This post is from special Guest Blogger Julie Kieras from A Year with Mom and Dad
Autumn. One of my favorite times of year – the fiery bursts of color. The kiss of crisp air. The tickle of leaves.
With the excitement of a toddler discovering the changing seasons, we’ve been on a mission to try every fall activity we can. Here is a round-up of our favorite five fall activities!
Cookie Painting - Eat your painting? Sure, why not? Colored egg wash paint adds a new dimension to standard cut-out cookies. So simple!
- Separate the yolk from the egg.
- Add a dash of water.
- Add a few drops of food coloring.
- Repeat in separate bowl for additional colors.
Then, give kids a small pastry brush to paint their cut-out cookies. Paint cookies just before baking. This painting project works both hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. When baked, the egg wash paint becomes shiny and smooth – a treat for the eyes and tummy!
You will need: Cut-out cookies, egg yolks, food coloring, cookie cutters, pastry brush, sprinkles
Pumpkin Spice Drawing - Mmmm… smell my drawing! For a quick rainy-day craft, break out some construction paper and glue sticks. (I like Melissa & Doug Non Roll Glue Sticks because, well, they don’t roll! You won’t spend your time chasing them under the table!).
- Draw the outline of a pumpkin with a marker or crayon (older children can draw independently).
- Trace the outline of the pumpkin and all its ribs with a glue stick
- Mix spices and glitter and sprinkle over glue lines.
- Tap paper gently to remove excess spice/glitter.
Breathe in the delicious scents of pumpkin pie baking… without all the hassle! Once you’re done smelling the creations, salvage this artwork by laminating with contact paper for a Thanksgiving placemat!
You will need: Construction paper, marker, glue sticks, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove (or pumpkin pie spice), glitter.
Leaf Wreaths – This activity gets kids outside in the delightful fall air, leaves raining down. Leaf collecting is exciting in and of itself (finding those gorgeous multi-colored leaves, odd-shaped leaves, or dried flowers and pinecones). After children have gathered a bounty of fall treasures, create a memento of the day:
- Create a construction paper wreath by folding a piece of paper in half, cutting out a semi-circle, then another semi-circle from the middle of the first one. Open to find your wreath shape!
- Spread liquid glue generously around the wreath cut-out.
- Children arrange foliage to their liking!
The creativity of children will amaze you – tiny red leaves became hearts and flowers. Pinecones form a “v”. Sticks are accent markers!
You will need: Construction paper, liquid glue, scissors, fall foliage
Leaf Prints – Let little designers work their magic with the stunning shapes of fall.
- Grab a few interesting leaves from the ground.
- Dot a paper plate with several different colored drops of poster paint.
- Shake the plate so the dots of paint spread out and touch each other (you want a fully covered plate surface).
- Gently lay the back/ribbed side of the leaf into the paint. Make sure it gets fully coated.
- Then transfer the leaf, painted side down, onto cardstock or watercolor paper. Press gently to be sure the entire leaf surface touches the paper.
- Remove leaf to find a stained-glass style print on the page. Repeat as often as desired or do a new print per sheet!
You will need: Leaves, several colors of poster paint, watercolor paper, paper plates
Fall Scavenger Hunt – Scavenger hunts are exhilarating in any season! The best part is they require almost no prep or materials! Kids can make up their own list or download online lists (Google, or check Pinterest). I found a visual list for my non-reader; learning to “read” pictures is a key pre-literacy skill. With his cousin, we hiked around my sister’s backyard, searching for signs of autumn – yellow, red, orange leaves… a mushroom… acorns, pinecones, spiders, etc. When we couldn’t find a certain item on the list, we invented: a yellow leaf sandwiched between two green leaves became the ear of corn we couldn’t find! Choose to leave your finds with nature, or collect them to create the leaf wreaths above or use in another project!
You will need: Scavenger hunt list, collection box (optional)
Between fantastic foliage and weather, autumn is a wonderful time of year to break out arts and crafts, and activities indoors and outdoors! I hope you’ve found some inspiration for your children this fall/Thanksgiving season!
What are your favorite autumn activities?
Thanks to Melissa & Doug for sending supplies to assist with our projects! All opinions are 100% my own!
Julie Kieras is mom to two active an inquisitive boys and wife to a wonderful husband. She can usually be found playing with her toddler and infant, organizing her craft closet, reading a good book, taking a walk, or perhaps baking her semi-famous apple pies. In between, she writes a blog about family life at A Year With Mom and Dad.