As much as every parent wants a long list of fun things to do with their middle schoolers on the weekends this fall, so much each and every parent craves ways to connect with their tweens during this phenomenal, if precarious, period of life. Here are four fall outdoor activities that can bring you and your tween closer together. Laughs are shared and memories are awakened.
Create a time capsule
There’s a lot this year that you and your tween may not want to remember, but doing a time capsule is one of the fun weekend chores that help out your favorite hobbies, songs, Marvel superhero characters, athletes and TV shows of your tween and more through newspaper clippings, trinkets, memorabilia, photos, etc. In addition to all the ‘stuff’ you’ll stow away, contained in the capsule (which can be just like a shoebox or a large mason jar ) two hands -written letters, one of you speaking to the person who is your tween right now, and one that you will write on their future self. Then make a plan to jointly open the time capsule in 5 or 10 years.
Color games are usually toddler food, but this fall hunt is one of the most fun and competitive fall outdoor activities for you and your tween. In this color-based scavenger hunt, parents compete against kids as you run around outside to find as many items of a particular color as possible in the allotted time. Set a timer for 60 seconds and scream “yellow”, “orange”, “red” etc. as you strive to photograph all things outdoors that contain those colors. The winner gets extra sprinkles on their ice cream!
Bob for apples
Nothing says more about classic fall weekend fun than searching for apples! Go to apple picking first (of course), then toss the fresh apples from the farm in a big bucket of cold water. This is one of those fall outdoor family activities that like fall fishing, mouth-only for a rod and reel and crispy apples instead of freshwater trout. Take turns with your tweens trying to fish out the apples with your arms tied behind your back and your teeth sinking into crispy red delicious apples. Bonus points for letting your teen take it and then sharing a fun boomerang video of your head spinning in the water!
You and your tween have already caught a few apples. Now, wrap them up with veggies, hummus, and cheese spreads, plus your actual rods and reels, then head to a local fishing hole for one of the most classic fall outdoor activities: fishing. It doesn’t matter if you catch something this time because what you really want to catch up is an important bond time with your tween.
An outdoor movie night curated by Tween
For years you have shared your favorite music, sports teams and food with your child. Now as tweens, they find and define themselves through songs, TV shows, social media, movies, and more. Since projectors are so affordable and easy to use (some plug directly into your smartphone!), Turn your driveway or yard into a drive-in theater this fall to see what they love (maybe it’s the TV series The Umbrella Academy on Netflix or the new Mulan movie on Disney +) and eat their favorite snacks. Having your tween curate an outdoor movie night shows that you really see them and care about the people they become. It will also go a long way in developing / strengthening a connection with your tween that, with luck, will last a lifetime. Who knows, they might even make a fun fishing movie!
Discover more fun things to do outdoors with your kids on weekends!