While some fall traditions – shrieking in a creepy haunted house, gorging on candy corn, climbing a ladder to pick apples – are years away for babies, others are tailor-made for little ones. Here’s a list of seven festive fall traditions you can start with your baby now, to make the most of the season and create memories your child will look forward to in years to come.

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Visit the Pumpkin Patch:  Any tradition that takes place during daytime hours is great for the under two set. Grab your red wagon and head on out to a pumpkin patch to find the perfect gourd. Bonus: you can get that classic snap of your kiddo sitting next to a pumpkin three times the size of her body.

Dress Up in Your Best Costume: Babyhood is the one time in your kiddo’s life that you get to choose what he or she will be for Halloween. Sweet little ladybug? The painter to your easel? World’s tiniest Darth Vader? Now’s your chance to put your baby in the costume of your dreams before she insists on being one of the 10 Queen Elsas in her preschool class. Make the most of it.

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Photo: The Conmunity via Flickr Creative Commons

Explore a Harvest Festival: All those sights, sounds, and smells — harvest festivals are made for the newest members of the human race. Watch the sunflowers wave in the breeze, enjoy the scent of apple cider, pet a pony: strolling around to explore with your little one strapped in a carrier brings dozens of new delights. Plus, hayrides take perennial baby fav bouncing-on-a-knee to a whole other level.

Eat Pumpkin Spice Anything: While babies won’t be sampling a pumpkin spice latte anytime soon, the all-natural good stuff in the squash family is made for baby food. You can even feed a little one pumpkin puree straight out of the can, or make seasonal appropriate pumpkin-apple baby food. Cook up some butternut squash soup, like this recipe, or try roasted acorn squash with a little butter and cinnamon. It’s delicious for the parents and yummy mushy goodness ready for tiny gobblers.

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Photo: Thomas Kohler via Flickr Creative Commons

Adventures with Leaves: Rake up a pile and leap inside of it. Throw armfuls in the air and watch your kiddo’s delight as they drift down on to him. There’s nothing better for a just-walking little one than discovering the noise and joy of stomping through a crunchy leaf-covered path.

Experience Fall Colors: Take a walk and enjoy the beauty of trees in the autumn. Then, bring the fun inside your house by collecting a handful of red and gold leaves. Use contact paper to create a fall placement your kiddo can use for finger foods this year and cozy fall breakfasts next year. Find the project thanks to the geniuses at Kiwi Crate.

Whip Up Homemade Applesauce: Though they’re too young to scramble up a tree and pick apples, babies and toddlers are ready to sample homemade applesauce. Harvest a few at a local orchard, or just pick up a bag at the grocery store. Follow this simple sugar-free recipe to make cinnamon applesauce that little ones can eat, and grown-ups can pair with pork chops. It’s a delicious fall tradition you can revisit year after year.

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What fall tradition will you start with your baby? Tell us!

–Oz Spies