I’m a sucker for pumpkins. I love their beautiful orange color, how they symbolize the season, their unique shape and the fact that they are a powerhouse of nutrition. For these reasons, pumpkins can be found throughout our home and in our tummies as soon as they are available for picking. Here is how I use them…
On candle holders…
And Painted…If you have small children, this is a great, safe alternative to carving. By not cutting into the pumpkin, you will also be able to enjoy your art longer. Carving/cutting it obviously speeds the rotting process.
This is my son’s painted pumpkin. We added some brown, gold and copper colored glitter to his. I think it turned out beautifully…
Lastly, this is last year’s decorated pumpkin. I made it using leaves from the front yard and a little paint for the face. I call it our vegan turkey…
It is really common for parents to have some sort of copy of their child’s handprints at birth. But what about the years that follow? In my son’s first year, I got the idea to continue the handprint tradition. We are now in our third year and the result has been something that we, as a family, really look forward to. The process is simple (as long as your little one cooperates ; ) and requires just a few materials. The result–a baby keepsake in the form of a canvas print.
Here’s the how-to…
1 small canvas
2 paint colors (1 for background and 1 for hands)
Paint canvas using the background color you chose (or you could just leave it white). Next, paint the inside of one of your child’s hands. Gently press hand onto appropriate side of the canvas. Repeat with other hand. Repeat project every time your child has a birthday. I plan on going as long as my son wants too (or until he turns 18!).
I think this is a great way to preserve your little one’s handprints when they are born and for the years that follow. Canvas is the perfect keepsake because it is durable, easy to dust off and it really makes for a fun display. My husband and I (and now my son) look forward to the birthday tradition. It is always exciting to compare his prints and see how much he has grown!
“Art takes nature as its model.” – Aristotle
Our fall would not have been complete without some leaf printing. A pile of leaves, a few paints, and a Saturday afternoon was all we needed for a relaxing, yet engaging fall craft. I could not have picked a better fall activity for me and my preschooler. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much Nathan enjoyed this activity. It was so much fun, we even got dad involved for a short period of time!
We first collected our leaves on a leaf hunt. Our inspiration came from the book We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger (you can view more activities to pair with this book on my sister site lessonplansource.com) Once home, I rolled out a long piece of butcher paper (I use that roll from IKEA) across our dining table. With a smock strapped to Nathan, paint and brushes prepped and wet paper towels handy, we spent the better part of an afternoon painting and printing leaves to create this really festive fall banner…
Nathan was so relaxed and focused throughout the printing process. I haven’t seen him work like that before. I loved watching him paint each leaf and notice little details about them (“this one has a bump” “this one has lines”). He is becoming such a big boy and yet quite the little artist.
As the fall season comes to an end, so does our need for fall crafts and activities. I came up with this simple fall activity as a way to solidify concepts about the season for my preschooler. All the details for implementation are on my sister site, Lesson Plan Source. Enjoy!
One of my favorite fall books for kids is We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger. I love the book for many reasons–its simplistic storyline about three friends enjoying nature together, the variety of leaves it introduces children to, and its use of prepositions (yeah, really). It is also a book that lends itself to a variety of activities, including an actual leaf hunt! So, after reading the story to my preschooler, that is exactly what we did.
A leaf hunt is a fun way to spend time outside enjoying the beauty of autumn. It also doesn’t have to be limited to just gathering leaves. On our first leaf hunt, Nate and I found a variety of items (some specific to the autumn season–acorns, chestnuts, pinecones) that we used for a fall sensory table.
The second leaf hunt yielded enough leaves for this Leaf Printing Craft. The banner turned out so beautifully, I couldn’t help but hang it.
Our final leaf hunt resulted in this Autumn Is…Fall Activity for Kids. Fun and decorative, this fall craft is a great way to bring what you have learned about the season to an enriching close.
To find more follow-up activities to the book We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, visit my sister site lessonplansource.com. Happy hunting!