This past week, Auden and I threw a Fall Equinox party for my two sisters and their two daughters. I am very lucky in that my two sisters and two nieces all live here in Oregon with me. Even though we all live within an hour of each other, we’ve had fairly busy lives the last few years and haven’t gathered just as sisters and nieces very often. And so I wanted to create a special space where we could gather and be with one another. I also wanted to do something with Auden to note the changing of seasons. As a child, I remember how magical each season felt. One of my biggest hopes for Auden’s childhood is that it is a childhood filled with magic and wonder. The magic of leaves that change colors, the wonder of the first snowfall, and of the blooming flowers that grace our presence in spring. I want her to experience the magic of imaginative play and of what it feels like to create something beautiful. When I think about what it will look like for me to facilitate this kind of childhood one of the things that stands out to me most is the desire to take time and space to note and celebrate the coming and going of seasons. Throwing a Fall Equinox party was fun both in the end result of the party itself, but also in being able to plan and prepare for it with Auden.

Menu:  To keep things simple and calm I did some baking ahead of time and froze the dough. When I’m in a rush I often have a harder time letting Auden bake with me, and so by preparing the molasses cookies and pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins ahead of time I was able to let her be a part of the process and allowed it to be a more relaxing time. We had a simple fall lunch of soup and biscuits, and I had caramel cider and pumpkin-spice lattes in my crockpots, along with some coconut whip cream that totally flopped!

Activities: I think it’s easy to want to fill our time with lots and lots and over-stimulate our little children. I wanted to keep things sweet and simple (I also personally do much better with less chaos). We had two activities we did with the kids. The week prior to the party I went to the library and checked out a couple of fall books, which we sat and read together. I highly recommend Leaf Man as far as fall books go. Next we did a fall scavenger hunt. Junie and Auden are two, and Eden is a year and a half behind them, so we weren’t going to be doing much with clues for this hunt. I put together a scavenger hunt with three clues (seemed to be the perfect length for them). Each clue was simply a large picture that I had printed. The first clue was a picture of Auden’s stove, and so they scattered off to Auden’s kitchen where they found the second clue which led outside to the garden where they found their last clue leading them to the hammock where I’d placed fall bags for each of the girls. I wanted the fall bags to be filled with things to help get them excited for fall. So inside I placed fall stationery, pumpkin-spice playdough,and a scarf and handwarmers that I had knit/crocheted for them.

By keeping things calm and simple it allowed me to be present with my sisters and nieces, and allowed all of us more space to be present with one another. It was a good reminder to me that you don’t need a whole lot to allow a child’s innate excitement and imagination to come out. A couple fall books, a warm cup of cider, and a 5-minute scavenger hunt did the trick for us. I’m looking forward to the next seasonal party Auden and I will host together.