Fun Backyard Activities For The Whole Family

Autumn is here and in full swing! Make the most of your backyard before the winter chill strikes. Backyards are meant for play and creating fun memories. Turn your backyard into the perfect fall haven for your family, friends, and neighbors with some of these activities

Pumpkin Painting For the Little Ones

 What could be a more perfect activity for a crisp fall day got you family to enjoy together – Pumpkin Painting! It’s a fun and easy way to get kids outside. Painting pumpkins even allows for children to exercise their fine motor skills. To create a fun and social time for everyone, here’s a few steps to get the pumpkin painting party started.

1. Set up a table outside with newspaper to protect it.

2.  Collect a variety of washable paint colors and paint brushes. You can cut up old sponges in different shapes, pick up some leaves or cut open some fruit stamp paint on the pumpkins.

3.  Set it all up, gather up the kids, and prepare for the fall fun.

Carving Pumpkins for the Older Ones

Have a variety of sizes of pumpkins small to large and release your creativity. What you will need a sharp knife (keep little fingers away), a paper to draw your pattern on, a nail or pumpkin poking tool, a carving saw, a tea light candle or small battery powered light)

  1. Set up an area outside and cover with newspaper to protect it.
  2. Cut a circular lid into the pumpkin by carving a wide circle around the stem** – make sure it is big enough to at least put your fist through. Pull out as many seeds and stringy fibers as you can by hand, and them use an spoon or ice cream scoop to scrape the inside clean.
  3. Draw your pattern and tape or pin your pattern onto your pumpkin (make sure the surface is dry so the tape will stick). However If you have family members are like the men in my family they will want to carve without a pattern, so be it.
  4. Poke small, shallow holes through the paper using the nail following the lines of the pattern about ¼” apart or closer together for intricate patterns. Remove the pattern and save it for reference later.
  5. Insert your carving saw (never use a knife) into a poked line. Begin sawing out each section. To prevent your saw from breaking, saw curved areas carefully, gently turning the saw in the direction you wish to go while continuing to saw.
  6. Once you have finished carving, insert the battery light or tea candle. If using a tea light, light it and then about a minute or two later, blow it out and look at the inside top of your pumpkin. If you see a dark area singed by the candle’s flame – carve a chimney hole into this area, just over an inch wide to let the flame’s heat escape.  Now, relight the candle and watch you pumpkin GLOW

**Hint:  if you expect blustery weather and want to avoid burnt fingers, forget the top lid and carve an opening into the bottom of the pumpkin instead. When you are ready, light your candle and place the pumpkin gently over the candle.

Need some help with ideas?  Check out this site for more helpful tips and patterns

Scavenger Hunt Fun

When the fall chill sets in, it’s easy to cuddle up inside and watch TV. Get your children outside by creating a backyard scavenger hunt! This is the perfect way to get the kids moving and outside to practice their gross motor skills. Create a list of backyard objects for the children to find or grab a few things from the garage. Incorporate the use of the backyard playset by hiding a few items at the top of the slide or in the tire swing.  On rainy days you can even have an indoor scavenger hunt to keep your children busy.

You are welcome to download a free copy of 21 different scavenger hunt ideas for outdoors and indoors, for children of all ages.

At Jungle Gyms Canada, we encourage outside play for all. Fall is a great time to embrace the outdoors and spend time with your family. To see our selection of wooden swing sets, take a look at the offerings of our on line store. We hope you all have a safe and fun time this fall!