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Stir Up Some Outdoor Fun With Homemade Potions

Getting outside in October is easy to do, with all the pumpkin patches, corn mazes, fall color hikes and more. Here is one activity you can do while you are out and about or right in your own backyard. Keep the Halloween vibes going by creating your own nature potions. This activity will not only get your family or friends outside but also tap into the most important resource in playtime: imagination.

(Photo by Suzy Lyttle)

Before you head outdoors, grab a few jars with lids. We recommend upcycling jars left over from spaghetti sauce or canning in the garden! Fill them up halfway or three-quarters full with water. This is what helps mix the potion together.

Now go outside to gather your ingredients. It can really be anything found in nature. Dirt, grass, acorns, leaves, loose petals, pine needles, etc. Be mindful of picking living things such as flowers. Fall is the time for our pollinators to fuel up before winter, and the last flowers are an important food source for them!

Next, look for a magic wand. Perfect magic wands can be found on the ground next to trees and shrubs. When you are done adding in all your ingredients, use the wand to stir your potion. Decide how your potion will activate. Maybe you smell the potion or shake it three times for it to release its power. Note: This is where your imagination comes in!

You can keep your potions around the house to use as spooky decorations or for future use when you play again. If you are completely finished with the potions, return the ingredients and water back to nature. This will ensure all the natural elements stay wild and free outside.

One last idea for your potion-making: Keep a journal or spell book. It is important to know what ingredients you found where and when! If you try this activity in the winter or spring, you may find different ingredients than you do in the fall. Mark your journal with the date, weather and location and list what items in nature you found. If you get really creative, you can write down what the potions did when you activated them.

Here are a few sample recipes to get you started.

Owl Transfiguration

(Photo by Suzy Lyttle)

1. Gather a feather, twigs from the tallest tree and a few pinches of dirt gathered on the night of a full moon.

2. Mix with a wand and seal the lid.

3. Shake the potion while hooting like an owl.

Butterfly Wing Enhancement

(Photo by Suzy Lyttle)

1. Gather the most colorful leaves and petals.

2. Add something that smells sweet, like wild bergamot leaves, herbs or a drop of honey.

3. Mix with a wand by stirring two times to the left and five times to the right.

4. Smell the potion while saying “Turn these arms into wings, may I see what flight brings!”

Strength of a Bear

(Photo by Suzy Lyttle)

1. Instead of water, use vinegar to fill up your jar.

2. Gather rocks, pebbles and wood chips and add them to the jar.

3. Break a big twig and add both pieces.

4. Stir with wand as fast as you can.

5. Add baking soda for final activation. Step back! The powerful concoction will bubble over!


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