by Mary Alice Cookson
Jumping into a great big pile of leaves with your kids is great. Enlisting their help with your fall yard cleanup is even better. At least, you’ll want to pleasantly occupy them outside so you can tackle the job. Here are some strategies to help keep little ones engaged when those autumn leaves fall:
• Make a special date with your kids devoted to making your yard leaf-free. Perhaps invest in kid-size rakes and gardening gloves for the job. Have the kids concentrate their efforts on the lawn, where piles of leaves aren’t as thick and heavy as they are in the gardens.
• Give each child a paper grocery bag or large leaf bag and hold a race to see who can fill it with leaves the fastest. (Tightly packed bags, of course!)
• Mark your yard off into manageable sections and have the kids race to see who can clear their sections first.
• Have kids rake leaves into lines (easier than piles) and call these lines “snakes.” Then you can go along and rake up their snakes. Use games of pretend to keep their minds (and yours) from pondering non-helpful questions like “How much longer is this going to take?”