It is that gorgeous time of the year when the leaves gently float down to the ground, so full of vibrant fall colors. You can do the usual activities to do with leaves- rake them then jump into the piles. Or better yet, take a day this autumn to explore the outdoors with your children. Bring a basket to collect those orange and brown leaves. Then try these five child-friendly activities you can all do with those beautiful fallen leaves…
Make a garland to decorate your home. The supplies you will need are twine and leaves. First, gather several strands of twine. Knot it and braid it. Then weave in leaves as you braid to make a garland. Knot the bottom end to keep the braid. Use the garland to decorate your fireplace mantle, the dining table and doors. This is an easy decoration that brings a touch of autumn into the interior of your home.
Make an autumn foliage headpiece. Using the same technique as the garland but a shorter size that fits the head circumference of the intended wearer. Tie both ends together to make a head piece for you or your child. You can also weave in some seasonal flowers. This is a beautiful prop for taking photos of your child playing outside in the fields, and a great accessory to imaginative play.
Leaf press bookmarks. Press leaves between two layers of wax paper and inside a large, hefty book. Allow the leaf to wilt and dry for a couple of weeks. You can have the children check it every few days to see the change in colors. Glue the leaf to cardstock to make a bookmark with your favorite quote written below the leaf. Or, using a large eye needle and embroidering floss, carefully make a tie at the top of the leaf. When the winter blues kick in, find your leaf press bookmark to remind you of autumn.
Create a family tree. Research your family history and find the names and photos of family members three or even five generations back. Then write the names of your ancestors, along with their birthdays, onto small pieces of paper and glue to each leaf. Or glue small photograph copies of each family member on the leaves. Then on a poster board, paint a bare tree and glue the leaves to fill out your family tree. When the tree is complete, have the children present it to the family and tell stories they found about their ancestors.
Dress a turkey. Draw a turkey on construction paper. Even a hand turkey will work with smaller leaves. Then use leaves with the stems trimmed off to create the tail fan on the turkey. This is where the many fall colors in the leaves come in handy. Also pull out the colored scrap papers, glitter, markers and paints for the children to decorate their turkeys. To add a little more spunk to it, have the children learn some turkey calls and do a turkey parade with their art.
I hope you enjoy these simple crafts using natural materials from your own neighborhood!
Tiffany Bird is a wife, mother and the writer and founder of Simply Modern Mom, a site dedicated to simplifying the lives of modern moms. She is a list maker and a crafter in a little bit of everything… sewing, paper crafting, cooking, repurposing, home decorating, packaging and hosting parties.