KimsKorner: November at time to enjoy together

By Kimberly Jenkins - [email protected]

There are so many crafty critters your kids can make like this leaf pig. Just have them use their imagination.

Find all kinds of things when you and your family or others go on a Nature Walk.

As we have now started the month of November, I wanted to find more things to do than make and today’s column has a combination of both. November is a good month to try to fit in some family time as part of the time it is in between sports. I hope you can find time to do some things with your family and/or friends.

On this first site, I loved the idea about the suitcase, you’ll have to try that one.

Page through magazines or grocery store ads and cut out Thanksgiving-related foods. Then paste on to a paper plate to create a Pretend Thanksgiving Dinner!

Write thank-you notes to people in your world (pastors, teachers, neighbors, etc.).

Get a suitcase out and have the kids pretend to pack it as if they were traveling on the Mayflower – what would they take with them?

Make simple bird feeders – roll pinecones in peanut butter and then birdseed. Hang from a tree branch with yarn

Another place I located some interesting things to do

Write Down What You’re Thankful For -Together as a family, write down a list of things you’re thankful for. Not only will this get you and your kids in the mood for Thanksgiving, it’ll be a sweet reminder to practice gratitude. I saw a suggestion like this to use post-it notes and hang them around the house for others to see.

Roast Marshmallows -Whether you’re warm and toasty by the fireplace inside or bundled up near a firepit in the backyard, your kids will love roasting their own marshmallows and making s’mores as a special November treat.

Play a Game of Touch Football -Take advantage of the weather before it really gets too cold to play outside with a game of touch football with your household or friend/family pod. Head to a local park or pick up a game in someone’s backyard for the afternoon, then head inside afterward for hot chocolate.

Go for a Bike Ride -Get out and enjoy the fresh air with your kids before the true chill of winter. Take a ride.

Bake Cookies -Need we say more? Baking cookies is never a bad idea, especially with the holidays right around the corner. Hone your Christmas cookie game by testing out new recipes, cookie decorating with the kids, or just baking for the fun of it.

Build a Scarecrow -Build a scarecrow with hay and/or old newspaper for the stuffing, and for the outfit, dig up some old clothes and accessories laying around your house.

Build a Fort -Don’t want to sleep outside? Build a fort inside using chairs, pillows and blankets.

30 Activities Perfect for Family Bonding in November

Create some differently decorated apples. Pour some sequins or glitter onto a small dish or plate. Provide a small bowl of glue. Let your child paint a thin layer of glue on an apple you have drawn and cut out or apples printed and cut out, and put sequins/ or other such things in place.

Crafty Critters – Lois Ehlert’s beloved children’s book Leaf Man is the autumn-y inspiration behind these creative little creatures. Your little artist can use fall leaves to create almost any type of fall friend that she can imagine. (See Photo example)

The next few good things I also found on

November 3 is Sandwich Day. Make sandwiches as a family and enjoy or make it a game and see who makes the best sandwich.

In November, gather up loose change and bring it to your favorite charity on Giving Tuesday. GivingTuesday is November 30,2021 and is a great way to teach your children about giving whether it is time, donations like toys and clothing to those in need, or the loose change your family gathers together to donate on the 30th to your favorite charity.

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

It’s a simple idea: whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.

Lastly, I love this one for a way to spend time with your children young and old, before it gets too cold outside have a Nature Walk with family or friends or both.

What Should I Bring on a Nature Walk?

When you are going on a nature walk with kids, get everyone dressed appropriately for the weather! It is also helpful to have:

Close-toed shoes


Water bottles

Insect repellent and/or sunscreen

Healthy snacks

Travel first-aid kit

Tip: Keep a change of clothes and a towel in the car just in case your kids decide to play in mud or water!

Family Nature Walk Tips -In my twenties, I worked for the local YMCA camp as an outdoor educator. Leading groups of kids and adults on nature walks was a large part of my workday. Let me tell you, there is nothing more thrilling than watching a child’s eyes widen at the sight of a deer or seeing him catch a toad for the very first time!

So lace up those close-toed shoes and grab your favorite water bottle!

Invite Your Child to Lead

For the simple purpose of supervision, I prefer to have kids walking in front of me rather than behind me. More importantly, letting kids lead a nature walk builds confidence and decision-making skills while satisfying their innate curiosity.

There is so much for children to see, touch, smell, and discover on a nature walk!

Sure, you may not get very far while walking with a little one…but that’s okay! Allow your child to set the pace, and avoid hurrying them along.

Start a Nature Collect

Bring a bag and invite your child to start a nature collection by gathering interesting items that have fallen to the ground. Pine cones, bark, leaves, sticks, small stones, and seeds can all be saved and used for nature crafts.

You could store nature collections in a basket outside on the porch.

Tip: Provide magnifying glasses, plastic tweezers, and kid-friendly field guides so kids can examine and identify their treasures.

Practice Mindful Listening – There is satisfaction in listening to the not-so-silent sounds of the forest. Mindful listening is being fully present and aware of yourself and the sounds around you. Through mindful listening, kids will notice and feel gratitude for the sounds of wind, birds, babbling brooks, leaves, and crackling twigs.

Try it: Invite your child to close their eyes, press their face towards the sun, and listen to the sounds of nature. What do they hear?

Say Yes to Mud – Kids and clothes are so very washable! And a little dirt helps build a child’s immune system.

Bring Your Camera – Photographs of kids in nature are incredibly touching and you won’t want to forget these moments with your famil

Things to Look for on a Nature Walk

There is so much to see and discover outdoors!

1. Plants

Deciduous trees

Evergreen trees






Pine needles

Fruit, such as apples, pawpaw, blueberries, and black raspberries

Edible plants, such as cattails, wild garlic, and dandelions

Aromatic plants, such as wintergreen



2. Seeds and Nuts


Pine cones



Maple keys (helicopters)

Milkweed pods

3. Fungi

Shelf fungi


Slime molds


4. Animals

Mammals, such as squirrels and deer

Birds, such as hawks and woodpeckers

Reptiles, such as turtles and snakes

Amphibians, such as frogs and salamanders

Insects, such as fireflies, ladybugs, and mantids

Crustaceans, such as crayfish and pill bugs

5. Evidence of Animals

Nests, such a bird and squirrel

Cracked seeds or shells

Munched leaves (leaves with holes)

Spider webs



Scat (wild animal droppings)








Woodpecker holes



Animal tracks

Cocoons and chrysalids

Beaver lodges

Beehives and hornet nests (dead, please)

6. Evidence of Humans

Trails and/or roads

Trail markers

Stone cairns

Carved trees


Vehicle tracks

Litter (pick up and throw away)

Geocaches or letterboxes


Fairy homes

Tapped maple trees

Hunting and/or bird blinds

Bird feeders


Bat houses


Shelters, forts, and tree forts



Rocks and minerals





Landforms, such as mountains

Rivers, creeks, streams, and freshwater springs

8. Additional Ideas

Rotting logs

Ice and/or icicles




Vernal pools



Dew drops

Sunsets and/or sunrises

Enjoy those special moments with your kids,specially the older ones, while they will still do things with the family.

*Let me know any ideas you have or what you would like to see and I’ll get right on it for you. Email me at [email protected]

Remember to be kind and love each other and continue to set a good example for our children. See you next week with new ideas and ways to help your children or ideas that may help you as you raise your children in some way. God Bless you all.

There are so many crafty critters your kids can make like this leaf pig. Just have them use their imagination. are so many crafty critters your kids can make like this leaf pig. Just have them use their imagination.

Find all kinds of things when you and your family or others go on a Nature Walk. all kinds of things when you and your family or others go on a Nature Walk.

By Kimberly Jenkins

[email protected]

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928

© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928

© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights