Fun things to do with your children in October

I'll admit it. I bought my children's Halloween costumes months ago. I'm also counting down the days until the local pumpkin patch opens. Yes, Halloween and jack-o-lanterns are an exciting part of October. Yet for me, October is also the signal for leaf crafts, apple picking and spooky stories. Here are six fun things to do with your children in October.

Eat Your Veggies

My daughter has somehow taken a liking to kale and carrot juice. I'm certainly glad that she likes green food but that's not the case for every kid. October 1 is World Vegetarian Day so why not whip up a vegetarian meal with your kids. If possible, you can go to the Farmer's Market for some fresh vegetables. Another idea is to have a veggie taste test. Kids can try a few new veggies (with ranch if necessary) and vote on their favorites.

That's Amore

When my husband and I went to Italy for a late honeymoon, we ate a lot of pasta. One time, we had a delicious zucchini sauce. I recently went in search of a zucchini sauce paired with penne that I could make for my family. World Pasta Day is on October 25. In honor of the day, make some spaghetti with marinara, bow tie with pesto or even good old mac n' cheese. Kids can contribute by picking out the type of pasta to eat.

Create Scary Stories

October 27 is Tell a Story Day. Invite your kids to tell a spooky story. These can be oral stories told around the campfire or stories that are put into a book format. Construction and lined paper can make a simple book; or try a free online publishing site for kids.

Decorate Your House for Halloween

We always get several pumpkins to carve and decorate for Halloween. Plastic spiders, cobwebs and "lollipop ghosts" are all simple decorations that kids can help put up. You can also put on a mini-haunted house. Big cardboard boxes work well for pathways. A black light, scary music and some scary masks are all you need to give your family and friends a scare.

Go on a Hay Ride

Many pumpkin patches have fun hayrides for free or minimal charge. Click here to find a pumpkin patch or hay ride in your area. If you can't find a hayride, you can always put some hay in a wagon and go on a "hay walk" around the neighborhood.

Make Popcorn

October is national popcorn popping month. After popping some popcorn, you and the kids can melt butter and then toss the popcorn in the melted butter and your favorite topping. Parmesan cheese, cinnamon and mini chocolate chips are some things that come to mind.

Of course, don't forget to carve a pumpkin and dress up those kiddos for treat-or-treating!


More from Melissa:

5 coordinating Halloween costumes for siblings

5 fun and frugal play date ideas for fall

10 'Mom-Tested' Ideas for Keeping Your Toddler Active During Fall