Most of the US is moving slowly – some places more quickly – into autumn.
Leaves are showing their glory in colors of red, oranges, golden yellow, rust and maroon. The air is getting crisp and cool. The air puts forth smells frequently of burning smoke.
Some of us may be gathering around the campfire to roast marshmallows or make s’mores with our family. Others of us may be picking apples, attending harvest festivals or watching football games.
There are many family activities that we all enjoy as the season marches on offering us ways to reminisce with our senior loved ones. We can stroll down memory lane sharing stories of seasons long ago at the same time we make new memories.
Activities for Families to Bring Back Old Memories and Create New Ones
- Visit a pumpkin patch, bring home a pumpkin and together carve a funny face; then light it up. Save the seeds for roasting and pass the bowl around!
- Take a trip to your local park and walk or drive along a path less taken enjoying the crunch of the leaves and chill in the air. Talk about when your parents or grandparents did this as a child-what stories can they tell?
- Enjoy a fall festival in your local community: church, school or organization. Play carnival games, bob for apples, toss a ball, taste some cotton candy or caramel apples and sip on some apple cider.
- Wrap up in a sweater and sit under the stars. Gaze at the moon and tell ghost stories.
- Octoberfest here we come! Is there a celebration for October near you? Check it out with your seniors. What are their favorite German foods? Can they dance a polka? Did they play an instrument growing up?
- Take your senior on a visit to a petting zoo with the (great-) grandkids. What stories can your senior tell the great-grands about animals-did they have a pet or own a cool animal while growing up like chickens or a horse? Did they have to feed it and clean up after it?
- Do some gardening! Now is a great time—few bugs and no heat! Clean out the planting beds, trim away dead leaves, plant flower bulbs and prepare your vegetable garden for spring. Now is a good time to start a compost pile.
- Rake leaves and play! Have a leaf fight or roll around in the pile!
When the family is gathered, now is a good time to snap some family photos to share and enjoy for years to come. Take every opportunity to have your senior express his or her memories in story form. You may want to record some of these precious stories on video or in print reminiscing with family members now and in the future
How do you plan to share the memories this fall? We would love to hear your thoughts.