It's been a beautiful week weather-wise, which is rare at this time of year where I live! It's the kind of autumn that that feels crisp and dry and I don't quite need the Big Winter Coat (BWC) yet. Once the BWC comes out, I pretty much live in him 'til April. I'll greet him like an old friend and I'll resolve to fix his zip so I don't have to step into him from above.

But he's on hold because it's been a beautiful beautiful week. And this makes me smile as it's still light enough that I can grab my kids and dog and go for a walk along the river or into the woods after work.

Did you know it's world smile day today? I hope we've put a smile on peoples' faces today because yesterday evening, we sat on the pebble beach at the river and left little messages with sharpies on pebbles to be found by anyone walking their dog or exploring the river today.

My kids are teenagers now but I'm lucky that they still enjoy coming out for walks with their mum. We've made it a big part of our family life since they were toddlers as we always found it was a great way to start up awesome conversations. So, here are five great ideas to encourage language development whilst walking in Autumn:

1. Collect conkers or fallen leaves and talk about their colours, how they feel, look, smell.

2. Stand under a tree and try to catch the falling leaves

3. Make a stick house for a small animals. My kids spent an hour making a home for a bumblebee once, decorating it with moss, leaves and sticks.

4. Pick blackberries and squish them in your hands to have fun hand-printing (yep, I can suggest that one now I don't have toddlers myself!)

5. Take some felt pens and draw on stones or pebbles and leave them for others to find. Even a smiley face will make someone's day! Plus you might get away with not having to put them in your bag � or am I the only mum who came home with a bag full of stones?

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