By contributing writer Tabitha
I love fall. I love the cooler temperatures. I love the falling leaves. I love walking through the leaves. I love spending time outside with my kids enjoying the weather before it gets cold. There are so many things we can do!
One of the activities we try to enjoy every year (I will avoid calling it a chore or a problem!) is raking leaves. It can be fun!
An odd thing about the house we live in currently is that it has very few trees. The little ones that were there when we moved in are getting bigger, but not enough for a huge raking project. However, our neighbors’ trees are another story. We get lots of leaves from everyone else’s trees.
So what do we do? We rake them all into a big pile. We bury each other. We jump out of the leaves to startle someone. We play in the leaves. We bag them up and recycle them (through the city). We fill fall decorations with them. We throw them at each other. (Well, not me, usually, but the kids do.) We rake our neighbor’s leaves.
We do it all again the next week, after more leaves have fallen. It never ends, but neither does the fun. (We won’t mention the wet, soggy, snowed on or rained on leaves. Wait til they dry out.)
Benefits of Raking Leaves
- We are working together as a family. We are showing by example that work can be fun and rewarding.
- We are showing our children that work is necessary. Otherwise, yards look unkempt and not as fun to play in.
- We are being physically active as a family.
- We are spending time together.
- We are building imagination as we play with the leaves.
- We are learning about the world around us. (Seasons and trees)
- We are learning about tools, including proper and safe usage.
- We are experiencing the reasons for street safety. (Cars drive by.)
- We are learning about jobs and city government.
- We are learning new skills that can be applied elsewhere.
- We are learning to serve others (raking other people’s yards) as well.
- We are talking to neighbors as they, too, spend time outside. It’s amazing how many friends you meet when you spend time in your front yard.
- We are establishing good habits and routines while caring for our home.
- Plus, it’s just fun.
I grew up in southern California. The leaves didn’t change colors. Some of them just died every now and then. Did we ever rake? Yes. Was it a seasonal tradition in the fall? No. I love having this tradition with my children and the fact that even the ones that aren’t old enough to contribute much can still benefit. I never shoveled snow at home, either. Maybe that’s why I love doing these things with my kids now.
This is something they remember from years past and always look forward to doing again.
So… some afternoon this fall, go bury some kids in the leaves! If you don’t have any (kids or leaves) go find some!