Nature has a way of putting on a busy and beautiful show this time of year. This fall, you can incorporate important and rich biblical stories into your family’s adventures to help your children experience the sacred in the everyday.
Seize the opportunity this autumn to experience the wonders and awe of God’s creation with these faith-filled seasonal activities.
Fruit Farms and the Garden of Eden
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. – Genesis 2:15
Depending on which area of the country you live in, venture to a local pick-your-own fruit farm and partake of the fruits of the garden. We were given the earth to keep, nurture, and maintain, and nowhere else is this most tangible than on an operating farm.
Hiking and Wilderness Journeys
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness…” – Matthew 4:1
From Moses and Elijah to John the Baptist and Jesus, biblical characters found themselves—and found God—in the wilderness. Wilderness is a space of preparation, a season of life that readies us for what comes next. Take your family into the wilderness of a local park to be still and away from the world’s distractions. Out there, it’s easier to see and hear what the Lord is doing in your world.
Mountain Climbing and Elijah
“So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.” – 1 Kings 19:8
If you’re feeling adventurous and live in a mountainous area, go mountain climbing and remember how Elijah went up a mountain to wait for God to pass by. God was not in the fire or the tornado or the storm, but he was in the gentle whisper. Listen to the earth and the wind through the trees with your kids. Ask them what they hear, what they see, and point out the quiet things. How do they reflect the majesty and wonders of God?
Autumn Dessert Delights and Manna
“When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.’” – Exodus 16:14-15
After you’ve gone fruit picking, prepare a delicious treat with your kids. From apple crisp to pumpkin pie, there are loads of yummy ways to take the fruit of the earth and turn it into a tantalizing dessert. Make something you’ve never made before, something new and unique that will make people in your family ask, “Ooh! What is it?” This is what the Israelites said when manna came down from heaven in the wilderness. While you prepare food together remember how God provides what we need, just as he provided manna and quail for the Israelites.
Backyard Bonfire and the Burning Bush
“So Moses thought, ‘I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.’ When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, “Here I am.’” – Exodus 3:3-4
As the days begin to cool and the nights stretch long, there’s nothing that warms up an evening like a backyard bonfire. Roast marshmallows, make s’mores, and share the story of how God spoke to Moses and called him to free his people from Egypt. Share with your children any ways you have sensed God’s calling in your life. Moses doubted his ability to do what God called him to do, but God believed in him. How did you feel about your calling? Ask your kids to share their hopes and dreams for the future and pray together that they will hear God’s voice in those dreams.
Upcycle Costumes and the Feeding of the 5,000
“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.” – Mark 6:41-44
From five loaves and two fish, Jesus fed 5,000! Use your creativity to save money and resources by reusing costumes, shopping at a thrift store, or creating a costume swap with friends for frightfully fun trick-or-treat activities. You can make a unique costume for far less than buying a new one AND reduce material waste at the same time. See how much more you can do with gently worn goods!
Busy Creatures and the Birds of the Air
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – Luke 12:7
The world is abuzz with creatures preparing to hibernate for winter. Spend some time sitting outside near a tree or close to the grass, somewhere you can observe the natural world in action. What’s crawling under rocks? Watch the squirrels and birds busy collecting stuff. How many different creatures and species can you identify? All of them are precious to God, who takes care of them—how much more will he provide and care for you?
Identify Leaves and Names in the Garden
“Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.” – Genesis 2:19
Go on a mission to collect as many different leaves as you can as they fall to the earth and then take some time to identify them. God gave Adam the job of naming all of the animals in the garden. Names are important! How many different species of trees grow near you?