Autumn is one of the best times of the year to make nature crafts. It is a great way to get children outside and active on a lovely autumn walk in the park or forest, finding natural materials such as pinecones, sticks and leaves. You can then use these treasures to do some crafting. Here are five natural crafts you can do with children to celebrate the season.
1. Leaf printing
Leaf printing is very easy to do, you just need white paper, a hammer and colourful leaves. Hunt for lots of different colours to make a nice colourful print; red, orange, yellow and purple. Lay the leaves on the paper and cover with kitchen roll or a paper towel. Carefully hammer around all the areas of your leaves then peel off the paper towel and leaves off your paper. You will be left with beautiful leaf prints on the paper and the kitchen roll too.
2. Pumpkin painting
Still have some leftover pumpkins? Carving pumpkins is a popular activity at Halloween, but have you thought about painting them instead for a fun alternative? You will need several gourds or pumpkins. Going to a pumpkin patch or field of pumpkins and picking your own is a lovely activity for children to do to get them outside having fun. Make sure your pumpkin is clean by washing it. Acrylic paints work best. Now you just have to use your imagination; you could create a spooky, scary face or a pretty rainbow effect. Words and motifs drawn or stencilled on with a black pen look particularly effective.
3. Stick fairies
To make Stick Fairies you will need sticks, other natural materials, glue, leaves, paint, and permanent markers. Cut or break a stick to the length you would like it and paint it. When dry, draw a face, hair and hands on it with permanent markers. Stick the leaves onto the stick to make wings and add more natural materials, such as a flower garland or petals for a skirt. You could make different stick fairies for every season; create summer fairies with bright materials or winter fairies with cool colours.
4. Card making
Natural materials can be used to create cards or invitations. Gather some leaves and use a paper punch to make leaf cut-outs in different fun shapes which you can then stick onto card. Or paint leaves, press onto newspaper to remove excess colour and press firmly onto card so that just the veins of the leaf show up in paint. Another idea is apple print making if you find any windfalls. Cut an apple in half, dip into paint and then press onto the card. This is a great sensory experience - seeing, touching, and smelling the apples while painting.
5. Pinecone pets
You will need googly eyes, pinecones, scissors, a glue gun and pieces of felt. Use the glue gun to attach googly eyes to your pinecones in places that you think would make a good face. Try different sizes and shapes for your pet. Cut pieces of felt (or play foam) into shapes that can be pushed into the gaps in the pinecones to create details such as tails, ears, paws and manes. Then give your pet a name!
Let us know what you make!