Get Crafty This Fall - Five Creative Projects For Little Fingers By: Eve Brooke
Fall can often be passed over in favor of spring or summer when it comes to people choosing their best time of year. Yet it can be a wonderful season, with the vibrant colors in the trees and an exciting chill in the air heralding the start of the build-up to Christmas. Such anticipation and colorful inspiration can offer the perfect chance to get the craft box out and to get creating - who knows, you and your children might even be able to make a start on those handmade Christmas gifts beloved of Grandmas and Aunties across the globe.
All the leaves are brown...
Despite the song title, this is certainly not the case. Fall leaves come in browns, reds, oranges, yellows, greens - the colors are bright and the shapes varied. Go for a family walk when the weather is dry and gather a bagful of fallen leaves of different shapes, colors and sizes.
Stick your (dry) leaves onto a sheet of paper or greetings card to make a pretty natural collage. Or paint them on the side where the veins stand out and press the painted side onto some paper to make a beautiful leaf print design. You could even draw eyes, arms, legs and a mouth to turn your prints into cute leaf people.
Fruits of your labor
Celebrate harvest festival by making your own bowl of fruit table decoration. This craft activity can be tailored to the age of the children involved. younger children can draw fruit, or stick cut-out pictures from a magazine onto another drawing of a basket, or even into a real one. You could help them make a 3D basket out of some stiff cardboard and tape or - if you are feeling ambitious, weave one using raffia or paper strips.
Older kids might like to try modelling fruit out of clay or making them out of old material, stuffing and a needle and thread. This would make a neat present for an older relative, or it could help remind children to eat more real-life fruit and vegetables, especially now, when so many delicious varieties are in season.
Papier mâché animals
A messy activity that is guaranteed to have eager participants. This craft is versatile, simple and best of all, makes great use of unwanted printed material that would otherwise end up in the trash. Blow a balloon up to the size you want your animal to be. Then, mix up some wallpaper paste, or make a glue out of flour and water. Make sure it is really gloopy and thick so that the paste will penetrate the paper and stick the layers together.
After that, tear up little pieces of paper - you can use old newspapers, unwanted magazines, or those really annoying leaflets you get in the mail every week. Stick the little pieces to the balloon using plenty of glue - add four or five layers. Leave the model to dry before painting and adding little ears, legs, whiskers etc. from items in your craft box.
Sowing a seed
Pumpkins conjure up images of Halloween and warning soups that are perfect for a Sunday night supper in Fall. Yet their seeds can also be an extremely useful addition to the crafters inventory. Dry the seeds, carefully pierce them with a needle and thread them onto a string for an unusual necklace or bracelet. Seal some in a plastic water bottle and decorate for a fun musical instrument.
Other ideas include drawing or making a tree shape out of paper, card or felt and using pumpkin seeds as the leaves, sticking them in an attractive pattern around the branches. Or draw a big outline of a pumpkin on some paper and stick the seeds inside the outline to create your very own pumpkin picture.
Help your children remember a wonderfully crafty Fall by helping them make a scrapbook all about the seasonal fun you have all had together. You could decorate the cover with dried leaves, small pieces of twig or moss, or you could use crayons or paint to draw some seasonal scenes. Perhaps you have some neat photos of the children enjoying running through the leaves, or exploring a colourful woodland.
Once you have designed your cover, turn your attention to the inside, where you can get really creative, designing pages about trips out, seasonal highlights, such as Harvest Festival or Hallowe'en. You could stick in any drawings the children have made, or take photos of any 3D crafts they have done.
Hope these ideas have given you some food for thought - have fun with your your Fall creations!