This post is sponsored by Lexington Law.

Grab that cozy flannel shirt, and slip into your favorite pair of jeans. Breathe in the revitalizing air of fall. It’s the ultimate time of the year for a family jaunt. The leaves dance on a crisp breeze, flaunting their luscious colors. Autumn is the ideal setting in which to explore the magnificent outdoors. Day trips to enjoy fall foliage do not have to cost a cent. Consider walking or biking paths or stage an outdoor family treasure hunt.

Fall Time Scavenger Hunt

Staging an “outdoor scavenger hunt” for the kids is loads of fun. It’s also educational and helps to get them exercising, as well. Plan a few days of preparation for the treasure hunt. This gets the children actively involved beforehand. Of course, planning ahead adds some zing to the overall experience by raising the excitement level. Together, you can decide what everyone will be searching out on the hunt. The possibilities are never-ending.

Make it interesting: Locating at least ten things in nature will ensure the kids will not be bored fifteen minutes into the excursion. Prior to the scavenger hunt, each child can pick five things that would be fun to look for. This is a great way to stimulate mental creativity. The parents will choose five more to add to the list. Instruct the kids to write out the items in a small notebook. They can check each item off the list when they locate it. The notebook can be carried easily in a backpack. Don’t forget to bring pens or pencils.

Outdoor location: The beauty of an outdoor scavenger hunt is the fact that you can do it right in your backyard. However, it works just as well when conducted at a nearby park. Take a stroll through a city neighborhood in search of items. If you live in the city, you may have to adjust the treasure hunt list accordingly. For instance, the children might search for yellow signs, or the tallest or shortest brick building. They can look for birds that are native to the city.

Walking and biking paths also make a good spot for your scavenger hunt. Exploring nature in its entire splendor is energizing. Get the family out and into the fresh air. It’s the idyllic setting for a hike, or biking. Indulge in a relaxing stroll in the woods or explore a designated walking trail. The local Chamber of Commerce generally provides information for bike and walk paths. Be sure to check out the activity section of your community newspaper. Generally, you can find many free, family-oriented events.

Find Nature Items: Needless to say, you can guide toddlers to find obvious outside treasures such as; a bright-red leaf, a curious pine cone, a feather or a super cool stick. Older kids, however, will find it interesting to seek out items of nature, which are more challenging. Some of these might include; an abandoned bird’s nest, a mysterious carving or out of the ordinary rocks. Encourage the kids utilize their imaginations.

Sharing the items found: Wrap up the scavenger hunt with an outdoor picnic. The picnic can have a twofold purpose. After a long hike, a rest is going to be welcomed. The family can share and discuss their finds, as well. The kids can make entries in their notebooks, describing what they found. Perhaps they can log in any special meaning, which they believe their treasures hold for them.

Here is a free printable fall time scavenger hunt. Fall Time Scavenger Hunt

Have a Picnic

Pack a modest basket of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Toss in yummy cookies, and some drinks, such as water or juice boxes. A toned-down picnic will keep the day uncomplicated for everyone. Simple is always the best route to take.

Have a Meaningful Discussion

During your picnic is a great time to discuss serious topics with your kids in a lighthearted setting. One topic you could discuss is money. A report by researchers at the University of Cambridge, revealed that kids’ money habits are formed by age 7! Here are some simple ways to guide a conversation.

  • Explain What Money Is: Some things cannot be found they have to be paid for. You can show them the items you found during your scavenger hunt, which are free, versus the items you had to pay for, the picnic basket, the bread, the juice boxes, etc.
  • Explain How to Think Through Shopping: Take the discussion a step further by explaining how to shop properly, checking prices, using coupons, looking for a sale, and buying the off brand. Use the off brand juice boxes for the picnic as an example of how easy it is to make smart money choices.
  • Share Your Money Mistakes: Depending on your child’s age, it may be appropriate to discuss money mistakes you’ve made in order to help ensure your child doesn’t end up making the same mistakes.
  • How Good Credit and Bad Credit Affect You: Again, if they are a little older explain that sometimes you cannot buy what you want if you do not have good credit. Explain what it takes to manage their credit like not spending more than they have. Or explain repair credit if they damage it by making on time payments and paying off debt.

Now get out there and enjoy nature’s bountiful beauty, have fun, and instill lifetime values. You better hurry because winter is just around the corner.