exciting fall yard finds and nature crafts

the calendar tells us it's fall and it is starting to feel that way too, at least in the morning hours. when it comes to kids that means a whole new array of games that can be played with the leaves that are changing colors. nature crafts are a wonderful way to get the kids outside and use their imagination – no toys, tools, or gadgets whatsoever are required.

would you and your kids like to join the outdoor fun? this is how it goes:

1)  in order to do some "leaf art" as we call it, we first went on a treasure hunt for leaves in different sizes, shapes, and colors. each girl had a little baggie with her initial on it for collecting the leaves.

tip:  help them find and reach different leaves, but stand back and wait to see which ones they decide to pick. the four-year-old was most enthusiastic about torn leaves with holes in them (shouting in excitement and jumping up and down), while the older one and i were driven to the seemingly perfect leaves and the ones that were unique in our own eyes. remember, anything goes, as long as we're outside and having fun.

a baby acorn!

2)  now that you've collected sufficient leaves and everybody is ready to move on to the next phase of this game, find a nice spot with a flat surface. if it is too windy outside you might want to finish the project up inside, you can do that in the evening when it's getting dark and time to go inside anyway.

3)  this is the creative part: use the leaves to make art! you can either decide to first sort the leaves according to colors and sizes before you begin, or just put them all in a pile. 

tip: some ideas for what shapes you can create with leaves: birds, butterflies, lions, bunnies, caterpillars, houses, cars, spell letters, make it look like a dish (pizza, salad)

below you see 2 different versions of butterflies. the top one was described to me the following way:
the two green leaves to the left are the antennas, the red and yellow leaf is the head, the brown leaves to the right are the legs, and all the leaves in-between are the wings and some decoration.

i made a chicken, which was transformed into a turkey by the girls by just adding one big orange leaf to the throat area. the arrangement in the next picture depicts a fruit salad.

finally, when we were done making leaf art, the leaves became feathers and wings of imaginary birds and there was much skipping and singing going on in the yard!

do you think you might like to try this outdoor nature project yourself? or have you already done something similar before and like to share your experience and tips?
i'd love to read your comments and ideas!

if it is too cold or rainy right now to collect leaves for leaf art, here are some fun craft projects to do with kids indoors:

• quick and simple craft project: fingerstamping 
• inspired by pinterest: crafting with salt dough 
• creative toy d.i.y. - dancing owl 
• a t-shirt for baby - crafting with children


Anonymous said...

What a fun idea! We have an abundance of nature things sitting around from collection walks etc...now something fun to do with it all! :)

Tracey ~ Clover said...

I can not wait to try this next time the wee one is here, thank you so much for this.

Kim said...

This is brilliant, love it. My little man and I will be giving it a go, can't wait! Thanks.

sylvia said...

this is so very very cute, i wish we could have joined you guys! lovely photos too!!! and the little man totally would have collected crumpled leaves with holes in them too ;))

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