Fall Minimal Bucket List: For Kids

The official Autumnal Equinox is THIS Saturday so I have finally admitted that Fall is fast around the corner! And while I focus very little on decorating I very much love Autumn, and I especially love celebrating the rhythm of life and all of it's little changes.

We had a bit of a big milestone in our house this week! Wesley lost his first tooth! It was a scary first time mom moment for me since this was the first experience I have had of a child losing a tooth. It was surprisingly exciting and emotional. I had to admit to myself, once again, that my son isn't going to be little forever and that his teeth will soon be replaced by a whole new set of big boy teeth.  I feel like this bucket list is being made at a perfect time in my life since it is reminding me to enjoy the little moments and the short time that we have left with our kids.

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This year I have been prepping for the kids Fall capsule wardrobe;  which is including a lot more handmade pieces!  I really love being able to personally pick out the colors and textures of their clothes that embody the season. But this year I also wanted to establish more traditions now that they are older and more able to understand events and their meanings.  I created this list to help to incorporate Fall traditions that focus on sharing memories and spending time together instead of spending money and focusing on the commercialization of the season.

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 (Linen dress that I made for Pepper last week. Shoes: Adelisa & Co. Hat: Humble Soles. Necklace: Handmade.)

 While there is certainly no hurry or demand to finish this list it will be nice to look back after the season is over and have more memories to cherish.

I would also add that if you are currently homeschooling some of these might make a great addition to your home school curriculum routine or as part of a field trip!

The Minimal Fall Bucket list:

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1. Pumpkins: I know this seems a bit basic and obvious but IMO pumpkins are way under appreciated during this season! While I do purchase pumpkins for my home I also try to have fun and think out of the box with how to use the whole pumpkin. I try and use as much of the pumpkin as possible and buy pie pumpkins to roast instead of (or in addition to) decor pumpkins. I'll buy a bunch to decorate with and then I will pull from this pile to roast as the season goes on. We also roast the seeds!


Seriously so yummy! And you know what is even tastier than roasted pumpkin seeds? Roasted butternut squash seeds! Seriously! So if you are roasting any type of squash this season try throwing the seeds on a baking sheets while the squash are cooking and see how you like them. Yum! I swear this is my sons favorite part of the squash. The flavoring could be as simple as tossing them with some oil and salt or getting funky and making all different kinds of fun seasonings  depending on your mood and what you have on hand. I like squash seeds better because they are softer and have a light crunch to them versus pumpkin seeds which have a tougher outer shell. This would also be so easy for the kiddos to help out with by helping to mix the oil, seasoning, and seeds together and even helping with choosing the seasoning!

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A personal favorite recipe of my kids is squash soup (and another simple way to enjoy the season). It's a great side dish really just to enjoy by anyone too and it's also really easy to make! My simple recipe below!

Squash Soup Recipe:

1 whole squash

1 can of coconut milk/cream

1/2- 1 C Bone broth

1 tsp Rosemary

Salt and Pepper to taste

Butter

Roast Squash whole @ 400 degree for 40 mins. May need more time depending on size of squash. Once done place squash in blender with coconut milk (or other milk), bone broth (start with 1/2 and add more to obtain the desired consistancy), Rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. You may also add a few Tbsp of butter for extra richness. Blend until smooth and serve warm.

2. Apples: If you notices these are all items that you may already have on hand in your home. The purpose is to realize how much abundance we have in our lives and focus on keeping each season simple so that we are cherishing each other and  look more closely at our world around us. The closer we look the more we have to be thankful for.  There may be something else in your area that is in season as well. Below I have a link near the bottom for U-Pick farms near me and what they have in season this time of year. For me growing up in New England, the ripening apples were always cherished and looked forward to. The world around me consisted of beautiful little farms in Pepperell, MA that I only learned to truly appreciate after I left home to joined the military. When I came home I realized that I had grown up in paradise and never even realized it. From that experience I learned to always look closely to the little world around me and find the good in each season and the people closest to me.

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 (My son at age 3 picking an apple tree in my parents yard in Pepperell, MA)

My simple apple recipes I enjoy doing each year are star apple slices for garlands (maybe to add to the pressed leaves from #5), dried apple slices place in bags with dried oranges, cinnamon, and cloves for gifting your friends and neighbors with stove top potpourri bags (great to save for yourself or Christmas too), and slow baked apples slices enjoyed with simple spices, butter, and sweetener (my recipe below, you could even double to batch and freeze some for later use or you could also pair with your favorite crust recipe. I like to pair it with a simple whipped cream or coconut cream and call it a day!)

Super Simple Crock Pot Apple Recipe: (test and finish)

10 Peeled and sliced apples

1/4 C Butter/Coconut oil

2 TBSP Pumpkin Spice

Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Pair with your favorite pie crust or cream!

3. Have a traditional fall tea time (or Hygge). This could be a weekly or daily event that is a good excuse to take time out of our day to be close to our family and talk about whatever may be on our children's mind. There is a lot of freedom with this tradition. There could be a specific type of tea used for this time as well. I personally like Firefly Chai from Mountain Rose herbs because it is a caffeine free chai; so it can be enjoyed by littles and adults alike. If you are feeling ambitious a special little treat could be added to this event as well such as apple slices, mixed nuts, or pumpkin seeds. Simple FTW! You could even have certain age appropriate topics or questions during this time used as a way to understanding your children and facilitate critical thinking (See #6).

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4. Create a fairy home with other objects found on your nature walk. This fall project definitely takes more time and preparation so it might be nice to start on the fairy home earlier in the season and add to it through out the season. By the end of fall it will be nice to see how far the little fairy home has come along. Simple objects found on the ground and elmers glue is all you really need for the project.

Vessel for the ground- Cardboard box, wood slice (or large flat piece of wood), old flower pot.

For the house, stool, door, etc- Acorns, different sizes sticks, leaves, moss, small rocks/pebbles, acorns, grass, etc.

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5. Leaves: Go on a nature walk wherever you live (even in the desert!) and find all of the different types of leaves you can find. You can even wait until leaves change colors in your area and find as many different color leaves as possible. From here you can do charcoal/pencil rubbings, paint or draw all of the different colors of the leaves, or pressing them into a book and creating a leaf garland. (source of ideas).

6. Ask your kids a series of questions pertaining to the season. (See above for sample question prompts). This can create a simple and easy keepsake to compare to in future years to come. It's also nice to use to help learn something new about your little's. Some question prompts to try out are below.

1. What was your favorite part of today? Why?

2. Do you like cold weather or hot weather? Why?

3. How does cozy make you feel?

4. What does Fall smell like?

5. What does Fall taste like?

6. Do you like the rain?

7. Why do you think it rains?

8. What was your favorite part of summer?

9. What would you like to do next year?

10. What would you like to learn more about?

7. Have an Abraham Lincoln Night! I LOVED these as a kid. I felt like I was having an adventure in my own home and I grew up in a small home too!

Rules for Abraham Lincoln Night are as follows: Turn off all of the lights- no use of electricity of any kind is permitted. Candles and fireplace use is permitted. This is typically accomplished after dinner time when electricity is mostly unneeded any ways or for when the power went out in our house during or after a storm. The more you can get into the time era of Abraham Lincoln the more fun it becomes!

Abraham Lincoln Night can be enjoyed at any time during the year but I think they are especially meaningful when there is a chill in the air and the soft glow of candles, a warm cup of tea, and hearing the soothing voice of a loved one reading a story. With the lights all out this is an especially fun time to play hide and seek in your home!

8. Listen to some Autumn music. No mood is complete without music. My favorite music for the season to listen to is any thing that embodies that feel of Fall; which for me is something that starts out a bit upbeat but then moves into something a bit slower since the pace off Fall is the busyness before the calm of the winter. I put a list together below but feel free to add to the list and find music that embodies the feel of Fall for you and your family. There are also some fun kids playlist on Youtube about fall, Thankgiving, and Halloween.

The Semi-Minimalist Autumn Music Playlist:

Steal My Sunshine Len

The Original Incubus

Ho Hey Lumineers

Fire and Rain James Taylor

Reasons To Love You Meiko

Sunset Lover Petit Biscuit

Fade Into You Nashville

Bridge Over Troubled Waters Simon and Garfunkle

Ava maria Yo-Yo Ma

Nuvole Bianche Ludovico Einaudi

Chopin 24 preludes Op. 28 No.15 in D Flat Major Rain Drop

Chopin nocturne No. 2 in E Flat Major Op. 9, No. 2

Chopin nocturn No. 15 in F Minor, Op. 55 No. 1

And last but not least books.

9. Books. I don't think the list would be complete without cuddling up in a cozy corner of the house and having a good book to read. These are my favorite for fall that I have recently read at the library. This will be update at the season goes on! I specifically picked books that had the look and feel of fall so some may not be so obvious; which I felt like that is part of the fun.

***Updated list by month***

September (changes in the season):

Moon Britta Teckentrup

I Know It's Autumn by Eileen SpinelliNancy Hayashi

Snail Trail Ruth Brown

Skat-tat Kimberly Knutson

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

Old Bear by Kevin Henkins

The Rain by Michael Laser

October (Halloween):

Beekle Dan Santat

There’s a Monster in My Book! Tom Fletcher

Orion and the Dark Emma Yarlett

I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

10 Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book by Stephen Savage

November (Focus on Thankfulness):

Cranberry Thanksgiving

In November Cynthia Rylant

James and the Giant Peach Roald Dahl

The Little Gardener Emily Hughes

The Bad Mood and the Stick Lemony Snicket

Do You Know How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Suess

10. Be the Local. Find out what is unique about your area during this season and share it with your littles. I find this helps to practice more gratitude at a young age. I wanted to share this with my kids as a way to focus on the present and always seek out the good in where you are at in life. If you are local to Waco some great resources such as September weekend Waco family events, Children's Garden Fair Oct 14th, and the Fall Fossil Festival Oct 13th, and also the Silobration! Also pickyourown.org has local u-pick farms and shows the time of year that certain produce and flowers are in season.

I would love to know if I missed any books that should be added to the list! Also what traditions did you do as a kid that are now traditions for your own family? Let me know in the comments below! Happy Fall!

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***Updated on 11OCT18***

Love always,

The Semi-Minimalist