Have you stopped to smell the roses lately? There’s a reason this old cliché is such a favourite. Autumn is a great time to get outside and enjoy crisper weather. And if you stop to take a closer look at the world around you, you’ll find a veritable bounty of stuff that can be used to create an afternoon of great autumn craft projects.
Leaves, sticks, small seed pods and gumnuts are a fantastic starting point for autumn craft activities. Just use your imagination or have a look at the five videos below for some ideas on how to use autumn leaves to create some great craft activities.
Here are three more reasons why you should plan a leaf collecting mission for some leafy craft projects:
- If you go outside with a purpose (i.e. collecting leaves for your craft projects) you’ll find your children that much more engaged and less likely to complain.
- You don’t need to head out to some pristine wilderness location, a walk down your suburban street can uncover a great variety of crafty bits that have fallen from the trees.
- A nature walk with a purpose is a great way to stimulate your children’s curiosity and awareness of the world around them. Be prepared to answer lots of questions!
Planning your autumn nature walk
In this article you’ll find five videos of five different leafy craft projects from the simplest no-glue collage to a more challenging leafy mobile.
But first, here are some hints and tips for planning your nature walk with your kids:
- Decide which craft project you will be undertaking and let them know what particular object they will need: e.g. green leaves, scrunchy fallen ones, seed pods, small leaves or large.
- It helps to do a bit of a ‘reccie’ without your kids if you can; for instance, for our leafy crowns, we wanted classic autumn leaves from a plane tree. I had a quick drive around the neighbourhood to find the perfect park with a blanket of fallen plane tree leaves. (A lot of parks had swept up their leaves already.)
- Make sure you take a nice big bag to collect your leaves in.
- You might also like to take some scissors if you want to cut some green clippings for the leaf collage. A magnifying glass can also make things fun.
- Go with the flow: if your kids get inspired and decide to come up with their own ideas on what to make, just go with it. Don’t be a crafty control freak!
Once you’ve got your collection of leaves, move back inside and break out the craft glue for some leafy craft projects.
No-glue leaf collage
This one is a great one to start with. It’s stupidly simple and the result is surprisingly satisfying. A collection of different shapes and textures works really well for this leaf collage.
Autumn leaf crowns
You can come up with your own ideas for this one, but we decided that classic plain tree leaves would look the most regal. A mix of old crunchy ones and new green ones works best.
Rubbed leaf garland
Who doesn’t love a leaf rubbing? It’s an impressive trick and for kids who aren’t particularly artistic, it will really boost their confidence as they recreate the impression of the leaf simply by rubbing a crayon over the top. This is one that works best with flatter, fresher leaves, as they tend to stay in place better beneath the paper.
Autumn leaf wreath
Hanging an autumn wreath is a nice way to herald the beginning of autumn, the same way you would herald the Christmas season with a Christmas wreath. This is an American sort of tradition probably because ‘Fall’ coincides with all their Thanksgiving and Halloween celebrations. But I say we celebrate it too: as a time when our weather becomes beautifully crisp and temperate and ideal for outdoor walks.
Autumn leaf mobile
This one is a bit more involved and probably more suited to older children, who will enjoy the challenge of threading leaves and beads onto the strings. Hang it from your front porch to herald the arrival of autumn! (Or if it turns out to be too hideous, hang it discretely from a tree at the back of the garden!)
Thanks to Kidspot Australia for creating the instructional videos.