Monday, December 12, 2011

Fall Craft Projects

It's probably taboo to post more than one blog a day, but in sticking to my new approach of making this a place to share all the great things we do around here...I just had to get in a couple of the fall crafts we've made recently (and not so recently). Especially since it's mid-December, and I'll be posting a bunch of winter and Christmas crafts soon!

Create Your Own Tree:
Every fall I like to do something with leaves. This was one of my favorites from last year and I'm so glad I have a few pictures still to be able to share it.  Its hard to tell which part is more fun, gathering all the supplies from the backyard or actually putting it together.  We took a trip down to the park on the day we made this project so he had a great opportunity to find lots of goodies while walking there and back.  And I let him put everything in the pumpkin bucket he uses for Trick-or-Treating which somehow just added to the fun!

I had him create a tree on construction paper out of all the leaves and twigs he found.  We took a blue piece of construction paper (so it would look like sky), and glued on a strip of green construction paper for the grass.  Then we glued on a few twigs to look like the trunk of a tree and some branches.  We added some pretty fall leaves and even a few flowers to complete the look.  It was adorable!!  And it hung on our fridge for months until all the pieces got brittle and started falling apart.

My little cutie.  He looks so small here; I can't believe how much he's grown in just one year.  I almost had him do the same thing this year, but decided we should try something new.  This year's leaf project was a wreath.  It was very simple, but still adorable, and is still hanging in our kitchen.

Leaf Wreath:
All of the leaves he found here came out of our backyard.  He picked out some really great ones and really colorful too!  The wreath is actually a paper plate that you fold in half and cut out the inner circle to make the ring shape.  Then I used a hole punch to make to small holes in the top of the plate.  Take some yarn and string through the hole and tie in a knot or bow to hang the wreath by.  Do that part first so that you don't have to go back and find the holes after your kids gets all crazy with gluing the leaves on and covers them up (can you guess which we did first?).

Once the leaves are all glued on, let it lay flat for a little while to make sure all the glue has time to dry and then hang on your wall, a door, or in the window.  You can use this opportunity to talk to your kids about why leaves change color, about different types of trees, or what type of trees the leaves came from.  There are lots of possibilities here.

Here is the finished wreath hanging on our wall.  We had a handful of leaves leftover and the circle leftover from cutting out the center of the paper plate, so my son was definitely not ready to stop with the glue:

He made a second one by just gluing on everything that was left!

Thanksgiving Turkeys:
No fall craft season is complete without a turkey.  Last year we did a hand and foot turkey.  The body is made by tracing your child's feet and the feathers are made my tracing their hands.  The rest of the pieces were just cut out from the scraps of construction paper left over, and we drew on the eyes (although googly eyes would be super cute on this too).

This year's turkey project was a little more complex but so darn cute!  I made one right along with him which is probably one of the greatest parts of doing these craft projects!  I wish I could take credit for the idea, but someone beat me to this one.  Here's a link to the website ToddlerToddler where the project came from:  A supply list and step by step instructions are included.

I took their suggestion at the bottom of the page to use these turkeys as a Thanksgiving centerpiece.  They sat back to back on our table for a few days and were absolutely adorable.  Both the kids loved playing with them before dinner too.

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