It’s fall and the weather is crisp and glorious and perfect for a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Why not use this opportunity to teach your teens how to plan an event?
Event planning is a great way to build your teens’ executive functioning skills as it requires creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration. These executive functioning skills are tools that will benefit themselves and others as they learn and grow.
While some kids will have natural abilities with these life skills, others will need to be shown a basic structure and be reminded more than once of how to put it into practice.
Event Planning is Easy When Using This Basic Structure
Name of Event:
- How much
- Follow Up Activities
- Supporting books, films & YouTube Videos
Adding Goals Keeps Field Trips Focused
I also like to add in Goals for field trips. Goals can be as simple as, “have fun” and “fellowship” or more academic such as “to grow in our understanding of world politics”. Goals help keep us focused and can help us understand how much of an investment we want to make in terms of both time and money.
Extend the Learning With Follow-up Activities
Additionally, follow-up activities are a great way to extend the learning and fun! Again, simplicity can rule- – carve the pumpkin and roast the seeds; or simple events can turn into larger events- invite friends over for a fall potluck and bonfire!
Supporting books, films, and YouTube videos can preface the event, or be add-ons after the initial event, to extend learning opportunities.
Example of a Simple Plan Using the Basic Structure
- Name of Event: Visit to the local Pumpkin Patch
- Who Family and friends from co-op
- What Trip to the local Pumpkin Patch
- When October 2021
- Where You Pick Pumpkin Patch; 45 min from home. Need water bottles, simple snacks, and shoes.
- How Much $5 car, $10 for corn maze, $4 pumpkin, $4 Caramel apples, and $5 Gallons of cider- $45-50, not including gas.
Examples of Follow-up Activities:
- Decorate your pumpkins: carve, paint, or permanent marker, depending on age.
- Create a pumpkin vase for fall flowers
- Roast pumpkin seeds (recipe below)
- Roast pumpkin and make homemade pumpkin soup or pumpkin bread
- Make Pumpkin Spice Lattes (recipe below)
- Save seeds to grow next spring
Supporting Books/ Films/ YouTube Videos
- Eating plates
- Seeds, Sprouts, Pumpkin Pie
- The Pumpkin Patch
- Time Lapse of Pumpkin growing
- How to Grow Pumpkins
- Its’ a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Pumpkin Seeds for Snacking
Scoop seeds from pumpkin and clean well. Boil the seeds for 10 minutes; then toast them in the oven at 350 for approximately 20 min (watch so that they don’t burn).
For savory seeds, toss with a few teaspoons of garlic and rosemary, curry powder, or cilantro lime seasoning.
For a sweet and salty snack, dust with a pumpkin spice blend or cinnamon and sugar!
Pumpkin Spice Latte for Momma
Prep Time: 5 minutes, serving Size: 2
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2-4 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus extra for dusting)
- 2 heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin
Pour all of the ingredients into a pot and heat over medium-high heat until the coffee is steaming hot. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream & cinnamon. Enjoy!
Event Planning Helps Your Teen & You!
Helping your teen grow their event planning muscles will help them handle projects that require multiple steps and follow through on the tasks assigned to them. It also develops soft skills that are so necessary for them to navigate in today’s world.
And while they are learning, they are helping you. It is important to enrich your family with fun activities that build memories but it can be time-consuming. It may take a couple of times overseeing what your teen is doing, but before you know it, you will be able to provide them with the resources and support they need and let them take some planning off your plate!