This week I’m so excited that gardening expert Catherine, from Growing Family, is sharing her favourite Autumn crafts, gorgeous ideas inspired by being outdoors.
Summer may be traditionally the time to get outside with the kids, but I always find Autumn to be the most laid-back season for outdoor adventures and crafting. The weather is still mild but the sun is gentle, the back to school vibe spurs us on to make the most of family time, and all around us nature is providing so much inspiration.
A trip outdoors in Autumn is the perfect opportunity for a spot of creative crafting, allowing you to bring some of that wonderful natural inspiration back home with you. Here are some ideas for easy Autumn crafts that make the most of what nature has to offer.
This is a lovely nature craft activity that takes advantage of all the leaves and seeds that are lying around at this time of year. Combine an Autumn walk with a nature hunt; aim to collect a range of colours, shapes and sizes for the best collage effect.
Once you’re back home, you can experiment with different layouts on a piece of paper or card, sticking everything down with PVA glue when you’re done. This craft is also perfect for sparking a discussion around texture and the plant life cycle.
If you’ve got a growing collection of conkers from the kids’ trips to the park, put them to good use with some conker crafts. Conker creatures are easy to make; you need toothpicks to hold them together, but apart from that it’s up to you how carried-away you get with extra materials.
With some adult supervision, kids can also make conker necklaces or wiggly worms by threading them onto string (use a metal skewer to make the holes). And for Halloween, conkers are easily turned into spooky spiders with pipe-cleaner legs and googly eyes.
Natural noughts & crosses
Part craft, part game, this is an easy activity which needs nothing more than a few pieces of string. The first job is to hunt for natural materials that will work as the grid, the noughts, and the crosses; this is a great prompt for a discussion about shapes in nature. Sticks and twigs are good for making the grid and the crosses, and are easy to tie together with string. Conkers make perfect noughts, but you could also use flowers, leaves, stones or other seed pods.
When it comes to Halloween-themed crafts, pumpkins are brilliant for more than just carving. Of course, it’s lots of fun drawing and cutting out different spooky patterns, but you can also let the kids loose with the paints to create some really great Halloween decorations.
Hang onto those pumpkin seeds when you’re carving too; they’re perfect for using on Halloween collages if you give them a quick rinse and allow them to dry first.
A journey stick is a memento of a nature walk, featuring items collected whilst on the walk. These could be leaves, twigs, flowers, berries, feathers, or any other natural items that you find. You don’t need much in the way of preparation, and you can build it into any outdoor adventure. It’s worth explaining to kids that they shouldn’t pick anything from plants or trees, and can only collect things that have already fallen to the ground.
For younger children, use a rectangular piece of cardboard with double sided tape attached to secure the items to the card. Older children can make a journey stick the traditional way, by choosing a stick and attaching items to it using string or wool.
Nature crafts are such a lovely way to enjoy Autumn, and I find they’re quite low-effort too; you have most of your materials provided for you, and all you have to do is seek them out. I hope these ideas have inspired you to get out there and enjoy the season.
Catherine blogs about making the most of busy family life over at Growing Family.