This week I am focusing on the changing of our seasons. So often in our busy lives it is easy to become disconnected from our natural world. To feel like you are just racing from place to place. The Autumn Equinox is the perfect time to slow down. To ground our lives and our family by focusing on this time of change in nature and really connect with those changes happening around us. I hope you enjoy this series celebrating the Autumn Equinox with kid activities.
For those not aware, this year the Autumn Equinox, also known as the Fall Equinox or Mabon, falls on September 23. It marks the first day of autumn. A day of balance between day and night, light and dark.
Traditionally Autumn Equinox was a time of great celebration. The harvests were coming in and food was plentiful. Celebrations focused on gratitude and thanks for the bountiful harvests.
The official date of the Equinox is marked by the day when night and day are in near perfect balance. Although less noticeable for those living close to the equator, for those of us living far North (or South), the changing length of the days is very noticeable. The Equinox (both Autumn and Spring) mark the two days of the year when our days and nights are almost equal. From now until the Winter Solstice our days will continue to shorten until we have only a short amount of daylight and very long nights.
Autumn is a signal that our world is preparing to enter a time of rest and sleep, and the bone chilling cold of winter! Which means we need to get outside and enjoy nature while we still can.
For our first day of week long celebrations around the Autumn Equinox I wanted to embrace one of our last remaining days of summer. We did this by taking a nature walk. While walking we harvested and collected items. Anything that struck as interesting, beautiful or representing the current changing of our seasons.
When we arrived home we assembled a sensory bin with all of our harvested items. This was a great chance for the children to really explore and examine our finds. We collected leaves, pine cones, flowers, berries, a bird nest, branches, rocks, conkers and more. We also discussed how each of these items represented something of the season.
One of our greatest finds was the nest from some finches that had nested and laid eggs earlier in the year in our front tree. We talked about how autumn was a time of migration and travel for many birds who head south for the winter. In our area the most notable of the migratory birds is the Canadian Geese.
If you have a moment this week I really encourage you to take a walk. Connect with nature during this time of great change. Feel the difference in the air. Notice the smells. See all the amazing colours. Look for all the wonderful gifts the Earth has given us this year. Connecting with the natural flow of the seasons will give you a strong sense of balance and peacefulness. I hope you are able to find time to really enjoy these last few moments of summer.