Are you ready for Autumn?
Updated: Sep 8
Hey there! Although we have only just finished the August bank holiday weekend (and therefore it is still summer!), we are now stepping into September, which for me marks the start of my favourite season, Autumn! I hope you will enjoy this, my Autumn newsletter - full of lots of my favourite ways to enjoy this beautiful season with your kids, and a few of my favourite eco-friendly, holistic and sustainable parenting tips.
Lockdown seems to have given us an extended Summer weather-wise (especially here in the south of England), not to mention the fact that most kids have been off school for months, making it feel like the Summer holidays have stretched back towards Easter! I for one have been dreaming of woolly mittens and frosty mornings for a while now, I love the changes in the weather that come with Autumn, and find that there are so many things to enjoy observing in nature with children during this fascinating season. Like Spring, it is a season of change and abundance.
Of course, for most parents, the major event in September is "back to school", and it looks like most children will be returning over the next few weeks, although there may be some changes in place. The good news is that I have heard on the grapevine from teachers that most children (who have gone back earlier e.g. in Scotland) have adapted extremely quickly to the changes in their usual learning in environment, and are just really happy to be back in school and with their classmates. Children often surprise us with their natural resilience! But this doesn't mean there won't be a whole lot of worry and anxiety going on inside the hearts and minds of the parents! If this sounds like you, sign up to my mailing list now to receive my Autumn newsletter via email, which will include my last minute "back to school" tips to ease that September transition, and which I formulated with mum and founder of Nurture Collective, Miriam Pierre. You can catch us going over these tips via Zoom on her social media pages!
For me the most amazing thing about Autumn are the magical changes that the natural world goes through, and this creates so many wonderful learning opportunities for children. Make sure you take your kids outside for plenty of walks, whatever the weather, so that they can feel, see, hear, smell, and touch the changes going around them: the colours in the leaves, the fruit on the trees, the changes in the summer flowers, the cooler air, the winds, the rain, the frost, and the changing behaviour of the animals and birds. This will be a time to learn lots of new vocabulary, and learn more about our natural environment, and how we and the animals around us prepare for the winter. There is no wrong weather to get outside in Autumn, kids can enjoy it all, as long as they are dressed for it! Check out my eco-friendly wet-weather gear recommendations below!
When it gets to the October half-term I like to pack up all my summer clothes, and get out all my winter clothes (this is just about the most organised thing I do!), and the same can be fun to do with children. Talk about why they will be needing things like warmer jumpers, hats, coats, and mittens. You may need to do some decluttering and pack up some of the garments that don't fit anymore, and equally, you will probably need to find some larger items for your growing munchkins! For a more sustainable and eco-friendly option to buying cheap high-street kids clothing, check out StillOnTrend for beautiful pre-loved children's garments, and a great place to make some extra cash selling your outgrown items.
When your child is back at school (and Covid-19 restrictions allowing), make sure to check out any nearly-new uniform sales. Children adore pre-loved uniform because it is softer and has that worn-in feel, plus it will reduce waste and is therefore more sustainable and eco-friendly. Check out Helena Jackson's article in Juno Magazine about this very topic: School Uniform.
Make the most of the natural harvest around us at this time of year by taking your child blackberry picking, raspberry picking, apple picking, plum picking (and later in the Autumn, pumpkin picking!). Your children will probably be excited to find fruit that does not always arrive boxed, wrapped in plastic, and steam cleaned! You can spend time cooking and baking pies, crumbles, and tarts with your harvest, even if they are not the sweetest or the juiciest! REMEMBER: When baking with children it is the activity that counts, not the final product! Check out your local PYO fruit farm to see if they are open to visitors, my local farm Parkside Farm is open with slots available to book in advance!
Halloween is coming! I adore Halloween, more for the preparation, the decorations, and the cooking than for the actual festivities themselves (much like Christmas!). Get your child busy choosing pumpkins, decorating pumpkins, and baking pumpkin related treats! American-style pumpkin pie is one of my favourites! You can find loads of great recipes online, including this one, although I readily admit to using ready-roll pastry and tinned pumpkin!
To trick-or-treat or not to trick-or-treat? It's up to you, will depend very much on your location, and it doesn't really matter. To be honest, a few Halloween themed movies, story books, a glowing pumpkin, and a few sweet treats will do the trick for most younger children!
I always encourage parents to choose sustainable and eco-friendly products wherever possible, and here are a few or of my favourite products for this time of year:
Hug at Home's beautiful blankets and throws made from recycled ocean plastic
Muddy Puddles kids wet weather jackets made from recycled plastic bottles
Evercreatures vegan-friendly, natural, sustainably sourced rubber kids wellies
Wearth's biodegradable and plastic free lunch boxes for back to school
Thinking about getting into shape this Autumn? Professional personal trainer and nutritionist (and pre and post-natal exercise specialist) the very lovely and bubbly Emma West (based around Loughton, Essex) can help! She gave me a few great tips for new mums and mums to be recently - click here to read our chat! I really enjoyed my chat about "fussy eaters" a while ago with the brilliant Joanne Docherty on Wellbeing Radio, and am very excited to have been invited back on! This time we will be chatting about Screen Time - which should hopefully coincide with the blog post I am working on at the moment - Screen Time: The Good, The Bad, and The Mindful Balance. Tune in on Friday mornings at 10am to catch Joanne's show, Helping Your Child to Thrive. NEW OFFER: I am now offering outdoor sessions to adhere to social distancing, and also to add the benefits of increased mindfulness and earthing (not heard about the healing benefits of earthing? Read more!). Get a 20% discount on your booking with the code EARTH0920 when you book an outdoor session. Available in Epping Forest, Trent Park, Primrose Hill, Regents Park, and Hampstead Heath.
I hope you and your family enjoy the coming season and all it's changes, do get in touch and let me know your plans, I would love to hear from you!
All the best,