Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thursday Three: Fall Crafts to Make With Your Kids

My daughter with her milk jug "pumpkins."
Fall is my favorite season. The cooler days beckon me to pour a cup of hot tea, sit down at the dining room table with my 4-year-old, and get crafty. I’m not typically a big crafter, but fall brings crafting possibilities that can easily double as d├ęcor. Here are a few projects we’ve busied ourselves with in my house, thanks to the wonders of the Internet:

1.       Jack-O-Lantern Milk Jugs. These look ahh-mazing. Save empty plastic gallon jugs and clean them out. Paint them with orange acrylic paint. (We tried using Crayola washable paint, but it rubbed off on my fingers when I handled the jugs.) Cut jack-o-lantern face pieces out of black construction paper and glue them on. Wrap a bit of green or brown tissue paper over the lid for a stem. Cut leaf shapes from green construction paper and poke them onto a pipe cleaner, and wrap the pipe cleaner around the lid, curling a section of pipe cleaner to look like a pumpkin vine.

Kick it up a notch by cutting out the back of the plastic jug. Put a votive candle inside for a glowing effect. Or let kids use the jugs to collect Halloween treats, but make sure you remove any lit candles first!

As Thanksgiving approaches, be sure to save a few extra jugs from your recycling bin so you can make milk jug turkeys, too!

2.      Leaf-Stringing Game. Purchase at least a dozen fake fall leaves from the craft store (I bought two dozen), along with a roll of fall-themed ribbon (it doesn’t have to be very long). Cut a length of ribbon and sew a button on either end, and cut a slit in each leaf so it can be threaded onto the ribbon. This is a good way to develop finger coordination, or fine motor skills. My 4-year-old mostly likes to fling the leaves around and pretend she’s jumping in a pile of leaves, but, oh, well. Make a long enough string of leaves and you have a nice garland to hang in the house.

3.      Toilet Roll Tree. Uses for empty toilet paper rolls are endless. For this craft, save one toilet paper roll. Cut a salad-plate-sized circle out of a piece of cardboard (an empty cereal box works fine). Cut or tear red, orange, yellow, and/or brown tissue paper into small pieces. Wad the pieces up a bit, then glue them onto the cardboard circle until it’s covered. Cut two small slits in one end of the toilet paper roll and slide the tissue paper-covered circle into the slits. Stand it up, and you have a lovely fall tree centerpiece for your table.

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  1. LOVE the leaf garland idea. And the motor skills angle...for us clueless types...YAY!

  2. Glad to be of help. I think I liked the leaf garland idea more than my 4-year-old. It might be a good project for kids just a year or so younger, when they're really working on developing finger coordination.


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