in Scotland (they’d probably turn blue) or Canada (those guys are building snowmen).
So, what on Earth can we do in the October break?
1. Pumpkin Picking
It’s October! Get your Pumpkins in! Pumpkin Picking is great fun for the whole family, especially when you get to see the range of pumpkins places have to offer!
I’d say Arnprior Farm is the most popular patch in Scotland, located in Stirling. Then Craigie’s Farm just outside Edinburgh for all you East Coasters. If neither of these suit you, a simple Google search should be able to locate your nearest patch.
Be warned, if it’s a real farm, take WELLIES, A CHANGE OF CLOTHES and A PLASTIC BAG FOR DIRTIES.
I will admit we won’t be picking this year as we have Kieran. He is still in a pram and the fields are definitely not pram friendly! Arnprior have wheelbarrows you can hire but it’s first come first serve so we’re foregoing the Pumpkins this year and doing activity 2 instead!
2. Apple Picking
Pumpkins aren’t the only thing you can Harvest at this time of year don’t you know!
It’s upto you whether you hit the nearest Orchard or grow your own apples.
The only widely known place to pick apples in Scotland (that I can find) is Craigie’s Farm outside Edinburgh but if you know of any near you then please leave a comment.
If you haven’t got an Apple Tree yet, don’t fret you can plant it now and pick your own next year. Apple Trees grow fast and even though ours is just a baby (planted in April) we still managed to reap 7 apples from it. That’s plenty for activity 3.
3. Caramel Apples
Oh this one’s a goody! I haven’t actually made caramel apples with the kids yet so I’m sharing my favourite Pinterest recipe with you instead until the October week when I’ll update this post.
Try and keep an apple or two spare for activity 4.
4. Halloween Decorations
Last year, we made hanging pumpkins. It was a great activity for both parent and child because we could each do different bits of the activity.
Wondering what you’ve to do with those spare apples?
Grab some orange paint and print some mini pumpkins! If paint is too messy, why not try activity 5.
This is such a simple activity but fun and interesting too. Grab some crayons, some paper, go to the nearest tree, hold your paper up against it and start rubbing your crayon over it. Rubbings create a 2D version of whichever texture you are rubbing. Doing this can actually teach you a lot about nature.
However, if it’s dreich and drab and you’d much rather be inside, you should consider collecting some leaves and rubbing those instead.
While you are collecting those leaves, try collecting other natural bits and bobs. Your nearest park should have anything from acorns, brambles, pine needles to sycamore seeds (those little doodas that look like wings).
The Woodland Trust have some great outdoor activities that you and the kids can do while out and about.
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about Conkers (those spikey green balls that grow on Chestnut Trees). I used to love collecting these when I was a kid, back then we opened them up in popped them on a string. Then we would “battle” each other with them.
They do have a much handier use now though and that’s keeping the spiders away! They are a good natural repellant.
8. Autumn Box
Once you’ve collected all your Autumn nature objects it’s fun to store them in a box. This is our Autumn Sensory Box, just for fun we like to open it and have a rummage, a squeeze, a crunch, a sniff, a taste (on the odd, perhaps, accidental occasion) and we get to know nature a little better. This one is great for babies.
For some more sensory fun check out activity 9.
9. Pumpkin Slime
So before you carve your Pumpkin, what do you do with the insides? You could make Pumpkin Soup and indulge OR you could make Pumpkin Slime!
Click on the pic above for our favourite recipe.
Slime is so on trend for kids just now. They’ll have so much fun making it and then they can even play with it. The best part is you can store it inside your pumpkin until it’s time to carve.
10. Play Outside
Trade that swimsuit for a puddle suit and the flip flops for wellie boots. No matter what the weather it is okay to get outside! It is okay to get muddy! It is okay to explore!
As much as you might hate the clean up, letting the little ones get mucky is where it’s at. There are ways to make the clean up easier, for instance: put them in old clothes, a puddle suit is a great investment, have a towel ready for each person coming inside, have a “boots off at the door” rule and above all join in and have fun!
Enjoy Your Break
This guide may not totally fill your week but it has at least given you food for thought. Now go and enjoy your break. Let me know in the comments what you guys get up to!