Easy Fall Painted Leaves

fall craft My daughter loves to paint and this fun easy fall leaf craft gave her ample time to explore and glop on as much paint as she wanted and use both her brushes and fingers to create. The painter’s tape relief effect is really optional but the effect is so cool and my daughter who is two was amazed by it while I peeled it off.  Even though she couldn’t do it herself it was still a fun step for her. Do not miss the paper towel step though, it adds texture and cuts drying time in half which for a 2 year old makes a world of difference.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper( my favorite!), pencil, paint in your choice of colors, some gold glitter glue, brushes, painter’s tape, paper towel and scissors.
  2. Start by drawing the outline of some leaves on the paper.
  3. Next using painter’s tape add veins to the leaves.
  4. Paint. She started with the brushes but quickly moved to her hands. She didn’t even use a brush with the 2nd one.
  5. Wash hands. We use the “Hands up!” and freeze with her when her hands are covered. Then I whisked her to the sink to wash up.
  6. Next grab some paper towel and blot. See the texture?
  7. Let dry to the touch and peel the tape off.
  8. Cut and Display- kids love seeing their art all over the house. I added hers to our fall mantle.

Fall Board Book

Leaves by David Ezra Stein is such a sweet book about a young bear who doesn’t understand what is happening when he sees leaves falling from the trees. He even tries to put them back on but it doesn’t work.  Eventually he lays down for a nap and hibernates until Spring when he happily notices that there are new tiny leaves budding on the trees. Both my kids loved this book. I got it out of the library for my toddler who loved it and while reading it to her I had to start over so her almost 6 year old brother could listen from the start. We each took our own things from it, my daughter has been noticing the changes of Fall for the first time just like the bear in the story. My son took the chance to tell me all about hibernation and everything he knows about it . I thought it was bittersweet, and related to how quickly the years seem to pass and how quickly my little bears are changing too. A really lovely book!

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Kid Made Archery Target

This year when we came home from the county fair my son was the proud new owner of  an archery set. After a few days of reminding my son not to point it at this or that I started looking for something to be a target he could shoot at to his heart content!  This archery target craft was so easy to make and it’s been played with constantly and I haven’t had to remind him once to only shoot at the target because it’s all he wants to do .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a suction cup archery set , some Styrofoam, duct tape, painter’s tape, a sponge roller or two, paint, a dish , hammer and nails. Oh and a tree or wall to nail it into.
  2. We started by cutting a square piece of Styrofoam and using the painter’s tape make 3-5 circles one inside the other. I was rushing to get this done before my daughter woke from her nap so I wasn’t at all careful but I loved how it turned out. Just make sure the tape is pressed down well. I placed it and my son pressed it.
  3. Next we picked the paint colors and painted. This is Martha Stewart craft paint and works on every surface- which is rad but it’s NOT at all washable so wear old clothes. The upside is that it’s also great for outdoors. Our target has been outside since we made it and it looks as good as new.
  4. We peeled the tape off .
  5. Added some duct tape at the top . I did this so that while nailing it the nails wouldn’t push right through.
  6. I nailed the first one in just enough to make it hold and let him go for it.
  7. Next it was time to try it out!  Since making the target he pops outside almost everyday for target practice while his sister and I cheer. I love how it’s helped him deal with disappointment and frustration. When he first started playing with it he’d get really frustrated when he didn’t get a bulls-eye but now he can miss the target completely and let it roll off his back and try again.

Vegetables Above & Below Ground

by Kim

Are you planting a Spring, Summer,Fall, or Winter garden this season? Obviously this depends on where you live. Here is a fun craft that helps teach your children about the different kinds of vegetables that grow in a garden. I got this idea from my son’s teacher and we did it at home with all of the kids.

You will need two paper plates (for each child), a paper fastener, markers, scissors, and glue.

Draw out some various kinds of vegetables. Be sure to make sure you have root veggies and surface veggies. Oh, and no laughing at the drawings. I never claimed to be an artist. ;)

Let your child color in the vegetables. We got silly and I said that carrots are blue. She was quick to correct me and inform me that I must not know my colors well. Then she offered to teach them to me. So we went through all of the colors. It was fun.

Cutting these out can be a little difficult, so be sure to let your child know it doesn’t have to be on the lines.

Draw a line through the middle of both plates. Have your child cut along the line of only one of the plates. Close enough counts here, too.

For the other plate, color one half blue for the sky and the other brown for the ground.

Now glue the vegetables on the plate. This is a great time to talk about the different ways the plants grow. We also talked about the different ways they are harvested, too. Some are cut, some are pulled.

Take the plate that was cut and label the halves “Tops” and “Bottoms”.

Attach the halves to the decorated plate. Now the halves slide open and reveal the top growing vegetables and the bottom growing vegetables.

The kids are even more excited for our garden to start producing now. We are all prepared to pick/pull the vegetables. Some recipe ideas were also suggested by the kids.

 

Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

How To Make A Bird Bath

DIY bird bath

I don’t usually re-do other bloggers ideas but when I saw this DIY Bird Bath ,  I knew my son would love it. We get a lot birds in our yard and we love making it more friendly for them. We had a great time painting this while my daughter took the longest nap ever . It was much needed mama and son time and I like how cheery the bird bath is in my back yard even if it does resemble the Stanley Cup.

To see the original inspiration and the how to pop over to The Culinary Cougar.

Here are a few other bird crafts we have done over the years .

crafts for kids

Bird Treats
Yarn Nest
Bird Collage
Paper Birds
Recycled Bird Feeder

Books About Birds

Birds by Kevin Henkes , illustrated by Laura Dronzek is stunning. I love this author but this book is absolutely about the pictures. The cover is beautiful but there are pages that I just wanted to look at the way I look at paintings at a museum. The book is perfect for toddlers and young preschooler, it’s non fiction , simple and has a great flow. The colors are so vibrant I would bet that infants would dig it too! Awesome awesome awesome!

Riki’s Birdhouse by Monica Wellington. I have known about this book for ages but today was the first time I had the pleasure of reading it with my daughter. Like her brother she immediately loved the author/ illustrator and it’s not hard to see why. Wellington’s illustrations are bright and practically tell the story so even toddlers can follow along independently. This story is about Riki who loves and cares for the birds in his yard. He makes them a house, leaves scraps for them to pick up and nest with and of course feeds them. I love how this author keeps the main story simple but interesting while adding in informative asides for older kids or adults. At the end of the book there are instructions for all the projects Riki participated in in the story.  You can see more books by this author on her author showcase.

Egg Drop Science Project

science for kids with eggs

We’ve been having fun with recycled materials and a few days ago when I heard my son say ” I’m bored!” I replied with ” Want to throw some eggs off the porch? ” He’s 5 so of course he said yes! I told him there was one rule we had to make a escape pod and try to protect the egg from cracking. This is a classic egg drop science project but my bet is your kids have never seen it so go grab some eggs, and your recycle bin and experiment!

  1. Gather your materials. We rummaged through our recycle bin, my art closet and playroom. This is what we decided we might use. Immediately there was talk of a parachute. When I found a treat box it was quickly tagged as a possible parachute. egg toss We also used bubble wrap, an egg carton, some tape, cotton balls, party streamers and yarn. Use what you have that’s the whole idea, to use what you have to make something useful to protect the egg . egg toss craft for kids
  2. First he lined the carton ( that we cut in half) with cotton balls and bubble wrap and added strips of party streamers.egg toss craft for kids
  3. Then we poked holes in the treat box to make a parachute and threaded yarn through. egg toss craft
  4. Tied it on to the carton.egg toss craft for kids
  5. Added the egg. Closed it up and used a little tape too.egg toss
  6. Then we trekked out to the porch and …. wait wait first we made predictions. My son predicted it would be OK. I thought it would be smashed. Then he dropped it .egg toss craft
  7. It didn’t crack! egg toss
  8. ” Let’s do it ’til it cracks!”  OK!
  9. 2nd time it hit the flower box … as soon as it did my son said ” I bet that made it crack!” toss craft
  10. He was right.  I asked him to explain why it would make it crack but the ground wouldn’t. He explained it simply but logically. ” The parachute didn’t have time to help yet and it hit hard.”

This wasn’t a planned activity but it was a blast. It would be so fun in a class to keep throwing them until only one survives!