It’s debatable depending on who you ask, of course, but I’m almost certain that my parents “accidentally” locked my older brother and me outside a few times when we were young. But with a neighborhood with no-thru traffic, a park, plenty of trees, baseball fields, and a bicycle gang of school-aged kids, could you really blame them?
We were unknowingly fortunate not to have grown up with the constant barrage of technology like children face today. We’d pick flowers and grind them into perfumes with a rock and a brick as our mortar and pestle. We built mini ramps for our bikes and skateboards, and when winter settled in, we built snowmen and igloos for hours on end.
Today, unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily the case. Children are spending less and less time outdoors due to a variety of contributing factors including the rise of technology, loss of green spaces, and increasing schedule demands of extracurricular activities. In a recent report shared by REI, it stated that
• 4 to 7 minutes per day is the average amount of time our kids play outside
• 40% of school districts in the US have reduced or eliminated recess
• 8-12 hours per day is the average screen time for 11-14-year-olds
At Ollie + Squish, we know life can be complicated and busy, but we’ve done our very best to spend our summer outdoors. We sought out swimming pools, lakes, oceans, and numerous green spaces. Seeing other children exploring and splashing away in our swimsuits brought us great joy.
With the leaves beginning to turn and a hint of coolness in the air, we are trading in our summer swimsuits for our fall knits, because a little cold weather most certainly is not going to keep us inside. It’s still time to get outdoors and play.
Now to make it clear - we certainly aren’t suggesting you follow in our parents’ footsteps and “accidentally” lock your children outdoors to encourage play time. But autumn is the perfect time for hiking and foraging with the kids.
We’ve scoured the internet for some of our favorite autumn crafts for children to help get the inspiration flowing.
The best part about all the crafts is that you don’t need much – some sticks, leaves, a few rocks, all of which can be found on your next walk. Add in some paint, maybe some googly-eyes, and a little imagination. Be sure to layer up in some of our fall knits or our adorable hats (hint, hint) and get ready to hit the trails!
Ahhh, that fresh autumn air feels good, doesn’t it?
Not only do painted sticks make great fall decorations, but we’ve seen little ones uses them for a plethora of things, from playing limbo, to stirring “soup,” and knighting little brothers. Grab a few sticks from your yard, especially after a massive rain storm. A fun craft and a clean yard? Win-win.
Via spoon studio
Break out the painted markers to make fallen leaves come to life. Perfect for telling a story, hanging on the fridge, or sending some in an envelope to grandma and grandpa’s house.
Image via Studio Wonderdag
Via Handmade Charlotte
There’s no end to the possibilities of painted rocks. They can nestle on your fireplace when they’re finished, or they can be used for counting lessons as well!
1. REI source - The Path Ahead: The future of the life outdoors