The kids are in school, and summertime heat is slowly giving in to a refreshing breeze here and there, ripe with the scent of apples and the promise of crisp fall air. There is nothing so invigorating as a fresh start, and September offers these in plenty! Here’s what we’ve been mulling over as we switch from lemonade to cider, and enjoy the calming rhythm of new schedules:
The benefits of routine: Structure is calming!
Sure, transitioning into the school-year means shifting to a new mindset; but in the end, research has shown that a structured schedule is good for the whole family! Routines allow us the time and space to plan exciting moments, like campfires, trips to the orchards, or a celebration of National Play-Doh Day (September 16th!). At first it seems counterintuitive, but the truth is that having structured routines for life’s day-to-day activities allows more energy for spontaneity and creativity where it counts most! Not only that, but scheduling in regular fun activities helps the kids learn the concept of patience and anticipating something exciting that they know is coming soon! To keep everyone’s schedules in sync, try apps such as Cozi or Hub. These awesome calendars are easily integrated and shared amongst all members of the family!
Simple, healthy lunches: Good for the body and mind.
Another benefit of a structured schedule is having a regular lunchtime. Fresh, wholesome school lunches help kids soar past afternoon slumps. Eating healthy during the day will help them concentrate, fueling both their bodies and their minds! The beauty of a healthy school lunch is that the food is good enough for you too-- so why not store some for yourself, as a quick bite at home, a packed work lunch, or a meal on-the-go? A favorite go-to school lunch is nutrient-packed tomato soup leftovers from the evening before. At home, pair with fresh whole-wheat bread and salad. The next day, packed into a school lunch, it can easily be supplemented with some crunchy carrots and a piece of fruit. For dozens of simple, healthy school lunch ideas, check out our favorite source of inspiration. And since September signals the beginning of fall, don’t forget to pack a freshly picked apple!
Apples, cinnamon, and maple-- oh my!
Apple seasons does officially begin in September: from visiting orchards, to baking apples pies, to creating funny little apple creatures, the fun is guaranteed! Not only are fall flavors bursting with deliciousness-- they also provide plenty of fun ideas for family time! Check this extensive list to find local orchards where you can pick your own apples, pumpkins, or berries (depending on what is in season near you). Orchards often include more than fruit-picking too-- from bonfires to hayrides to maple-syrup-sampling, these local businesses offer up plenty of excitement for the whole family. To make the adventure last, take your freshly picked apples and turn them into an afternoon baking extravaganza! A few modern twists on apple pie include apple pie bars, apple pancakes with maple walnuts, or this fresher, healthier version of McDonald’s Apple Pie. Enjoy the smells of autumn floating through the kitchen-- and as you do, consider easy ways to begin transforming other rooms for the season too!
Decorate your house and spruce up for fall!
September is the perfect time to get a jump-start on seasonal decor. Spruce up the entryway with beautiful potted mums, corn stalks and gourds. For some fab inspiration click here! Celebrate the upcoming fall colors by mixing and matching hues; or go for a simple, modern look by sticking with one color and choosing two large pots to flank your front door. Fall wreaths are another fun way to add a punch of color to your entry. Try DIY! If you prefer the contemporary feel of monochromatic decor, white gourds and pumpkins look stunning with a drip, stripe, or splatter of metallic spray paint, or even simply arranged in a metal bowl.
Finally, enjoy nature!!!
The weather is perfect now for a walk in nearby forests and parks. Pay attention to the beautiful trees and leaves that are changing color now, and breathe the fresh air. Windy days are perfect for flying kites on the fields or nearby beach. We have fun mini kites with awesome designs that fit right in your pocket and will delight your kids. To us, September is a fun start to something new while still enjoying the fleeting days of sunshine and warmer weather. Whether by apple-picking, baking pies, crafting with leaves or pumpkins, or getting outside, embrace this time with your family as you welcome the beginning of fall!