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Fall Things to Do with Your Grandkids

Fall is a fantastic season to really bond with your grandkids, and in this episode of Modern Grandparenting we give you plenty of things to do. From apples to leaves, lots of outside activities and easy crafts that will make your time with the grandchildren memorable.

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Little boy playing with apples in water.

Show Notes

0:23 – The love of the fall season
1:57 – Fall means school – the busy schedules are back!
3:49 – Apple activities
8:29 – Corn activities
9:28 – Pumpkin activities
15:11- Leaf activities
17:25 – County and State Fairs
20:21 – Make a blanket
21:35 – Make a scarecrow
24:18 – Video calls and fall activities

Little boy enjoying a pumpkin patch.


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Podcast Transcript

Jim 0:02
Welcome to our weekly podcast, modern grandparenting, where we discuss issues that grandparents must deal with in this changing world, for maintaining the best relationships with both children and grandchildren, to giving you all kinds of ideas of what to do all year long, and hopefully making memories that will last a lifetime. In this episode, we’re talking about all the fun things you can do with your grandkids during the fall.

Corinne 0:23
I don’t know about you, but I love Fall, fall is my favorite. It’s my favorite. Now we were teachers. So it always came sort of bittersweet with us getting ready for school. But now that we’re retired, and we’re just you know, grandparents, hey, it’s pretty sweet.

Jim 0:39
Boy, and you would think as a teacher, that fall would be low on my list, because it’s when you’re done with summer, and you have to go back and you can’t spend as much time with your family.

Corinne 0:50
But I love fall. And I did even when I was teaching Actually, I did too. It was like, it’s so funny, because fall actually is when things are starting to die, right. They’re decomposing. You’re going into the long winter, and they’re going to sleep the end of the cycle, right? But But for me, because of school, I guess it always feels like a beginning. Like something new. No, that’s true. But maybe too, I think really what I love is the air. Yeah, I am not a fan of summer heat. I’m not a fan of summer sweat.

Jim 1:22
Humidity, heat. No, thank you.

Corinne 1:26
I’m not even like a beach person or pool person. So neither one of us are. So it’s hard for me to get too excited about summer other than the fact that you get to go on huge vacations, which we of course, we love. So it’s like you said somewhat bittersweet.

Corinne 1:41
However. So this is one of those podcasts where we give you ideas of things to do with your kids, and your grandkids and your grandkids or the or however you do it. In the fall time, I’m sure you can think of lots of these things yourselves, and as school begins to start, the kids do get busy, the parents do get busy.

Corinne 2:03
It’s hard for you to sort of chunk out that time for yourself. So that puts a little bit of onus on you to look at that calendar, figure out where you can have the children or where the parents are gonna be ultra busy. And you can maybe take them for a weekend or you can have them for an overnight or you can just have them for a few hours on a Saturday. Yeah, I mean, maybe, maybe you’re gonna take them to soccer practice on Saturday morning at 10.

Corinne 2:32
Then mom and dad are planning on doing you know, you know, chores and stuff all day long. And you don’t have to bring it back until five. That gives you plenty of time to spend time with the kids. So just sort of figure out how you can get in there. Unfortunately, with with schedules being as busy as it is, it’s going to be up to the grandparent to really take the reins on trying to figure out when you can see your kids, your grandkids, and how much time you can spend with them.

Jim 3:00
Really, you have to start planning early. You want to find out where all that all that really cool fall, festive activities are going to be found. Where’s the pumpkin patch? Where’s the corn maze? You where the best leaves all that good stuff.

Corinne 3:17
You know, we live in a huge country, but there are still pretty much every farm, about every farm but many farms across the United States. They are really, you know, bringing in the harvest, and they’ve got it’s Apple season, then it turns into pumpkin season. And we all know how much America loves a good pumpkin latte. You’re out now Are they really they came out already?

Jim 3:46
I just got a message about it. This morning.

Corinne 3:48
Well there you go. What a time we podcast. Yes. At any rate, so one of the things I am really looking forward to do with AJ this year is going apple picking. He’s a little bit small, but he is small. But you know what the kid loves to climb. He does. He loves to do things like today we were putting groceries away. So he just ran between Jim and me. You know, here is an item, give it to Grandpa, here’s an item, give it to Grandma, here’s an item, you know, and he just he just wants to do things all the time.

Jim 4:22
He’s not at the point where he could put things up on the shelf or in the refrigerator without any help, but he’s still willing to do it. Yeah, he wants to do it. And you really want to keep encouraging that, that helping out attitude as long as he can. So

Corinne 4:38
I think he’s gonna love apple picking and we live in Washington State. And if you do anything about apples in Washington, we we produce 60% of America’s apples is 60% so you know, there’s no reason not to get out there. I’m sure you have apples in your

Jim 4:55
40% of the apples in others, right.

Corinne 4:59
And when you Picking so here you do. First of all, you know you make it a day so you’re going to get your little fleece on or your matching fleece yeah if you if you’re that kind of person I kind of them so you know I love

Jim 5:14
to match my like the red and black flannel.

Corinne 5:17
Oh the flannel. That’s my favorite. I think that looks like boys and men anyway. I know. And women too, I guess. I look good. Thank you. Anyway, yeah, so you get you get your flannel line. And you pick out a farm to go apple picking. And then you know, you go out there who cares? I mean, even if you’re only out there 10 or 20 minutes, doesn’t really matter how many apples you pick, pick enough to do a couple things with them. But really, it’s the idea of being in the crisp air. And being able to be by the trees and in picking your own food, fruit and picking the ones that you like the best.

Jim 5:53
And we you know, we concentrate a lot on AJ because that’s our grandson. But really, I think kids of any age. You’re gonna love it. Oh, yeah. I always loved it. And I was kind of a rebellious teenager. Yes, when it came time to head out and do some fruit picking some apple picking or blueberries or whatever you have in your area pears. I loved it. I was right there.

Corinne 6:19
And the thing is, with apples, you can do so much with them. You can make candy apples, you can have an apple pie day. I don’t know about you. But homemade applesauce. The best is one of my favorite things on earth, and you do absolutely nothing except cut apples up and put it in a

Jim 6:34
pot. And you have a really good baked apple cider donut recipe.

Corinne 6:39
I do. But I haven’t really perfected it yet. So we’ll try and see if we can maybe do a year. Yeah. So you know, you can of course you can cook with apples. But you can also cut them in half. And you can have the kids make apple prints, you can carve into them. You can go bobbing for apples. You can put them in a tub and just have them try and hold them down and see which ones float better than the other way and most down at the same time. Your hands. Yeah, you can go an old timey, Apple bobbing, but that would have to be for much older kids.

Jim 7:16
Yeah. Kind of fallen out of fashion lately.

Corinne 7:18
I think for probably good reason. But there are so many things to do around apples just being together. And I don’t know, it’s one of my favorite things I can’t wait to do it.

Jim 7:30
And like was that if there’s not apples in your area, maybe there’s pears or oranges or blueberries? Just getting out there and and doing something like that is just so much fun.

Corinne 7:43
Well, I think well, and we have more farm things on our list as well. So farms are just to me, well, that’s what fall is all about the harvest. Well, it is but it’s also it’s it’s getting back to our our roots as Americans. We You know, that’s how our country was founded. We’re an agricultural society first and foremost. And then after that, yeah, of course, we got into things like computer science and, and you know, getting into space and all that cool stuff, too. Which I love as well. Yeah, but but really, I mean, you can’t get any more sort of traditional, and thinking about grandma and grandpa than getting on a farm.

Jim 8:25
Well, I mentioned earlier the another thing that I love to do on the farm is the corn maze.

Corinne 8:29
Anything to do with corn. Yeah. I think one of the things that’s really really fun you could do with corn, if I don’t know if you can go corn picking or not. Or if you just have to go by I’ve never heard of that. It would be fun. You can do that. But you do have corn mazes, you can again, you can pop your own corn, you can make all kinds of different toppings for popcorns. That would be really fun. popcorn balls, balls. So you can have sort of a movie night with your own popcorn with lots of different toppings on it. That would be really fun. And if you have a warmer place, or even appear in Washington, it’s not that cold yet. You just sort of get to get like it. You could even do it outside in the yard. How fun would that be? Sure.

Jim 9:11
Yeah, get a projector. They’re not very expensive anymore. And put it on the wall.

Corinne 9:18
Do you need a projector again? Just take a computer outside or something you

Jim 9:21
could or you could put it up on the wall and make it big and make it an event? Yeah, you could also just bring your TV.

Corinne 9:29
to the rent him too. That’s a good question. If somebody knows if you can do that, let us know. But there’s lots of things to do in farms as well as apples and corn. You can you know as I said it’s almost pumpkin season or maybe today was the start of pumpkin season, who knows.

Jim 9:46
Now for the pumpkin spice latte as it was as far as growing pumpkins weird, just drove by our favorite pumpkin patch this last weekend, and they haven’t even started growing the pumpkins yet. So it’s all in It’s all about the sunflowers they were looked like they’re just getting ready to harvest them. I’m guessing the pumpkin patch will start right after that. So and they will be ready in October.

Corinne 10:10
So the thing is if you want to go and do things with pumpkins, you can do so many things with them. First of all, they’re just fun. There are so many different kinds of pumpkins and gourds that you can have your kids sort them, you can have them.

Jim 10:29
Of course use them for decoration isn’t outside the house.

Corinne 10:33
You can take them to the playground and rolling down the slide. You can get a little brush and have your preschooler wash them they will not think anything’s more fun than washing a pickle pumpkin. It’s amazing. This is before you started carving them. And yeah, and then of course there’s carving and there’s pumpkin seeds and there’s my favorite is pumpkin bread. I love pumpkin bread more. That’s

Jim 11:00
probably one of my favorites too. I mean more than a pumpkin spice latte. Obviously it’s not my favorite latte.

Corinne 11:06
I like it Yeah, I liked it a lot.

Jim 11:09
I do like pumpkin bread.

Corinne 11:10
But go into any of the pumpkin patches usually they have all kinds of things to do and see and they’ve they’ve done a good job with maybe they have a hay ride or maybe they have some petting zoos or they have just

Jim 11:23
Som of them get pretty big and have a lot on offer that’s true and they almost always combine if there’s apples in the area apples with the pumpkin patch so you can get your apple cider and maybe even pick apples at the same time you go to the pumpkin patch I don’t know if there’s still I think the apples are probably past picking by mid October. What do you think?

Corinne 11:48
Yeah by been active we’re

Jim 11:49
definitely but you did not mention my favorite thing to do with a pumpkin and that is to bake it and then turn it into soup.

Corinne 11:57
Pumpkin soup again explain it the reason Jim likes it I don’t know if it’s such an American thing.

Jim 12:02
I don’t really think it is I really didn’t have it. The first time I had it I guess was in Germany when we lived in Germany long ago. Of course you would get spargel soup in the spring,

Corinne 12:17
which was asparagus.

Jim 12:18
But my I always look forward to even more that could have been kurbis soupe the pumpkin soup in the fall. And it’s usually kind of got a gingery, garlic, shallot flavor to it. Kind of a spicy flavor but not really hot spicy.

Corinne 12:38
Well a lot of that could be because they put the brown sauce in it on top of it.

Jim 12:43
Yeah, they put a little pumpkin oil pumpkin seed oil drizzled on the top a little bit of heavy cream on top of what we should do is pumpkin seeds roasted pumpkin seeds.

Corinne 12:54
We’ll make it this year for sure. And we’ll go ahead and post a recipe on Granny’s go digital when we do that. But honestly that’s not going to be until pumpkins come out probably for another month or so.

Jim 13:07
You can make pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup and pumpkin muffins with canned pumpkin but really come on it’s just not as good.

Corinne 13:16
And why would you when pumpkins are huge there’s so much of it. Yeah,

Jim 13:20
Just be careful which pumpkins you use. You don’t really want to use a Jack o’ lantern pumpkin for cooking. A sugar pumpkin, a Hokkaido pumpkin..

Corinne 13:29

Jim 13:30
my favorite.

Corinne 13:31
My favorite sugar pumpkins are really good.

Jim 13:33
They’re good for the pie.

Corinne 13:36
And then what else can you do with pumpkins again, you can carve them you can have your grandkids, take little golf tees and pound them into it, they can make a design with it that way. Or they could use they might want to look for letters or numbers and and do a matching or nothing you just give it to them and let them pound away because how much fun is that?

Jim 14:02
And if they’re old enough, have them do a carving contest with them. For Jack O’ lanterns, and just different decorations.

Corinne 14:12
It doesn’t have to be Halloween themed I mean that’s always fun, but it doesn’t have to be. I mean I can carve them and make lanterns with them with you know anytime any design. Yeah,

Jim 14:23
Be creative. And if they’re too young for that sort of thing. Just use paint for your painting. Exactly. a paintbrush and decorate and with that, the kids will love that too. And you’ll have a really nice decorated pumpkin for the front porch.

Corinne 14:43
Which is always fun. And of course if you’re doing it along with them, then you have two, but you can and you also think about this.

Corinne 14:51
You don’t have to be with your grandchildren to enjoy these activities with them. You can do it with them over video. If you’re going out apple picking you can take your phone and you can talk to your grandkids as you’re doing it.

Corinne 15:06
If you both are going, say on a little hike, maybe you’re going to collect leaves. There are leaves all over the world. So it doesn’t matter where they live, they could go on a little hike with mom and dad or without mom and dad, collect leaves. Have a little show and tell, and you talk about the ones that are like the ones that are different.

Corinne 15:25
You can make little lanterns with them, because all you have to do is press them between two pieces of wax paper and put a light in it. And they’re so pretty.

Corinne 15:33
You could do that. Or you can do leaf prints again, or you can do leaf rubbings, which is really fun. Kids love to do that. You can do that and then do it on a T shirt even. And then if you really leaf rub onto the T shirt, and iron it on the back and put it in the dryer, it’ll stay you’ll have a pretty reminder of leaves as well. So there’s lots to do with leaves.

Jim 16:02
And they can be collecting pine cones at the same time, or if you’re near a beach seashells, because the beaches are a lot emptier in the fall, so you can really get out there and do some good beach combing. I love a love of fall beach.

Corinne 16:18
I love beach combing in general, but I agree with you. It’s better when there’s not as many people around.

Jim 16:23
We say we’re not beach people, but we’re not hot sand. We’re not any lay in the sand. No, but getting out with the crashing waves and the seagulls and just wanting a beach. That’s that I am all about AJ is to0\o.

Corinne 16:42
Yeah, he is well, and the thing is anybody would be if the idea of just being outside and the wind in the, like Jim said, the crashing waves and looking for things, it’s so much fun to find a pretty rock, a piece of driftwood, and anything so just get out, do a little hike, whether it’s by the beach, whether it’s in a little forest, whether it’s in your park, you know, a couple blocks down the street. There’s so much to find and see and everybody will enjoy it all the pretty fall flowers. You can look at those and take pictures of them if that’s what you want to do with your child, with your grandchildren, is so much fun.

Corinne 17:24
So one thing that I love about fall and harvest time is around the United States, you have staving county fairs. Yeah, that’s the time. I love a county fair. Unfortunately for the last two years, 20 and 21. They haven’t quite been up to par in my opinion.

Jim 17:43
This year, they say it’s coming back out, and they’re gonna have one, but

Corinne 17:48
They’re down and get stripped down. Because the thing that I love about county fairs is the fact that you have the contest was Yeah, it’s all about the contest. Who made the best blueberry pie? Look at this beautifully decorated cake. Around here and I forget the name of what they call it, but the farms make up these amazing displays of all the different products that they have on their farm. They’re just beautiful. They’re not baskets, they’re like a whole display. It’s just I can’t think of like a cornucopia. It is like a cornucopia but..

Jim 18:27
that originated as a fall display of your best produce.

Corinne 18:32
eah. And so I love that part about it. I also love of course there’s always good things to eat at a county fair things that you don’t normally eat. I don’t suggest going for the deep-fried Oreos or things like that. Yeah. But you know it’s always good to have fried bread or you know something. Washington County Fair it’s the they have scones that they’re famous for me they are delicious.

Jim 18:56
Just you know plan it really well and talk over with your grandchild’s parents, you don’t want to feed them full of a bunch of horrible snacks over sweet snacks and then you know send them home ready for bed because that’s just not going to work out.

Corinne 19:14
Maybe that’s something that you want to do with the whole family, not necessarily just with the grandkids, so it really depends on what the parents want to do or how much time they have. A lot of it comes back to time.

Corinne 19:25
Yeah. And sometimes you can even make a super special day out of it. They’ll have like student days, and you can go with your grandkids then. And that’s really fun because it is a time mainly for kids. And of course they have the games and the rides part is maybe not as interesting to older people but on the other hand, watching your any grandchild have a blast is always something that we like.

Jim 19:55
Seeing that joy is just always precious. So you even if you don’t want to go on the roller coaster yourself, put your grandkid on it, because they’re gonna love it. If they’re old enough.

Corinne 20:08
Here are some really cool crafts that you can do during the fall. I already mentioned a few you can do prints you can..

Jim 20:18
Right leaf pirints, painting the pumpkins, of course.

Corinne 20:22
One of the things that I’m planning on doing with AJ this well probably next week now this week’s almost is I’m going to go to the fabric store and buy him two sides of fleece, and a meter and a half long. And he gets to pick out the design that he likes.

Corinne 20:40
And then we’re going to cut about three inch strips all the way around, not cut them off, but just cut into the blanket on all four sides. And then you take both color, both pieces of fabric, outside to outside, inside inside, so the outsides are both outside the print is out, the print is out, and then you tie them in a little knot. And you go all around the blanket. And it really takes only a couple of hours to do this.

Corinne 21:06
And of course, AJ won’t be able to do the whole thing with me, but he’ll have picked out the the design and he’ll try as much as he can, because that’s what he likes to do. And then he’ll have his own blanket for here, which I think this is a perfect time to do it. Because whether we’re going to the beach, or camping or whatever, he’ll have his own blanket.

Jim 21:25
It’s the time of year when you need a blanket. That’s perfect. And it doesn’t take any real special skill. It doesn’t take any skill; you don’t have to do you don’t need a sewing machine.

Corinne 21:35
Exactly. It’s no so I can do it. Another thing you could try and make is a scarecrow. I mean, those are pretty easy to do, you just get some something to stuff it with whether, if you could really get hay, that would be best. If we go into a pumpkin patch or something. And just some old clothes, and then stuff, it get a hat, and then make the face out of one of those pumpkins. Or, you know, for cardboard, it really doesn’t even matter. But how fun to do that and stick it out on your porch and have your granddaughter and grandson help you do that. They would love it. It’s a really fun one.

Jim 22:12
Yeah. And so you don’t even really need to leave home. To have a good, you know, fall activity. Chances are pretty high, you’ve got leaves falling around the backyard. There’s nothing kids love more than a good pile of leaves. You can even get them out they’re raking with you.

Jim 22:35
And then that’s how much fun is that? Right? And then make a big pile and jump on in. Spray those leaves everywhere. Kids love it. It’s great photo opportunities. And it’s just a lot of fun. It’s also a great time of year for stargazing. Take that blanket that you made, maybe some apple cider, hot chocolate, hot chocolate marshmallows head out to the backyard. And the sun’s gonna go down pretty early, get some chairs ready and get snuggled in and do some good stargazing.

Corinne 23:13
At the same time, you can have a little firepit with a fire in it make some s’mores? Yeah, you could either have a campfire in your backyard or you could actually go camping. We like I said we live in Washington State and the temperatures aren’t that bad. We plan on camping pretty much all year long here.

Corinne 23:30
Of course we’re on the coast that makes it a little bit easier because there’s not as much snow. I guess people in Minnesota would maybe not go camping all year long. But you know what I mean if as long as you can, it doesn’t matter if it gets cooler or even cold. I’ve taken Girl Scouts, camping all the way to negative five below up in Alaska.

Corinne 23:49
And we slept outside. That was our challenge. And we had a blast doing it. So it’s not the cold, it’s just that we like a comfort and I’m quite frankly there as well. I like the comforts now as well. But there’s plenty to do and I think a lot of it you could do in the house with baking, having special movies, or making some crafts or just you know, telling stories.

Jim 24:18
If you can’t be there with your grandchildren, make a video call and do some activities with them. Get on Facebook, do FaceTime, do Zoom and bake with them. Have mom or dad set up everything that they need, or if they’re old enough, they can do that too. Get out your recipe, share your recipe, have them cook along with you. And when you’re done, you can compare the two and see how they came out. That’s always fun.

Corinne 24:49
Do you do all kinds of things you can make cards with them online. You can write stories with them. You can make a memory book, the time when you were visiting over the summer or something You can make bunting that goes up in like in this grandkids bedroom, and I have to do is cut it and put it on a line.

Corinne 25:11
It’s easy stuff and fun, just anything that you can think of. It’s also a good time to start thinking of a hobby that you can teach your grandson or granddaughter while you are online together. Whether that’s building, woodworking, models, doing my watercolor, sewing, like we talked about or cooking, it doesn’t matter what you are knitting, crocheting, that’s one that I’ve always thought I’d take that but, haven’t done so yet.

Jim 25:41
They just go into it knowing that if it’s new to them, they will probably not have the same level of focus or patience that you have with your own hobby. And maybe only five minutes is what they can handle it.

Corinne 25:54
But five minutes every week or every two weeks, ends up being quite a bit. And it’ll be something they always think about you if as well.

Jim 26:04
Also fall, like we said, kids are back to school. This is the time when you also want to pay attention to what’s happening at school. If you’re able to visit during a performance a play or a musical performance is almost always something happening at some point in the fall at school.

Corinne 26:25
So try sports, definitely want to go to a football game. Or it’s a good time to start going to museums, maybe you take your granddaughter or your grandson to a different museum once a month, and expose them to the arts or to natural history or maritime museums.

Corinne 26:48
There’s all kinds of things, there’s so much to do in the fall. I love it. It is my absolute favorite time. And we’ll post some of these ideas in the show notes as well as if it’s a little bit longer. It’ll maybe have its own little article, and we’ll let you know the best way to find out of course, would be to subscribe to our Granny’s go digital newsletter, and that way you’ll never miss a post or a craft or a recipe or anything. It’ll be fun. So that’s it for this one. We want to thank you for listening.

Jim 27:27
Thanks for joining us this week on modern grandparenting. For more on all things grandparents go to our website at Granny’s go digital. By signing up for our newsletter you’ll never miss out. Also, please hit subscribe. Leave us a review.

Corinne 27:40
Please leave us a review. Thanks happy grandparenting.

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