As we move further into the chills of winter, playing with kids in the great outdoors becomes harder. As the weather gets brisker and less inviting, it’s important to get your little ones outside to commune with nature before it becomes impossible. And every parent knows the oncoming prospect of a homebound, stir-crazy kid, hungry for action.
And since children love creating with their hands, we’ve put together a list of the ten best fall crafts you can do at home, using fall foliage from your backyard.
Creating a lantern out of everyday fallen leaves is a quick and fun activity your kids will love. Simply collect wide leaves, preferably in different colors. Use a clear adhesive or glue to attach the leaves to the inside of a mason jar. Then, just insert a candle inside and voila – a vibrant leaf lantern your kids will be proud of.
This is an easy and absolutely gorgeous addition to any home. And because they are made with strong materials, chances are they’ll last a long time, as sweet fall mementos for your family. For this project, use simple white or mauve bathroom tiles, mod podge adhesive, and a collection of different leaves. Once you’ve attached the leaves to the tiles, add a polish to protect the leaves, and retain their pretty colors.
Leaf Art Pieces
Fall foliage makes some of the best stamps around. Get your child a large canvas, and a lot of different-sized leaves. With different fall-colored paints, paint one side of the leaves with a specific color. When you stamp the leaves on the canvas, make sure you hold the leaf stem-first, for an easy pick up. Kids can also add their own finishing touches when all the leaves have been put on the painting.
You’ll have to get a bit crafty with this one. Gather a bunch of different-sized leaves, in various shapes. Then start with an outline of any animal, owls, elephants, flamingos – anything with a specific shape works well. Then get to cutting and pasting, using lighter-colored leaves for the eyes, nose, beaks and other distinctive features. Simple when you get the hang of it.
These are another fun project you can do, that you can use for years. You’ll need air-drying or oven-baking clay, a rolling pin, and some glitter paint. You’re going to want to use the largest leaves you can find. First, roll out the clay with the rolling pin, to about ½ inch thickness. Then place the leaf on top and continue rolling, imprinting the clay. Cut out your clay leaf shape and insert into a deep oven-safe bowl and put in the oven. Then, start the painting!
It’s important to remember how much our little ones need the outdoors. It keeps them refreshed and active, and fills them with the wonder of nature. Try these handy leaf crafts out – we’re sure you and your kids will love them, and wishing for an even longer winter!