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by Charline Cormier-Pellerin


love the fall. True, it means that summer is

over, school is starting up again and cold weather is just around the corner. But there are so many wonderful things for the children to do in the fall and most of them cost very little, if anything at all. For adults, the need to rake

leaves can be annoying, as it is yet another chore added to an already overflowing list of things to do. However, kids love leaves! They love sitting in them, rolling in them, tossing them and once you’ve raked up all the leaves from your yard, having piled them just right for bagging, the kids won’t be able to resist jumping in them. And the fact that they fall to the ground, free for the taking, makes

them perfect

entertainment for children who can spend hours outside playing in them. Not to mention how raking

up leaves is great exercise for both children and adults alike, and a fun way for the family to spend an afternoon together. As a matter of fact, if the older children are looking for a little extra spending money, neighbours may even be willing to pay to have leaves raked up and taken away. Leaves, pine cones and acorns also

make for great (free) craft supplies. Leaves can be collected, identified, preserved (either in a book or dipped in wax) or turned into a collage. Pine cones and acorns can easily be turned into holiday decorations, or another fun thing to dowith them is to glue on a couple of googly eyes, thus turning them into little characters that the children can either play with or give away as gifts. Going for a walk or hike is also much

more fun this time of year, as there are less mosquitoes to contend with. And, of course, there are pumpkins,

which are relatively inexpensive, especially when one considers all that can be done with one. Its insides can be turned into delicious baked goods, while its outer shell can be crafted into seasonal décor. I am the primary pumpkin carver at our

house and even though it happens to be more of a spectator sport for my kids, who are still too young to use sharp knives, every year they look forward to having me do so. We’ve given our pumpkins the usual

faces (happy, sad, scary) but sometimes we like to deviate from the norm and come up with something out of the ordinary. For example, last year, we carved a Spiderman face and a Bug’s Bunny face (attaching pipe cleaners as ears). There are all sorts of fancy pumpkin carving kits available on the market, but I’ve always been partial to using simple tools from my kitchen: sturdy

32 • Bread ‘ n Molasses September/October 2010

steak knife, bottle opener and ice cream scoop.

Whenever the younger kids want to get

involved in the creative process, instead of having them use knives, I let them make faces on un-carved pumpkins using markers. And faces drawn on little gourds make the cutest decorations. So, don’t miss out. Take advantage of

all that fall has to offer, not the least of which are its beautifully colourful landscapes and scenery.

Charline Cormier-Pellerin also writes a regular weekly column for the Times & Transcript. Residing in Moncton with her husband and their four children, she can be reached at

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