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Looking for ways to keep kids happy and busy at home? Send them on a foraging expedition in the garden to find inspiration to create awesome autumn art.
Nature has so much to teach kids and exploring outside can be a fun and educational activity to do with kids at home. And, regardless of the season, this autumn leaves craft project gives little hands an opportunity to really work those scissor skills!
Start outside and challenge kids to find four leaves in a variety of shapes. This simple crafts idea might mean a walk around the garden or even a slow stroll through the neighbourhood together. Once they’ve found their leaves, it’s time to head home to trace them to create stencils.
Using green, red, orange and yellow paper or cardboard gives you a chance to explain the cycle of leaves and all the interesting facts about them, like which come from deciduous (a nice new big word!) trees, bushes, vines and more. Younger children might need some help tracing; if so, use a thicker cardboard and hold leaves in place with a dab of Blu Tack.
Kids can then cut out their new paper leaves, giving their fine motor skills a workout. Once finished, add some veins (a good opportunity to talk about botany and biology), and then arrange them by colour and shape: a memory and cognitive activity they’ll love.
To add another layer of sensory play to this autumn art and craft project, kids can trace the same leaves onto tissue paper and glue it on top of the cardboard leaf. It will give it some more ‘crunch’ like a real leaf.
Once they are happy with their leaf creations, they can glue them into place in a frame (with the glass removed) as a keepsake for their room or your mantlepiece.
This sweet autumn art and craft activity for kids is a lesson not only in creativity but patience as well.
Help them choose small flowers that are easy to press. Flowers with naturally flat faces, such as daisies, are a good pick; roses and bulkier buds are harder to press. Instead of choosing your garden favourites, this awesome DIY activity is a great opportunity to pluck those weeds that are still cute, like soursobs and the small white blooms of onion weed.
Carefully lay the flowers between sheets of tissue paper and place inside the pages of a heavy book. Next, pile more books on top – the heavier, the better. Large books, such as dictionaries and atlases, work perfectly. Kids will need to leave the flowers to dry and press for a couple of weeks but they may want to check them after a week to replace the tissue paper, then press for another week or so to give them an extra squish.
Once the pressed flowers are ready, workshop some ideas with the kids about what to do with their beautiful nature keepsakes. Using a glue stick, they could attach them to a homemade card or even use the laminating service to transform them into bookmarks.
Dried leaves make an exciting canvas for kids.
It’s adventure time. Start this craft activity for kids by having them collect dried leaves in all shapes and colours. These will become the canvas for their art.
Using paint pens, encourage children to create their own designs on each leaf. You could challenge them to trace the veins of the leaf which works on their visual spatial skills, or feel free to let them freestyle with their own patterns and prints, stimulating creativity.