Arty Autumn - 10 fun activities and crafts to entertain and educate!
The leaves are getting crunchier underfoot, the air is crisp and the summer is long gone. Make the most of the change of seasons by embracing all things autumnal with these craft activities to keep little hands busy. The ideas below incorporate 1 to 1 quality time with your child, and promote imaginative play, creative play, motor skills practise and outdoor fun - all brilliant learning opportunities for your child.
1. Treasure hunt
First, you’ll need to collect some raw materials for your activities, so grab some warm clothes and a spare plastic bag or tub, and head out to the park or even your own woods. Why not make this nature walk into a treasure hunt for added fun factor? When you have collected a selection of leaves, non-poisonous berries, cones and twigs you are ready to choose your activity.
2. Leaf crown
Cut a wide strip of paper long enough to make a band around your child's head, but before you secure it, decorate with leaves. With a bit of help most preschoolers can manage to spread some PVA glue all over the paper strip. Ask your child to choose some of the longer, broader, more colourful leaves and stick them along the strip pointing up like a crown. You could even paint more glue onto the leaves and sprinkle with glitter. When dry, adjust the crown to the right size and secure with tape.
3. Autumn potion
This can be messy! Half fill a large deep tray with water. Add a few drops of orange paint or food colouring to give an autumnal feel. Ask your child to choose a selection of leaves, berries, twigs, seeds, fircones and so on to add to the potion, along with some glitter or sequins. Provide a ladle, sieve, bowl, whisk, spoon and jug and watch the creativity happen!
4. Lentil leaves
Dry red, green and yellow lentils, aduki beans and kidney beans all have lovely autumn colours. Pop a handful of each into separate containers and show your child how to stick them to leaves (or leaf shaped paper) to create interesting decorative leaves. Pop handfuls of different beans into empty water bottles (with lids) to create shaker rattles.
Help your child rip up some autumnal coloured pages from magazines. Depending on the age of your child you could just cover a sheet of paper with the ripped up magazines and then cut to make a shape when the glue is dry, or you could attempt to create a collage depicting a tree, leaf, pumpkin, apple etc. Add some berries or acorns for texture. Leaf printing or rubbing Choose firm leaves with a pronounced pattern for this activity. For printing, coat the underside of your leaves with paints and press, paint side down, onto a sheet of paper. You could also used a halved apple to print, too. For rubbing, tape the leaves onto the back of a piece of paper (underside of leaf against paper), turn over and use the side of a crayon to rub until the pattern of the leaf appears on the page. These lovely leaf images can then be cut out and used for other projects.
6. Autumn biscuits
Help your child measure and mix a simple biscuit dough, then together roll it out and use a leaf shaped cutter (or overlap a circular cutter to create a leaf shape) to cut your biscuits. Once baked, decorate with yellow, orange and green icing for that autumnal feel. Jumping leaves Collect a carrier bag full of dry leaves. Pour onto your trampoline and watch the smiles as your child bounces with the leaves jumping all around them. 3D mini trees First, choose some interesting twigs with plenty of mini branches. Ask your child to make a ball of playdough or clay and squash it securely onto your chosen surface. Then help to insert the twig into the clay to hold it securely. Decorate the twig with colourful leaves, berries, ribbons and wool to create an autumn centrepiece for your table.
7. Leaf bunting
Children enjoy helping to punch holes in leaves with a hole punch, and then threading them onto a length of wool or twine. Choose a good selection of colours and sizes for the most appealing bunting. Tie up across a window or mantelpiece for a pretty autumnal feature. You could add some felt, paper or fabric leaves - good for practising scissor skills - for contrast. Little creatures Use felt pens or paint to turn leaves, twigs, sticks and seeds into little creatures. Googly eyes can be added for a fun effect. Once dry use your creatures for imaginative small world play.
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