Growing up, my dad always told us that garlic "cleaned our blood." Turns out he was on to something! Some benefits include: boosting the immune system, anti-microbial, high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. Add roasted garlic to soups, or raw garlic to dressings and dips for a little pick-me-up.
All things #woodlands and #woollen #felt for fall!


Take some inspiration from Scandinavian parents (and Canadian parents a few generations ago) and let baby nap outside for a longer sleep and fresh air. I've tried this in the winter as well, and my children will always wake with rosy cheeks and smiles. 

Layer baby up in the cool or cold weather, go for a walk, then place the stroller in a safe quiet spot and keep baby in eyesight. Our front porch works well, as I can sit at the table and have a coffee and still see babe, but sitting next to the stroller on a park bench, or in your yard works well too. 

I have read that it is commonplace in Finland for a line of strollers with slumbering babies to be parked outside a cafe window while parents are inside. Maybe that will be the norm here someday too!

#beeswax candles

Mmm, sweet #beeswax. I like to get our candles out around this time of year as we start to create a cozy atmosphere in the home. Lighting a candle in the evening when everyone is home can be a comforting tradition that signals time together, reminds the family to slow down and encourages everyone to linger at the table a little longer. 

Tip: we light one for each child so there is no arguing over who gets to blow the candle out ;)

#pumpkinpatch #pumpkinfarm

Include farm visits as a seasonal family tradition during berry, apple, pumpkin and maple syrup season.  When possible, shop locally at farmers markets throughout the year. Seeing the farm and meeting farmers helps children understand where their food comes from.


Many farms have pumpkin festivals with corn mazes, tractor rides, and animals. McLean's Berry Farm even has a famous (mentioned by Rick Mercer) pumpkin canon!

Take the pumpkin theme a step further and read up on the origins of pumpkin carving with children. A little #history lesson can be interesting for older kids who enjoy researching on their own.


Try roasting the #pumpkinseeds to snack on while creating ghoulish Jack o'lanterns. While carving pumpkins and removing the pulp, I separate seeds and throw them into a strainer, where I rinse and then pat dry. Toss with a bit of olive oil and sea salt onto a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees F for about 45 mins or until golden brown. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium and the perfect snack.

#paintedcones #paintedrocks

Set up a washable paint station outside. Have little ones collect cones, rocks, twigs and acorns. A fun and (mostly) independent activity that keeps the mess outdoors!


Time in nature has always been rejuvenating for me. Research shows that outdoor exposure helps children with emotional regulation, mood and general mental health wellness. The fresh air, sunlight and plants provide multiple physical health benefits including deeper breathing, stronger bones , and a calmer stress response.

A  regular walk in a green space near you or even down the road can teach children a lot about the seasonal shifts in nature. You can watch a summer stream dry up and freeze as winter approaches then compare it when melted and running quickly with the spring thaw.

Other tips include:

have older kids take photos or sketch interesting finds to keep them engaged

wear weather-appropriate clothing and bring a change of clothes

try hopping rocks or wading in the water 

have children touch tree bark and compare it to moss, 

talk about the roles of fungi (decomposer, symbiotic tree companions) and the importance of these roles in a forest

take a closer look at the leaves and trees to see insects feeding and have children research later on

make family walks part of your weekly rhythm 

#autumncraft wax pressed leaves

We have a maple tree in our yard and each year I have the children pick out some leaves to press between wax paper. My grandmother would do this with us every fall, and we have adopted it as a family tradition.

Collect leaves, wax paper, scissors, a towel and an iron. place leaves between two sheets of wax paper and place in the towel. Iron over the area and let cool. Peel back wax paper to reveal flat, shiny leaves that can be hung as a garland (as we did above) or displayed in any way you'd like. Stick them on a window for beautiful sun catchers.Enjoy!


Set up a spooky book nook with all things fall and October to get kids thinking about the season. What are your favourite fall books for kids?


Take the bedtime story outside! There is something magical and spooky about being out in the dark on a crisp autumn evening, even if only for a few minutes. optional warm drink and stargazing encouraged.