Tag Archives: kids

101 Free Or Cheap Things To Do This Fall

101 free or cheap things to do this fall You guys. Fall is almost here. Target has put out their insanely large, insanely cute display of Back to School supplies. I’m trying desperately to stay away from it. I’m also preparing to teach a course this fall. So crazy. Feel free to refer to me as “professor.”

I’m also still on this saving money kick, but it hasn’t been much fun. I’m the kind of person who needs something to look forward to– like a trip! Since a trip is out of my budgetary reach and the summer is almost over (boo!), I created a list of free or cheap things to do this fall. I hope it will keep my spirits up, give me me something to look forward to and maybe even get you inspired and excited for fall?!

  1. Set some fun fall goals
  2. Donate school supplies to a child in need
  3. Volunteer
  4. Donate your gently-used winter coats to someone in need
  5. Enroll in a class at your local community college
  6. Take a hike
  7. Admire the foliage
  8. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice in your morning coffee
  9. Get up early to admire the sunrise
  10. Learn to knit!
  11. Get an early start on making Holiday gifts
  12. Host a pot-luck Friendsgiving (a Thanksgiving with friends)
  13. Put pumpkin in everything!
  14. Visit a pumpkin patch (or do what my mom did and tell us we are visiting a pumpkin patch, but really just go to the grocery store and play on the pumpkin display)
  15. Go on a hay ride
  16. Visit a corn maze
  17. Carve pumpkins
  18. Don’t forget to roast the seeds!
  19. Rake the leaves
  20. Jump in the leaves!
  21. Winterize your home (or your Airstream!)
  22. Visit the library and check out Autumn-themed books
  23. Bake a pumpkin pie
  24. Share the pie with your neighbor
  25. Camp in your own backyard
  26. Chop wood
  27. Find the perfect walking stick
  28. Build a fire pit
  29. Make hobo packets
  30. Roast marshmallows
  31. Tell ghost stories
  32. Enjoy a pumpkin beer
  33. Go on a bike ride
  34. Go on a fall-themed picnic
  35. Learn to can vegetables
  36. Plant winter veggies
  37. Or plant bulbs for next spring
  38. Do lots of autumn-themed crafts
  39. Donate or sell the summer clothing that you didn’t wear
  40. Pear down your winter wardrobe
  41. Host a clothing swap
  42. Or swap online on Swapdom
  43. Sell your wares at a flea market
  44. Go apple picking
  45. Bob for apples
  46. Make candy apples
  47. Learn to make apple cider or jam
  48. Pop popcorn and drizzle it in caramel
  49. Drink hot apple cider
  50. Drink hot chocolate
  51. Break out your crock-pot
  52. Make pumpkin chili!
  53. Don’t forget the cornbread!
  54. Eat your weight in fall veggies– squash and Brussels sprouts and cabbage, oh my!
  55. Get excited for fall fashion
  56. Break out the flannel
  57. Pull on those wool socks
  58. Don’t worry about bad hair days, just put on a beanie!
  59. If you are a lady, pull on those thick tights (and don’t worry about shaving your legs!)
  60. If you are a dude, grow a beard!
  61. Cuddle up in your oldest sweatshirt
  62. Wrap up in warm blankets
  63. Watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  64. And A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  65. Go to bed earlier
  66. Visit the fair or a fall festival (save money with these tips)
  67. Host a Halloween party
  68. Make your own Halloween costume and challenge yourself to use only stuff you can find around the house
  69. Dress up your pet!
  70. Craft creepy snacks like this Slimer Smoothie
  71. DIY candy
  72. Watch your favorite scary movie with a friend
  73. Read scary stories under the cover with a flashlight
  74. Listen to the Halloween station on Pandora
  75. Make spiced nuts
  76. Slurp on some soup and grill up an old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich
  77. Make beeswax candles
  78. Discover your local farmer’s market
  79. Slowly sip a cup of hot tea
  80. Pretend that you like candy corn
  81. Discover the real meaning of Thanksgiving
  82. Be more grateful by creating a gratitude journal
  83. Make turkey hands! They’re still fun, even when you’re almost 30!
  84. Simply sit outside and enjoy the cool weather
  85. Join a local foraging group and forage for wild edibles
  86. Make acorn soup
  87. Or mushroom soup from the forage
  88. Make real cranberry sauce and put it on french toast!
  89. Pour maple syrup on everything!
  90. Enjoy the Harvest Moon on September 8th
  91. Invite your friends over and create fall-themed cocktails
  92. Make a pine cone bird feeder and keep those birds fed all winter
  93. Paint your nails an autumn-colored hue
  94. Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos and honor your deceased loved ones
  95. Break out the board games and your favorite jammies
  96. Give your mum some mums!
  97. Attend a high school football game
  98. Join a sports program for adults
  99. Participate in a zombie crawl
  100. Or a Turkey Trot for charity
  101. Take lots of pictures to document your memories!

Are you ready for fall? I’m feeling a little more ready and hopeful after this list.

What are your favorite fall-themed free activities? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

10, 10-Minute Harvest Crafts

Leaf Garland

I haven’t been my usual play-in-the-leaves-I’m-so-happy-it’s-fall-crafty-self this season. My allergies have been out of control this year. I’ve felt as if I’ve had a cold for weeks. I’m loaded up on (prescription) drugs and all I’ve wanted to do is hide out under the covers and binge-watch Downton Abbey. Sorry to be so boring and whiney, but I never thought I’d be so happy for my least favorite season, WINTER.

But it’s against my personal rules to decorate for Christmahanakwanzika before Thanksgiving. Although this year Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving! I still can’t bring myself to decorate with menorahs or boughs of holly just yet. (If you’re wondering my family traditionally celebrates Christmas, but I like to celebrate all the holidays.)

To try to excite myself for the nearest holiday, Thanksgiving or Harvest day (whatever you celebrate) I mustered up enough energy to make a small fall garland. I also spent hours browsing Pinterest for the best, easy harvest crafts. Because sometimes you’ve only got enough energy for a 10 minute craft and some Pinterest browsing. Am I right?

10. Leaf Garland Fall Garland

My attempt to make the trailer a little more festive. Probably not the brightest idea, since I’m probably allergic to leaf mold, but what can ya do. Anyway to create this easy-peasy craft, I sprayed leaves with clear spray paint, let them dry, then tied them to some twine.

9. Glitter, falling leaves

boxwood-clippings_diy-falling-leaves-garland_2-e1379949094746 This 10-minute craft from 6th Street Design School is so elegant and easy. She was a smarty and used fake leaves to create her garland!

8. Pinecone birds

pinecone birds How cute are these pinecone birds from World Market? Technically, there’s no DIY instructions for these, but they look super easy to make. Sprinkle a pinecone and a foam ball in glitter. Attach them together, add eyes, a beak and feet. And voila! You’ve got perfect placeholders for Thanksgiving dinner.

7.  Little Mouse

Fall-crafts-how-to-create-pictured-with-leaves-Little-mouse I cannot get over how cute this little mouse is from Kiddie Foodies. I’m dying to make this with my niece.

6. Leaf Paintings

Leaves painting_thumb[1] Another easy one to do with kids. This time found via the blog, Au Pair Link Taranaki. I had painted with potatoes and fish (?!) as a kid, but never with leaves. The results are super pretty and dare I say, frameable?!

5. Fall Leaf Centerpiece

fall centerpiece

This fall leaf centerpiece from HGTV is whimsical and elegant. And again, they don’t use real leaves, do’h!

4. Twig Flower Pots

twig flower pots

Twig flower pots! Why didn’t I think of that? Nini Makes has a great tutorial on how to make them on her blog. I think they’d also be cute on a smaller scale as votive holders.

3. Pinecone Door Hanger

pinecone door hanger

How clever is this pinecone door hanger? Easy and cheap is just my style. You could even change out the colors for different holidays. Click the link above to see the how to on The New Witty’s.

2. Acorn Vase

Acorn-Vase II love how pretty and FREE this crafts is. Eclectically vintage has it going on.

1. Painted Acorns painted acorns And last, but certainly not least are these glamorous acorns from Decor to Adore. We’ve got these giant acorns at my work with prickly tops. I’m dying to get out there with the squirrels and do this craft.

What crafts have you been craftin’ lately? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

 

 

 

 

Books for Kids to Give as Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day will be here before you know it, so I started researching books to give to my own mama. In the process, I stumbled upon so, so many cute books for children to give to their moms as gifts. As a kid, I would have loved to give my mom a Mother’s Day themed book that I could read to her. Heck, I still might read her a children’s book and I’m 27, ya’ll. Who doesn’t love story time?!

Here’s my top 5 picks:

5.  what not to give your mom What NOT to Give Your Mom on Mother’s Day
Martha Simpson (Author), Jana Christy (Illustrator)

A list-based book that tells the story of a child giving his mother Mother’s Day gifts better suited for animals.

Easy-to-read for the beginning readers, but this book may be a little childish for kids over 6.

4.  Mother’s Day Surprise mother's day surprise
Stephen Krensky
 (Author), Kathi Ember (Illustrator)

Violet the snake is stumped! Her forest friends are all making gifts for their mothers for Mother’s Day. But Violet doesn’t have any arms or legs or teeth! What’s a snake to do?!

Reptilian-loving kids will love this story. We all know those kids! But they may point out that snakes do have teeth (or fangs) and Violet’s teeth are showing on almost every page. A small flaw in an otherwise cute story.

the night before mother's day 3. The Night Before Mother’s Day
Natasha Wing (Author), Amy Wummer (Illustrator)

One in the many and well-liked “Night Before” series, this book shows dad and the girls setting up a spa day and making a cake for mom.

What mom doesn’t want a spa day?! ‘Nuff said.

happy mothers day! 2. Little Critter: Happy Mother’s Day!
Mercer Mayer (Author, Illustrator)

Mercer Mayer books are true classics. And this book is no different. This time, Little Critter has a special surprise in store for Mom. This interactive book encourages kids to lift the flaps of the pages to see what Little Critter has created for his mom. Fun for kids that need that tactile stimulation!

we love our mom

1. We Love our Mom!
Jan Berenstain (Author, Illustrator), Mike Berenstain (Author, Illustrator)

And for my number one choice, my sentimentality won out. I have such fond memories of my mom reading my sister and I Berenstain Bears stories when we were small. She even had a special voice for each bear!

In this recent addition to the Berenstain Bears collection, Brother and Sister look for a way to show their mom they care.

My mom is definitely getting this one for mother’s day. Maybe with a spa gift certificate as a bookmark?!

What are you giving your mom on Mother’s Day?

love,
melanie