This is Apple Week and we are officially starting the fall activities….and it definitely is starting to feel like Fall!  I am always sad to see the summer season come to an end but I have to admit I love fall.  I love the sounds of the leaves crunching under my feet as I walk in the woods or on the sidewalk in the neighborhood.  I love the taste of warm apples in apple dumplings and the smell of apple cider and cinnamon  simmering on the stove.  It is fun to eat a cup of chili on a picnic in the mountains on a sunny day as you sit under the colorful leaves and listen to a river.  So many memories of times spent outside in the fall with my family.

For my family making applesauce is a family tradition.  My mom would make batches of canned applesauce each fall.  When Joel and Nick moved out of the house she would make them their own jars of applesauce to have in their apartments.  She no longer cans, and I never felt comfortable canning, so we no longer have homemade applesauce sitting in the cupboard.  What we do have is my version of homemade applesauce and we will be making it this week!  It is so easy to make, yummy to eat and makes the house smell so good.  As Joel and Nick got older it was one of their afternoon snacks when they got home from school.  It is a comfort food for both of them.

This year we may see a change to our family traditions.  For some of you most of the traditions may stay the same and for some of us there will be a lot of changes.  For me and Curt there will be so many of the fall traditions that we will have to change.  I was just chatting about this with a family friend that has been a part of so many of our family activities.  We always camped together, carved pumpkins together and spent time taking long, leaf walks at Discovery Park. Even though we cannot be together like we usually have been we are planning some new traditions.  Carving pumpkins outside in the backyard while drinking our hot cider is not the calendar — hopefully on a dry, sunny afternoon!  There are many ways you can connect with family and friends this fall you may need to readjust the tradition or make a new one.  One tradition you could add to your family activities is  making applesauce together.  It can be done in-person outside or over a virtual chat with the grandparents.  It is easy to do and provides a point of connection that will bring back fun memories each fall.

Another fun tradition is a fall walk.  As you walk around the neighborhood point out to your child the different trees on your walk.  Talk about trees that bear fruit, trees that lose their leaves and trees that stay green all year long. Collect some leaves and compare the colors, look for ‘helicopters’ (as we call the maple seed pods that are all over the ground right now), see if you can find acorns and chestnuts, look for pinecones of different sizes and see if you can find a spider web with dew or raindrops on the web.  The spiders are quite active this year.  I found 5 different webs in just one bush in the front yard today! 

On your walks it is also a time to talk about patterns.  There are so many places you see patterns.  Show your child things that look the same, things that repeat.  A maple leaf is an excellent example of symmetry that you can show your child. Another is the waves at the beach and patterns they make on the sand.  You can show them patterns on their clothing, patterns from shadows on the wall as well as patterns they can make with their bubbles.  Our sons loved to do bubbles in the bath.  Try adding some bubble fun to the bath.  When they are wet the bubbles will stick to their skin without popping.  You can make multiple bubbles and talk about the pattern the bubbles make.  There are patterns in nature, patterns in words and patterns in math.  Can you think of a favorite pattern to share with your child?

If you want to find out more about patterns this is an interesting article to read about the different kinds of patterns.  Natural patterns include symmetries, trees, spirals, meanders, waves, foams, tessellations, cracks and stripes. Https://

I am looking forward to making some applesauce and some memories with the children next week!

“Cooking is a way to teach kids about reading and math.” – Emeril Lagasse

~Teacher Janice