As the summer heat waves break and we trade our swimsuits and golf polos for caramel apples, hot cider and halloween, let’s take a moment to run down a list of fun activities that you can do with your grandkids. After all, nothing is better than a crisp fall breeze, a comfy sweater and the family and friends we love coming together to celebrate autumn in the midwest. From Halloween to Thanksgiving, here are some fall activities older adults can do with their grandkids.
Apple Picking / Apple Recipes / Apple Cider
It is apple picking season in Ohio and Michigan, and there are a ton of fun family farms to go apple picking. So choose your recipes wisely and enjoy the fall time flavors. From fresh baked apple pie to hot cider and caramel apples, there is seemingly no end to fun variations for this autumn classic. Here are a few places you can go apple picking with the grandkids, and a few creative fall concoctions (from the internet) to make with your bounty of beautiful apples.
Places to Pick Apples
Kreps Apple Barn
Fall Apple Recipes
Ready for apple pie, hot cider and spiced lattes? As the autumn hues emerge, so do the fall flavors! Take your freshly picked apples and see what fun recipes you can cook up. Even if your grandkids don’t like making it, they will definitely enjoy eating it.
Pumpkin carving and giant inflatable monsters, what else is there to say…your grandkids will love horrifying your house. Here are few to suggestions to keep the cleanup minimal and maximize the spooky good times with all the family members.
Here are 75 Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas from HouseBeautiful
You know one easy way to cut down on clean up time? Inflatable monsters! Horrifying your house can be a fun senior activity and the kids will love it!
Arts & Crafts
From rugrats to old timers, everyone can find unique opportunities for fall arts and crafts. Here are a few ideas for projects do with the youngins. There are a ton of local resources to spend time together.
Collect colorful fall leaves and use them to create leaf collages. You can also paint or decorate the leaves to make unique designs.
Nature Scavenger Hunt:
Go for a walk in the park or your backyard and collect pinecones, acorns and other natural materials. Use these items to create nature-inspired crafts.
Make wreaths using colorful fall leaves, pinecones and twigs. You can also add seasonal flowers or artificial decorations.
Paper Plate Masks:
Turn paper plates into masks of fall animals like owls, squirrels or foxes. Use construction paper, googly eyes and markers to decorate.
Collect fall-themed pictures from magazines and newspapers and use them to create a fall collage. Add your own drawings and decorations.
Pinecone Bird Feeders:
Spread peanut butter on pinecones and then roll them in birdseed. Hang these in your yard to attract feathered friends.
Autumn Tree Art:
Use cotton balls, q-tips or your fingertips to create colorful trees with falling leaves. Paint the tree trunks and branches, and then add leaves using different techniques.
Autumn-Themed Clay Creations:
Work with modeling clay to sculpt fall-themed items like pumpkins, acorns or animals.
Modern phones have great photo quality, and built in editing software, with a wide variety of filters and color saturation options. These can be the start of some colorful collages or photo cubes. Not an expert with the phone? Guess who is… your teenage grandkid. In the event they are not, here is an instructional video on how to use your iPhone for some great photos. Take these fun photos and turn them into a collage or photo cube.
Teach your grandkids how to create time-lapse videos of things like flowers blooming, clouds moving or a Lego creation being built.
Photo Scavenger Hunt:
Create a list of specific things for your grandkids to find and photograph around your home or neighborhood.
Explore reflections in puddles, glass or shiny surfaces. It can create some really interesting and artistic shots.
Encourage your grandkids to take a series of photos that tell a story. It could be a day in their life or a mini-adventure. Help them organize the photo story and share it with the world. This can be combined into a photo cube, collage or social media gallery post.
Family Photo Wall:
Join your grandkids on family outings. Then take photos of family members and create a digital family photo wall or an album.
Make a Birdhouse
Looking to spend time with your sweet young grandchild? Make a milk carton birdhouse. Have you done a little woodworking in your day? Need something more adventurous? Use this video to guide your DIY birdhouse.
Custom Book Covers
Let your grandkids’ creativity shine through and have a nice lawn decoration that you can look at every day. There are so many painted birdhouse ideas to choose from.
Leaf Peeping & Nature Walk
There are a ton of places in the midwest that provide beautiful autumn scenery for photographs. Here is a list of places in the area that can serve as a natural muse for you and your grandchild’s photo journey. Then make a collage and frame it so you can enjoy it.
Escape Rooms & Halloween Costumes
Make your own, or sample the various houses that spring up like autumn weeds. Northwest Ohio has its share of scary haunted houses. And even if haunted houses aren’t your thing, your grandchildren need the perfect fit for halloween. Thankfully you’re an expert thrifter, and pretty handy with the needle (“If I do say so myself”). Here are some creative ideas on on costumes you can create with the kids.
Escape Rooms in Toledo
Not a big fan of haunted houses? Help your grandchild get ready for the spooky fun with some DIY halloween costume ideas!
Grandparents can be a classic superhero like Batman or Captain America, while the grandkid can be their sidekick like Robin or The Winter Solider.
Wizard and Witch:
The grandparent can dress up as a wise wizard, and the grandkid can be a cute little witch. Both can carry wands and wear pointy hats.
Famous Movie Duos:
Dress up as iconic pairs like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Gandalf and Frodo, Mario and Luigi or Ellen Ripley and a little baby alien.
Each of you can choose a different crayon color and wear matching crayon costumes.
Mummy and Baby Mummy:
Grandparents can be a mummy wrapped in bandages, and the grandkids can be a cute baby mummy.
Classic Cartoon Characters:
Choose classic characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Popeye and Olive Oyl or Scooby-Doo and Shaggy.
Wizard of Oz Characters:
Grandparent can be the Scarecrow, Tin Man or Cowardly Lion, while the grandkid can be Dorothy or Toto.
Star Wars Characters:
Embrace the Force with costumes like Yoda and a baby Jedi, or Obi-Wan Kenobi and young Anakin Skywalker.
Go as hippies from the ’60s, with tie-dye clothing, headbands and peace signs.
Toy Story Characters:
Grandparent can be Woody or Buzz Lightyear, and the grandkid can be one of the Toy Story toys like Woody’s horse, Bullseye.
Choose famous painters like Vincent van Gogh and Frida Kahlo for an artistic twist.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill. The most important thing we can impart is our hard earned knowledge on the importance of giving back to future generations. Volunteering can be a wonderful way for grandkids to learn important life skills, develop a sense of responsibility and give back to their communities.
Consider your grandchild’s interests and passions. Also, ensure they have the necessary supervision and training for their chosen volunteer activities to ensure their safety and success in their roles. Here is a list of volunteer opportunities that are suitable for kids and teenagers:
Local Animal Shelter:
Many animal shelters welcome young volunteers to help care for animals, clean cages and assist with adoption events. https://toledohumane.org/volunteer
Working in a community garden teaches kids about the environment and provides fresh produce for those in need. https://www.toledogrows.org/volunteering-tours/
Habitat for Humanity:
Older teenagers may be able to help with construction projects, while younger kids can assist with fundraising or organizing events. https://www.mvhabitat.org/restore/restore/
Participating in local park or beach cleanups is a great way to instill a sense of environmental responsibility. https://greatlakes.org/get-involved/adopt-a-beach/
Community Sports Programs:
Kids can help coach or assist with sports programs for younger children in the community. https://www.ymca.org/get-involved
Cultural and Arts Organizations:
Museums, theaters and cultural centers often have opportunities for young volunteers to assist with events and programs. https://theartscommission.org/support/volunteer
Disaster Relief Organizations:
While getting involved directly may not be advised, helping to raise awareness or fundraising is a great way to help. https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/volunteer-role-finder.html
Local Football Games
Whether football isn’t your thing or “that one game” is on your fall bucket list, there are so many games to go to – peewee, high school, college and pro. Here are a few fun ways to enjoy the football season.