Yarn Stamped Fall Tree Craft

Fall always makes me think of a mix of textures and rich smells and while this yarn stamped fall tree craft isn’t scratch and sniff ( although if it was it would be vanilla and pumpkin spice)  it was a fun exploration of textures. This project was a big reminder to me about not putting your own adult vision on a child’s art work. Even after many years I still at times have to stop myself from saying ” Really are you sure you are done ?”. If you feel like saying that bite your tongue. That doesn’t encourage kids it tells them their art isn’t good enough.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some stamp pads, paper , marker,  bottle caps, yarn / bakers string , sticky back foam and some foam adhesive mounts.
  2. Start by cutting your foam into the shape of leaves. Peel the backing off and wrap the yarn around . I wrapped a few really heavily, and left one sparkly foam leaf without any yarn for contrast. Add the adhesive mounts.Press onto the bottle cap.fall craft
  3. Invite your artists to the table.  Draw a trunk.
  4. He has hit that stage of childhood where he doesn’t just trust me and questions everything. ” Are you sure it will work mom?”
  5. Add yarn stamped leaves.
  6. Try out the different textures .
  7. Let dry. As the ink dries the colors lighten.

Over the years we have reviewed many fall themed books for children but this round up contains our very favorite. For full reviews of the book check out the post from earlier this month.

Leaf Matching Puzzles

leaf numbers
by Kim

Looking for a fun way to practice number recognition? Then look no further. Playing with these letter and number recognition puzzles is a fun way to get little fingers and mind active. This is an activity you will want to do ahead of time and have ready for the little ones.

Grab a piece of corrugated cardboard, a marker, and a pair of scissors. You can use posterboard or craft foam, but corrugated cardboard is so much thicker and it is easier for your child to see that they are matching the pieces up correctly.

Draw some leaves on the cardboard. Then draw a line through them. I like to do a squiggly line to help the pieces “lock” in together better. Now draw a number on one side of the leaf and dots corresponding to that number on the other side.

Cut out the leaves. This is the part where you will be glad you are not making these pieces with your children. Cutting the cardboard can be tricky because it is so thick.

You can also draw and cut out leaves with upper and lower case letters to match up.

*VARIATION- Math equations would offer a more challenging task for older siblings that want to join in the fun, too. For younger children (and ambitious caregivers) you could color the leaves for color matching.

Cut along the line you drew that divides the leaf.

Now divide your leaf pieces into two sections. One section with the numbers written on them and one section with the dots drawn on them, or upper case letters and lower case letters.

Watch your child match them up. It is fun to watch them match different ways each time. Sometimes my daughter would match by number recognition and then counting the dots. While other times she matched the shape of the leaves.

Any way they match is great practice for reasoning and logic skills. Putting the pieces together make great motor skill exercise, too.

 

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.

Fall Crafts & Activities For Kids

autumn crafts for preschool School is starting and I am officially brainstorming new Autumn and Halloween crafts and activities. One of my favorite ways to start is to look at what we have already done and share my favorites with you. All these activities and  fall crafts for kids are easy , fun and they are also educational.

Toddler Friendly Glittered Pumpkin
Candy Corn Counting
Handprint Turkey
Pumpkin Patch Letter Match
Leaf Rubbing Tree
Acorn and Squirrel Match
Football Craft
Cereal Box Apple
Leaf Painting For Toddlers
Alphabet Apple Tree
Simple Fall Sensory Tub
Leaf Butterfly
Letter O Owl
Cereal Acorn Craft

Easy Apple Crafts For Kids

apple crafts for kids
As my facebook timeline fills with pictures of little faces on their first day of school I thought it would be a good time to round up a bunch of easy apple crafts for kids. Apples aren’t just fun to craft they are also fun to use as tools for painting.  Don’t miss our round up of Books about School to help with the transition from summer to school year.

Cereal Box Apples
Simple Apple Craft For Toddlers
Apple a Letter Craft
Paper Bag Apple Treat Bags
Wormy Apple Craft
Pom Pom Apple Tree
Basket of Apples
Apple Printed Hearts
Apple Sensory Tub
Toilet Paper Roll Apple
Apple Print Wreath
Fine Motor Apples
Apple Orchard Craft
Apple Lacing Craft
Apple Sun Catcher

Stained Glass Leaf Craft

My dear friend and contributing writer Kim sent us this melted crayon art a few weeks ago and it and my son’s desire to melt things with a hair dryer ( how this art was made) inspired this new take on an old stain glass craft. You may remember making crayon stained glass leaves in preschool, I know I do. I have a clear memory of my preschool teacher Fran ironing our crayon shavings.  Since my son wanted to do the melting I switched an iron for a hair dryer. As you will find out there is a reason Fran used the iron… it was not easy making this “kid friendly” and not even all that “kid friendly”. Some days we hit it out of the park, some days we don’t.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a crayon sized pencil sharpener or a zest grater, crayons in various fall colors, wax paper, card stock, scissors and tape. Og and a hair dryer … possibly iron.
  2. Start by peeling the paper off the crayons. This is fantaboulous fine motor skills practice.
  3. Next grate or sharpen the crayons into little bits. Our sharpener broke half way through ( should have been a sign of things to come), so we attached it with pinking sheers, I do not suggest this method. Crayons bits were flying at a high rate of speed all over our playroom. Instead use a zest grater or if you have it one of those parmesan wheel graters would be rad for this. You need the wax to bit thin and small for it to melt.
  4. Put it all on the wax paper .
  5. Sandwich it and either hold it down or tape it to the table. Either way when the blow dryer starts you want a firm grip on it so bits don’t ( yet again if you are us) go flying everywhere.
  6. Even on high my trusty hair dryer from 1989 took a long time to melt the thick bits… I really need to try this again with a parmesan grater , why I didn’t think of that until now after we did it is beyond me.
  7. While the wax cools. Draw a leaf and cut it out of the cardstock so you are left with what looks like a stencil.
  8. Tape the melted wax to the paper ( I tape it all along the wax paper just in case some wax breaks off then it won’t fall into my carpet ) and hang up in a window.

Over all this project was fun , especially for my son who loved every step especially the ones I would call screw ups. That’s the thing when I break it all down we do crafts with kids not to make the prettiest thing but to have fun, make memories and share some time together. Even if some of that time was picking up pieces of crayon that shot ten feet across the room. I should note if you do use an iron make sure the crayon shavings are sandwiched between the wax and still use a towel under it when you pass the iron on low over it. Wax paper is usually great but sometimes the color leaks through.

Leaf Books

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert was the inspiration for this craft and will leave you trying to find all sorts of things like butterflies, chickens and fish in leaf piles. The book is about a leaf man who blows away in the wind and the reader is taken past all sorts of animals like chickens and ducks, past rivers filled with fish and butterflies in the air. All are leaves pieced together to make these awesome images , some are obvious, some take concentration to see the animal among the leaves. Wonderful creative book to welcome the changing seasons.

When Autumn Falls by Kelli Nidey is a stunning book, the illustrations which are painted paper collages, by Susan Swan are so richly colored you will want more after turning the last page. The text is clever as well. Readers will discover that fall is well named not just because of falling leaves, but also pumpkins falling from the vines, temperatures falling, seeds falling from their leaves and even football players falling! The text is the perfect length for toddlers but not too short for preschoolers too.  Cute book for this time of year.