It’s almost that time of the year when we wave goodbye to the long summer days and welcome orange leaves, pumpkin pies, and crisp air. While the summer months are passing, many kids are still enjoying holidays. The much-loved pastime of public pools, overseas holidays, and school camps, things may look a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruption of the pandemic and change of season can prove challenging for little ones who may get unsettled and irritated more easily. Here are some tips and activities that will hopefully make the transition into fall a little easier.
1. Keep them hydrated
Staying hydrated is key to feeling good. The days are still warm and fluids can often be forgotten about when the weather drops a few degrees. Little ones often don’t appreciate the wonders of h2o so may need a bit of encouragement. You can freeze their water bottle to encourage them to keep the fluids up or make some healthy ice pops as a cooling treat to include in their day. This will help them avoid any dehydration headaches. Not drinking enough can leave them grouchy and difficult to put to bed at the end of the day. However, it’s important to try to keep their liquids up at the start of the day, not the end which could encourage many toilet trips or accidents in the night!
2. Stay sun smart
Everyone needs vitamin D produced by daylight but be smart about how much time you are spending in direct sunlight. Just because it’s not the middle of summer doesn’t mean all should be forgotten. Hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses should be early fall essentials in your house. Avoid the little ones and you being outside in direct sunlight for long periods of time, particularly in the middle of the day. If your yard doesn’t have much shade look at adding a few trees or sunshades. This will increase the time they can spend playing outside without sun damage. Too much sun will leave them overheating and grizzly, not to mention particularly hard to settle at night
3. Get them outside
It may be harder now that public spaces are less accessible but make sure you are spending time outside. Being outside for a reasonable amount of time will expose them to vitamin D and a good dose of fresh air. Being cooped up inside all day won’t be doing anyone good. As we head further into fall the days will start getting colder, but don’t let this deter you. Rugging up with some quality jumpers will mean more fun stomping around the autumn leaves. They’ll get more worn out from being in the fresh air resulting in a decent night’s sleep.
4. Sleep habits
The fall sleep routine may look different from winter and summer months. The days are still longer than winter months which means the light proves unsettling for some little ones. Regulating room temperatures, adding blackout curtains, and setting up a good night time routine will all help with the change of seasons.
5. Keep up the healthy eating
The key to keeping the little ones healthy is making sure they get enough Vitamin C and dietary fibre, along with eating balanced meals of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. If they’re not fruit or vegetable fans, there are many creative ways to sneak them into their diets. This is particularly important as the season changes, where colds and flu are most often caught.
6. Activities at home
You might be spending more time at home this fall compared to others. This will induce feelings of boredom and frustration for the little ones. It’s important to keep them busy and minds stimulated so they feel balanced and sleep well at night. Not to fear, there are plenty of fun activities to incorporate into your fall routine. The weather in many areas should still be reasonably clear, so don’t hesitate to take the mess outside. Some fun fall activities might include:
- Build an outdoor fire pit for the whole family to enjoy
- Build a backyard obstacle course
- Chalk the pavement
- Have a picnic on the lawn
- Buy a trampoline
- Make a cozy outdoor fortress
- Plant a vegetable garden with seasonal vegetables
- Go jump in some leaves
- Create a leaf maze with any leaves on your lawn
7. Set a good routine
Setting a good daily routine can help if little ones are feeling unsettled. Things that might help structure your day could be mealtimes, wake up times, nap time, bedtime and playtime. Including these, at a similar time, each day will help add a bit of balance to your children’s lives and also your own.
8. Be flexible
No one likes a tantrum but try to be flexible and understanding with rules this fall. The change of season can bring out the tiredness in the little ones and we have/still are going through an unsettling time with the pandemic. Take it day by day and try your best to keep up a good routine.
9. Keep in touch with others
It’s important that they’re not feeling too isolated and lonely without social interaction. Try to organize play dates if you can within safety protocols or even try a virtual playdate if you don’t feel comfortable with them in contact with other children. Having this social interaction will keep them entertained and remind them of what life was like before COVID.
10. Recreate their fall favourites
If they have any memories from last fall that aren’t possible this fall try to replicate them in an alternative way. They might remember going to the pumpkin patch or trick’or treating, and if those activities aren’t yet safe in your area, you can get creative and think of ways to recreate these memories so your littles can still be reminded of all the good time fall has to offer.
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