5 Simple Fall Activities: No Extra Equipment Required

This is the second post in my No Extra Equipment Required series; a series that highlights outdoor activities that don't require any extra equipment. I am challenging myself to get creative and help my kids develop their creativity and imaginations. 

I am so excited fall is here. I know some of you are lucky enough to already be enjoying the seasonal changes. We had 75 degree weather this morning and it was such a relief.  I love fall for lots of reasons: the trees, pumpkins, campfires, sweaters and apples. But really fall is the perfect season for just being outdoors and enjoying cooler weather. So I rounded up my favorite activities for enjoying the outdoors that require no extra equipment.
5 Simple Fall Activities: No Extra Equipment Required
  • Play in the leaves or create a leaf maze. Love art projects using leaves? I just did a huge round up with 20 awesome projects using fall leaves. You can also check out my Outdoor Activities for Kids Pinterest board (link at bottom of post) for more inspiration. 
    5 Simple Fall Activities: No Extra Equipment Required
  • Break out the camera and capture the beauty with these awesome tips for taking photos in the fall
  • Campfire - Even if you can't go camping, look for parks with day use areas. There are many that have fire pits. The cooler weather is the perfect time for enjoying marshmallows and hot chocolate around a fire. 
  • Hike and play the Leaf Match game - Pick up a leaf from the ground and find which tree it came from. It might not be as easy as as you think with all the changing colors. And seriously, there isn't a better time to be hiking.
  • Create a new tradition and just GET OUTDOORS! We go apple picking every year but this year we don't live near any orchards. So I am going to make homemade apple cider and some pumpkin muffins and have a breakfast picnic with my kids at our favorite park. 
Bonus: Don't forget about the trees. Check out this post for ideas on exploring and learning about why trees loose their leaves in the fall.

Outdoor activities don't have to be complicated; what is important is that you are outdoors as a family enjoying nature and each other.

What are your favorite fall outdoor activities?

Don't forget about the huge Giveaway I am participating in. I would love to see one of my readers win some cash. 

Follow Mae @ Mommy Loves Trees's board Kids - Outdoor Activities on Pinterest.

Mud Mud Marvellous Mud - Outdoor Play Party


Nature Walk: 20 Art Projects Using Fall Leaves + Giveaway

Fall is my favorite season; mainly because of the changing color of the leaves and the cooler weather. It is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors. With the abundance of leaves falling from the trees, I have rounded up
Nature Walk: 20 Art Projects Using Fall Leaves + Giveaway

Bonus: The best way I have found to preserve leaves is covering them in Mod Podge. Just paint on a thin coat using a paint brush and let them dry on a piece of wax paper or tin foil. 

Now for the GIVEAWAY. It is a good one!

Win one of FOUR $500 cash prizes directly in your paypal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below the giveaway for more info.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


7 DIY Costume Ideas for Nature Lovers

Halloween is such a fun time of year but can be stressful for us a parents. Lot so pressure to find or make the perfect costumes for our kids. And most costumes are expensive or complicated to make. So I have rounded up 7 nature-themed costumes that don't require a sewing machine and that use simple materials you can find around your house or at least at Walmart.
7 DIY Costume Ideas for Nature Lovers

Tree w/ Owl Costume

This is such an easy costume to make. You could even use it as an adult costume.


Brown or grey shirt
1 Copy of Pattern
Brown Felt
Orange Felt
White Felt
Black Felt
Hot Glue and Gun (or fabric glue)
Head Band
Pipe Cleaners
Leaves (real or fake) - If using real, coat leaves in Mod Podge.
My leaves have lasted a week and a half so far. 


  1. Print and cut out pattern
  2. Trace pattern onto corresponding colors of felt and cut out. 
  3. Hot glue owl together starting with the eyes, then beak, wings and feet. Just make it match the picture. I found it easiest of assemble the owl then lift and glue, piece by piece. 
  4. Hot glue owl towards the bottom of the black oval. 
  5. Cut pipe cleaners in half. You may not have to do this if your pipe cleaners are short, mine were really long. 
  6. Hot glue leaves to ends of the pipe cleaners. 
  7. Wind leaf pipe cleaners around head band. 
  8. Glue or fabric tape black oval with owl onto shirt. 
  9. Ready to go. Put it on and have a wonderful Halloween.  

Tree Hugger

Wear normal clothes and carry around/hug a log, tree or wood grained pillow (Care2).
OR hug your cute kid dressed as a tree!
Here are a couple options for log, tree and wood grained pillows.

The Lorax

This is such a cute costume from O My Blonde Family. You can always make this no sew by using purchased orange cap and clothes. 7 DIY Costume Ideas for Nature Lovers

Robin Hood

Come on, he lived in the forest. What is more tree related than that? I made this from felt. You could use glue instead of a sewing machine.
7 DIY Costume Ideas for Nature Lovers

Woodland Fairy

No Sew Owl Costume

7 DIY Costume Ideas for Nature Lovers

Monarch Butterfly

7 DIY Costume Ideas for Nature Lovers

Above all, just let your kids have fun and be creative. How awesome is a Darth Vader woodland fairy!
7 DIY Costume Ideas for Nature Lovers
Here are a few other great ideas -
12 eco-themed halloween costumes from Mother Nature Network
10 more nature themed costumes from The Natural Capital

Please feel free to add your nature or outdoor themed costume ideas.

My Pinterventures


Apple Picking - Add Adventure Without Adding Cost.

Apple picking is my favorite fall activity. We use to pick apples with our best friends as kids, then spend the rest of the day canning and making apple cider. Nowadays, picking apples can be quite an event. I love all the other activities that can be available at apple orchards, hay rides and such, but the costs can add up fast. So I rounded up a few activities that will make your next apple picking trip an adventure without adding any extra costs.
Apple Picking: Adding Adventure Without Adding Cost.
  • Involve friends. Almost any activity is better with friends. 
  • Take advantage of what's free. One of the orchards we picked at couple years ago had these fun picture boards. I have been to farms that included corn mazes. Sometimes there are some really good deals out there. 
    Apple Picking: Adding Adventure Without Adding Cost.
    My son loved these free picture boards. He was just a little too short. 
  • Go for a monster (bug) hunt - Do you see different types of bugs than what you see in your backyard? Can you find any bugs eating the apples? 
    Apple Picking: Adding Adventure Without Adding Cost.
    My son is always fascinated by bugs. 
  • Have a picking race. See who can pick the most apples in the shortest period of time. Being careful not to bruise the apples of course. This was fun even with just my son and I. 
  • Make a campfire treat that the kids can be involved in. These baked apples look amazing and simple to make. There is never a better time to enjoy a campfire than the fall. If you don't have a fireplace, check local state parks for day-use areas. 
I have taken my kids apple picking the past 2 years. But this year I can't find an orchard near us. I have only been able find peach orchards. Since I can't pick apples I have decided to buy apples from the store and resurrect my childhood tradition of making apple cider. I am going to try this recipe. I wish we were picking apples, but enjoying cider will have to do for now. Maybe we will get some doughnuts and have a breakfast picnic.

What is your favorite fall activity?

Follow along for more inspiration and ideas on getting outdoors as a family. 

Mud Mud Marvellous Mud - Outdoor Play Party
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Tales from the Trail: Yosemite National Park

In the end I was glad all the campsites were filled because we were forced to camp in Mammoth Lakes, which turned out to be a dream destination in and of itself. Some detours lead to much better trails.

It started as a dream to visit the Yosemite National Park. One problem, it was my first time planning a camping trip to a popular national park and, as you can probably guess, by the time I finalized travel plans all of the campgrounds in Yosemite were booked.

After a little online research I found an area that met all my needs for visiting Yosemite NP: within driving distance of Yosemite NP, decent campgrounds, and it fit my travel route. So I booked the campsite not realizing this area was a vacation in and of itself.

The area we ended up staying in was Mammoth Lakes, CA, which is located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. I did a little research before our trip and knew there were some awesome outdoor activities in the area but I had no idea what was in store for us.
Not only is Mammoth Lakes near Devil’s Post Pile National Monument and the Ansel Adams Wilderness but the mountain views around town were breathtaking. Mammoth Lakes is also a ski resort but, as it was the summer, the traffic was light and the town was relatively quite. The drive to Yosemite took almost an hour but the views were awesome and there was not much traffic. Plus we had a chance to see the less traveled areas of Yosemite.
After arriving in Yosemite I realized how glad I was the campgrounds were full. The park was so busy it would have made the camping trip a lot less enjoyable for me. Our campsite in Mammoth Lakes was perfect. Sometimes taking the road less traveled just fits the bill.

Disclaimer: We visited in July a few years ago, so I am not sure if Mammoth Lakes, CA is still relatively quiet during the summer. Even if it is not, I highly recommend a visit. We camped at a Forest Service campground, which typically don't have many amenities. There may be more options.  

Follow along for more inspiration and ideas on getting outdoors as a family. 


Nature Walk: Painting With Flowers

Thanks for having me as a guest over on your blog Mae.  I'm Nicola and I blog over at MultiCraftingMummy where I share my ideas and experiences of the arts and crafts activities that I do with my three children aged 2, 4 and 6.

We've spent a good chunk of our school summer holidays outside so far.  The weather overall has been pretty good for an Irish Summer! We've enjoyed lots of trips to the beach and playground, the kids have cycled and scootered for miles and we've enjoyed lots of our arts and crafts activities outside in the garden.

We have woodland close by to where we live and this has been a perfect spot to visit on the really hot days to cool us all down. A walk in the woods also provides the perfect excuse to go on a “Scavenger Hunt”.  Turning your walk in the woods into a “Scavenger Hunt” is a great way to keep the kids enthusiastic and engaged on your trip out.  It’s also a great way to start to teach your kids about the nature around you.

A quick search on Pinterest for “Scavenger Hunts” will bring back lots of examples if you are unsure of where to start or you can just go ahead and create your own list. I drew up my own list this time and attached it to a clipboard to bring along on our walk to tick things off as we went around.  We also brought along a small bag with us to collect leaves and flowers in. We planned to use these for an arts and crafts activity once we got back home.

We had a lovely time spotting bugs and butterflies, looking for interesting rocks and collecting different shaped leaves.  We also collected a few wildflowers; being careful only to pick what we needed for our arts and crafts and never too much from any individual plant.

Once we got back home we collected a few more flowers and leaves from our own garden and then set to work painting with our haul outside in.  I laid out sheets of white paper and paper plates filled with red, yellow and blue paint. The kids then had a fun half hour creating many different pictures.  The best thing about this was listening to them talking to each other about what they were creating with their flower prints.  

Do you like this “Volcano?”

I really like this picture which my 4 year old painted.  He actually had a really delicate touch when using the flowers and he made some lovely effects with them.

What are you favorite nature inspired activities?

We've have also taken these activities outside this summer as well:

Follow along for more inspiration and ideas on getting outdoors as a family. 

Mud Mud Marvellous Mud - Outdoor Play Party
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
The Weekly Kids Co-Op


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