Can I tell you guys a secret? Fall is my favorite time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I find deep joy in each and every season, but there’s just something magical about fall!! A crisp chill in the air. Football. Flannels. Bonfires. Chai Lattes. Hayrides. Thanksgiving. ALLTHEPUMPKINTHINGS.

The fun thing is I don’t think I’m alone in this love for fall. Wondering how to make the most of Fall and the people the Lord has placed in your life? Look no further! Here are some ideas to help you not only enjoy all the fall things, but to do so in the context of community–

Fall Treats with a Twist

We know Christmas cookie swaps, but why wait till Christmas to enjoy treats?! Invite a small group of students over to your house (or any willing host home). Task everyone with baking their favorite fall treat to bring to the party and bring it in an unidentifiable bag. Once there, have everyone place their treat in a centralized location. You can mix and mingle till everyone arrives (maybe sip on some hot apple cider simmering in a crockpot or homemade PSLs?). Then once everyone is there, let the cookie fun begin! Have everyone crowd around the treats and play a game to guess who brought which treat. This will help girls remember each other’s name and get to know each other a little better. Once you finish this, everyone can load up their plate with delicious fall treats to enjoy there and/or to save for later!

Bake to Bless

My mom worked at Southern Living cookbook/magazine for a few years. Since then she has used the passion and skills she gleaned there to bless people around her. Watching her bake pies, cakes, cookies, and all the goodies to give them away to those in need used to frustrate me because I couldn’t enjoy them for myself. Now that I’m a little more mature (emphasis on the little), I see great value and beauty in this.

This fall grab a group of ladies, bust out the aprons, mixers, pumpkin puree and whip up a loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread or apple pie or pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or whatever you find on Pinterest. Then pick someone to bless! This could be anyone from a neighbor or a friend you’ve been praying for opportunities to minister to, a widow from church, someone that is having a rough time…the opportunities are endless! As your baking together, take time to pray for the recipient. Then load up and take the baked goodies to the person!

Flannel Swap

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to a scarf swap? **Raises both hands** Don’t get me wrong, I love a good scarf. But this fall, let’s mix things up! Flannel button ups are all the rage -You can layer them, tie them around your waist or just wear them plain buttoned up.

Get some ladies together and have everyone bring a general sized flannel, wrapped up and ready to swap. You can play this “Secret Santa” style where you draw numbers, unwrap and steal, or you can get creative in your method of swapping.

You could also assign each person coming a girl to buy a flannel for, giving her the girl’s size and favorite colors. Then each girl can buy a flannel for each other. Once you go to swap, girls can unwrap their present and then guess who bought for them. This can help girls practice generosity and thoughtfulness towards one another, helping to build community.

Pumpkin Crafternoon

If you’re anything like me, you don’t just love to eat allthepumpkinthings, but you also love to decorate with them! And if you’ve ever glimpsed at Pinterest during the fall, you’ve seen a zillon ideas for painting the cutest little pumpkins.

Invite your students over, choose which design to paint, buy some cheap pumpkins from the Dollar Story or Hobby Lobby along with whatever other supplies needed and get your craft on! Check out this idea, this one, or this one! If you aren’t feeling the pumpkins, you can also create your own blanket scarves.

These are just a few ideas that came to my mind that I wanted to share to help you continue in your discipleship and building relationships with students while simultaneously making the most of Fall! Feel free to mix and match any of these ideas or to recommend some of your own. I always love more ideas for how to enjoy every moment of this glorious season! Happy Fall, y’all! – Mollie

This blog was originally posted on The Perch Blog. Check it out!