Before it gets too cold, get the children outside and do some scavenging. There are lots of fun, crafty things to do with what you find…
1. Leaf Printing/Leaf Collage
Sure, it’s been done before, but it’s such a popular and easy activity and can be done with kids of many ages. Go out and find a selection of dry leaves of different sizes and shapes, and come inside to paint them on one side and print onto plain paper. Use different colours of paint and paper for different effects or try making pictures or patterns with your prints. Alternatively, paint the leaves, let dry and then glue onto paper or card to create a beautiful, autumn collage.
2. Fireworks picture
Guy Fawkes’ night is always exciting for children, so get them to make a fireworks scene using wax crayons and pencils. Take a blank piece of white paper and colour in the whole page with different coloured pencils, then go over the whole thing with a black wax crayon. Once covered, use a sharp pencil to scrape off the black in different patterns…it should look like fireworks exploding in the night sky.
3. Make a twig frame
Cut out a frame shape from an empty cereal box or any other cardboard that might be lying around, then go into the garden to gather twigs of different sizes. Stick them on the frame with glue so that the whole thing is covered, and you are left with a great way to display other pictures and artwork – just use some tack or tape to secure the picture in the frame.
4. Tree painting
Most kids have water-based paints at home – the large watercolour blocks are ideal, but any other non-toxic paint will do for this activity. If you have trees in your back garden, you could let your children paint the branches. It will keep them occupied for hours, the garden will look pretty, and nature will take care of the cleaning up for you when it rains!
5. Painting pine cones
Pine cones can be tricky to find outside, but they can be brought home and painted, ideally with think, poster paint. The possibilities are endless – use glitter and stick on sequins, or make eyes and a mouth, or even a pair of fairy wings, to really bring them alive.
6. Make a conker necklace
Children will need help and supervision to make holes in conkers, but they are ideal for threading onto coloured string to make necklaces, and it’s something really young kids can get involved with too. You could even add squares of coloured felt or buttons to make it even more colourful.