“Many researchers agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, better at paying attention and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors.” (Child Mind Institute)
As the weather begins to cool and autumn leaves flutter to the ground in brilliant hues of orange, gold and red, it’s the perfect time to go on a family walk. This allows your family to observe the beauty of nature while enjoying the exercise.
Then, if you take a plastic container on your walk, you can gather sticks, acorns, twigs, and more to use as materials for fun fall crafts when you’re done enjoying your family time outdoors. Using the materials provided by Mother Nature — and using craft tools such as scissors and glue with appropriate parental supervision — the possibilities for fall crafts are endless. Here are some easy fall crafts you can make with your children.
Bark Owl Craft
This idea comes from FirefliesAndMudpies.com. First, gather acorns, bark and twigs. Then look in your cupboard for (or buy) pumpkins seeds and tacky craft glue. Carefully break the bark into the shape of an owl and then glue two caps from acorns where the eyes should be. Hot glue a pumpkin seed beneath the eyes to represent the beak and then glue the owl onto a stick, perhaps one with fall leaves, and you’ve got a bark owl. If you’d like, your kids can also paint the bark.
If you find that your kids enjoy owl crafts, there are plenty more on Pinterest.
Happy Acorn Necklaces
If you’ve collected a supply of acorns, you can quickly and easily turn them into autumn necklaces, following instructions at Kireei.com. Simply paint the main portions with acrylic paints (it may take up to three coats). Once they’re dry, use Sharpie markers to draw a face. If the acorn cap was separated from the body of the nut, glue it back on, along with a piece of twine. Done!
All children learn through play, but the toddler years are a time when children absorb a lot about the world while doing things that may not seem educational. This simple craft by FirstPalette.com, for example, can teach them about the beautiful uniqueness of leaves. On a family walk, gather fallen leaves, looking for ones with interesting shapes in different sizes. Then, you need lightweight paper and crayons.
At home, let your toddler choose a leaf of interest and then place it on your table, bottom side up. Then put the thin piece of paper over top and ask your child to rub where the leaf is with the side of a crayon. As they do so, the shape of the leaf begins to appear in the crayon’s color. Make sure your child rubs the entire leaf.
Get your kids’ crayons out and let them choose which nature pictures they want to color. Crayola.com has plenty of free fall printables, including:
You can find many more printables on Pinterest.
Let Your Imagination Be Your Guide
Other craft projects can include pressed leaves, homemade paint stamps made of leaves, acorns, and other things found in nature, painted pinecones, fall-themed door hangers, paper plate paintings, and more.
As a busy parent, you may not always have time for lots of preparation. That’s OK! If you keep a box of art supplies tucked away in a closet, you can use it when your youngster is bored or restless, supplemented by all that nature has to offer. The result? Fun fall craft projects that help you to bond as a family and create lasting memories.