Play Right: Fall Games Using Found Objects

Football New Jammies

Football New Jammies

Autumn is a perfect season to get outside, and New Jammies can’t think of a better time to explore and find the fun than fall. Hiking, camping, fishing and leaf peeping are just a few fun family-friendly activities to enjoy in the crisp air surrounded by nature. Even when wearing  your organic cotton New Jammies pajamas!

Playing outside can also motivate kids to invent new games and expand their imaginations with found items. From pumpkins grown in the family garden to pine cones found on a day hike, nature’s bounty can make playing games fun and creative this fall.

Check out these cute ideas for an Autumn to remember:

Pine Cone Toss

The toddlerapproved.com website, a resource for parents and teachers of young children that helps foster a love of learning at an early age, has many craft and activities ideas for kids. Their Pine Cone Toss game helps parents work with their kids on hand-eye coordination and counting. Here are the easy steps for fun play using pine cones form the woods or backyard.

Materials needed:
1. Six pine cones in a variety of sizes
2. Three varying sized bowls
3. One die
4. Tape to mark off the playing area

Pine Cone TossHow to play:
1. Put bowls out in order from big to small (small is harder and further away) and designate each bowl to have a certain number of points. We kept it simple and had the big bowl be worth 1 point, next bowl worth 2 points, and third (harder) bowl worth 3 points.

2. Roll the die and count the number shown on the die. (ex. 3)

3. Toss that number of pine cones into the bowls to try and earn the most points (ex. toss 3 pinecones into the bowls). Over time your child will learn that throwing three into the furthest small bowl will earn more points than throwing all three into the first big bowl.

4. Count up your points (and write them down to keep track).

5. Take the pine cones out of the bowls and pass the pine cones and die to the next person.

6. Take turns until everyone has had a turn. Play again and again until you are bored. Decide to play until the first person gets to 10 or 20 points if you want to have a designated ending point.

Pumpkin Ring Toss

The Pumpkin Ring Toss game can be played by trying to throw rings over the stems, or the pumpkins themselves.

Materials needed:
1. A grouping of 3 or more pumpkins with long stems — the straighter the better
2. Large metal mason jar bands (without lids), rope rings or other pliable, smaller rings to toss
3. Something to mark lines to stand behind

How to play:
1. Players are given 3 rings to try and ring as many pumpkin stems as possible.

2. We recommend parents and kids try it out for difficulty before playing. If the game is too easy, move your lines farther back, if the game is too hard, move lines closer.

3. Take turns throwing one or two times per player.

4. The player with the most rings around the pumpkins wins.

Autumn Leaf ObstacleAutumn Obstacle Course

The National Wildlife Federation is known for being a voice for wildlife, dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitat and inspiring the future generation of conservationists. So the nonprofit knows first-hand how to teach kids to also have fun while learning when they’re out there in the wild, wonderful outdoors. On its website nsf.org, the nonprofit hosts a section for Family Fun, with nature-friendly activities and games for kids and parents to do together. This Autumn Obstacle Course is perfect for utilizing the leaves raked in the yard for teachable moments:

Materials needed:
1. Paper grocery bags
2. 3 bean bags (optional)
3. A yard full of leaves
4. Rakes

How to play:
1. Design a course by deciding where to build a course, what shape it will take, and obstacles, including: Pile of leaves to crawl through. Bags of eaves to leap over. Paper grocery bags that must be filled with leaves before continuing on. Stations where your child must find three bean bags (or other objects) buried in a leaf pile. And a huge pile of leaves to dive into as the grand finale.

2. Rake leaves to make an obstacle course (you’ll need leaves, lots of them). Give your child a small rake so he or she can help collect the leaves you’ll need. Then arrange the leaves into the obstacle course you designed earlier. (For two kids who want to race, make two identical courses.)

3. Race through the course. Ready, set, go! Now it’s time to have fun. Race with your child or referee two kids racing. Or time your child as he or she runs the course. Change the obstacles to keep the fun going.

4. Talk about autumn and leaves. Fall into the season. Tell your child autumn has another name — fall. Ask if he or she can guess where the name came from. Explain it refers to the time of year when the leaves on some trees turn color and “fall” off. Why do leaves change color? Explain that leaves are green because they contain chlorophyll, a substance that helps plants make food. In fall, leaves stop making chlorophyll, and their green color fades. That’s when other colors underneath — the beautiful yellows, reds and oranges of fall — can show through. Ask your child to guess the most common leaf color (Answer: yellow.)

5. Fall recycling. Help your child discover ways that nature reuses old leaves. Overturn a bunch of leaves that have been on the ground for a while. You’re likely to find insects and other creatures. That’s because leaves provide these animals with food and shelter. Look for leaves from last year, and show your child how the old leaves have begun to decay. Explain that these old, rotten leaves enrich the soil, supplying food so other plants can grow.

Happy Autumn, and give thanks this November!

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Healthy Pumpkin, Squash Recipes for Fall

PumpkinThis fall, New Jammies parents took note of a viral social media rumor about the contents in canned pumpkin pie filling used religiously at the holidays that had people talking. Many were shocked to learn the canned stuff is secretly butternut squash.

Oh, the humanity.

The snopes.com urban legend reference confirmed the rumor as true. “As much of 90 percent of pumpkin sold in the U.S. (and 85 percent worldwide) is a proprietary cultivar known as a Dickinson pumpkin, which are less photogenic than the type of pumpkins commonly used for display purposes,” Snopes reported.

The good news is pumpkin is a cultivar of the squash plant, so their nutritional values have similarities. Pumpkin and squash varieties, including butternut, acorn and spaghetti, are superfoods perfect for healthy fall recipes.

Pumpkin seeds — great for roasting, lightly seasoned, then snacking on — contain 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce. Mashed pumpkin is high in fiber, with 3 grams, and low in calories, at 50 calories per cup. Pumpkin and squash boost vision, lower blood pressure, help with sleep, and promote heart health.

New Jammies loves sharing in the bounty of fall by eating well and teaching our children the benefits of healthy fruits and vegetables. These recipes will keep pumpkin and squash on the grocery list all autumn long. Happy harvest!

Pumpkin muffinsBest Ever Pumpkin Muffins
cookingwithmykid.com

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
Makes 30-35 mini muffins

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 can 100% pure pumpkin
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup lowfat Greek yogurt

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
Mix flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together pumpkin, eggs, oil, and yogurt.
Combine wet and dry ingredients until just blended.
Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Transfer muffins to rack to cool.

Acorn SquashMashed Acorn Squash
wellnessmama.com

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

This simple and flavorful roasted acorn squash mash with a hint of coconut oil or butter and real salt.

Ingredients
2 medium size acorn squash
¼ cup butter or coconut oil
2 teaspoons real salt (or other natural salt)
Other spices (optional) Cinnamon, nutmeg, and garlic are good but not needed.

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place face down in a large baking dish and add about ½ inch of water.
Bake for 30-45 minutes (depending on size of the squash) until the skin is easy to pierce with a fork and the flesh is soft.
Remove from oven and scoop out the flesh of the squash.
Place in bowl and add coconut oil/butter and salt.
Serve as you would mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes and enjoy.

PumpkinHealthy Pumpkin Pie Custard
www.sugarfreemom.com

This pumpkin dessert is gluten-free and low-carb. Add in some golden raisins for a healthy, chewy twist.

Ingredients
1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin purée
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 beaten eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice liquid stevia or vanilla liquid stevia or even cinnamon stevia
Optional toppings: Dairy Free Whipped Cream, Sprinkle of nutmeg

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 6 ramekins or custard cups with olive oil cooking spray.
In a large bowl or stand mixer mix together pumpkin, cream eggs, spices and stevia.
Pour evenly into ramekins.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a knife in center comes out clean


New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.