Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Festival for Kids

On Sunday, our little family enjoyed a wonderful day at our town’s Fall Festival. We met up with Christine and her family and enjoyed the fall weather, the fun activities, and catching up with lots of other families that we know from preschool and elementary school. It was a relatively inexpensive day – no entrance fee, and tickets that were $ .50 apiece paid for each activity. Big surprise, I of course bought 30 tickets thinking, “I have 2 children, they’ll each do a lot of activities”… And of course that didn’t happen – my older daughter did a bunch of things, including riding a pony (7 tickets), but our youngest just enjoyed running around and having Daddy chase after her! So by the time we were leaving I was passing out tickets to other people.

It really was an enjoyable day and it made me think of how much fun and how easy something like this would be to put on for the kids. If you are looking for something to do to entertain the kids, get together with your friends or your moms group, and throw your own festival for the kids! You would need one person to volunteer her backyard, and each mom could come up with a craft or an activity. Here are a few ideas:

- Face painting – don’t worry if you don’t think your art skills are up to par – a simple flower, a snake, a ghost, or even whiskers on either side of the child’s nose and a dot of paint on their nose to make a cat!

- Stamping paper or fabric with stamps (rubber, potato, leaf or sponge) – at the town’s festival, we used rubber stamps in leaf prints and stamped designs onto white cloth the size of a bandana – this is a great time to pull out those old sheets that are stained or torn!

- Costume parade – if it’s a fall festival, have the kids dress in their Halloween costume and march around the neighborhood!

- Bird feeders – at the town’s festival, two older gentlemen helped the kids make bird feeders out of a coffee can, 2 plastic lids, a wire hanger, and a thin wooden dowel – this was very easy and the kids were able to decorate the cans with foam stickers. If you are interested in how to make this specific bird feeder, let me know and I will post the instructions. But, there are other simple ideas that you could also use, like the peanut butter / lard rolled pine cones with bird feed stuck into them, and hung with a string or ribbon.

- Sack races, relay races (egg on a spoon is popular!), ring toss – any of those are fun for kids.

- Make it a festive atmosphere playing your favorite children’s music in the background. Have fun treats like popcorn (serve it in brown lunch bags for a real “carnival feel”), cookies and cider or juice.

These are all simple ideas to get you started – use your imagination and brainstorm with fellow moms or even get the kids involved – this is a great “boredom chaser” for the kids that could be done any time of year. And you can be sure - my local friends - that we will be putting on our own carnival in the future! (Consider yourselves warned!) ;)

Help us brainstorm – what ideas do you have for fun festival activities?

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