As the long days of summer give way to the longer nights of autumn, it’s time to think of ways to keep the children happy indoors. Luckily, autumn is ripe with ideas and natural materials which work well in a whole range of crafts for kids.
Pictures of Autumn
An autumn picture is the perfect craft activity. First, it’s time to enjoy a bracing outdoor walk as you hunt for the ingredients for your craft projects. Take some paper and a crayon with you. You can take rubbings of the interesting textures you find like bark.
Other things to look out for include acorns, twigs and leaves in all shapes, sizes and colours; all make useful crafts for kids.
When you get home, make sure that the collection is clean enough to use for crafts for kids. Some ideas to try out are:
- Use the leaves you’ve collected for leaf printing. This works best if you use leaves that aren’t too dry. When leaves are fresher, they have more prominent veins which make intricate patterns.
- Starting with a good paste of PVA glue, cover a sheet of paper with a fantastic autumn collage. Nature provides more leaf colours than the palette of any artist!
- Make a tree trunk using a mosaic of the bark rubbings you’ve collected. Top this with a tree made of leaf prints. To finish the tree, take a small apple and cut it in half. Dip the apple in red paint and print your apple crop all over the tree.
Harvest Festival Boxes
Celebrate Harvest Festival with these simple and effective ideas. Start by finding an empty tub, a small ice-cream tub is ideal for this project.
Gather lots of art materials and encourage the children to come up with different designs to decorate their box. It can be as simple or elaborate as they fancy with stickers, foam shapes, ribbon and ‘jewels’.
When the children are happy with their creations, line the box with some hay or a cushion of green tissue paper. Now the children can fill their boxes with their tribute to the harvest – an apple, carrot, onion and potato.
Thanksgiving is an American celebration that children enjoy exploring in lots of other countries too. Similar to the Harvest Festival, it’s a time to give thanks for all the simple things in life.
Thanksgiving is usually marked by a family meal and the house is often decorated with lots of holiday crafts.
A good idea to try is salt dough models, popular holiday crafts which can be displayed for Thanksgiving or the Harvest Festival.
Start the project by making the dough.
- plain flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
Gradually add the water to the combined dry ingredients until you have stiff dough. Add more flour or water depending on the consistency.
Knead the dough until it’s smooth and let it stand for about thirty minutes before you use it for crafts for kids.
When the models are complete, bake them to dry in a very low oven. The temperature should be no higher than 100 degrees C, gas mark 1/4 to 1/2 and the process generally takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Once the model is fully dried, it can be painted with poster paints and perhaps a thin layer of varnish.
Popular projects for Harvest and Thanksgiving include model apples, table centrepieces like plaits of dough with flowers, fruit or vegetables. Harvest Festival salt dough models frequently depict traditional sheaves of wheat or replica loaves of bread. Have fun and experiment!
Make the most of a wonderful season by making use of all it has to offer. Enjoy creating artwork together with innovative and economical crafts for kids.