Acorn Nature Collage

Exploring nature doesn’t have to be in a far off place, a neighborhood park , school yard or your own backyard will work just great. Explore , talk about what you see, hear and smell. Touch things even they aren’t going into your bag for the collage, explore and take note of how the garden, forrest or park you are in has changed since the spring or summer.  I love when I can do an activity with both kids seemlessly and this one was super easy .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 1-2 paper grocery bags, scissors,crayons,  glue and a yard , park or forrest to explore.
  2. Start by handing each child a bag and heading outside. Can I just say that my little paint covered point and shoot camera works great for inside crafts when movements around too big or fast, but getting a good shot of either child was next to impossible.  Especially a wobbly 15 month old.
  3. Explore- let your child lead the way. Hopefully the other child( or 5) agree and go the same way, or at least in the same general vicinity.
  4. Put everything they find and want to glue to the collage in the bag . Don’t say no to little things yet, let them discover later of it won’t glue.
  5. Huge sticks are totaly ok to refuse, but let them figure it out by asking how it will fit in the bag. Offer scissors to cut a small piece off.
  6. Head back inside and prepare for part two. I did this while they played in the playroom around me, but don’t feel like you have to do this all in one go. Do this after bed time and continue with part two in the morning if that works best for your family. You will want to empty out the contents and place them on a table – or even a shallow box. Using the bag cut it open and draw an acorn.  Tape it to the table to stay steady.
  7. Now invite the children to chose from their treasures and glue them to the acorn.
  8. Hmm the pine branch is too big  to glue down… what could we do?
  9. Cut it!
  10. I helped my daughter add the glue and she happily banged the leaves she gathered down. I was so surprised to see she remembered exactly which leaves she found and used them in her collage.
  11. Gluing is my son’s favorite part of most art because he pretends it’s a bomb ( yes this stage is still driving me batty but I am trying to roll with it)- his sound effects surprised his unamused little sister…
  12. Let everything dry overnight.
  13. Cut out.  Display if possible – kids love seeing their own creations displayed with pride.

More Acorn Crafts!

If a nature walk isn’t possible for you try another one of our acorn crafts .

Click the images for the original posts

 

Fall Craft Projects For Kids

This is my favorite time of year and even though I have some new fall crafts to share I can’t ignore these old favorites we made in the past that may even be new to you.

Cut and Paste Indian Corn Craft
Mini Pumpkin Prints
Foam Handprint Turkey
Falling Leaves
Coffee Grinds Sensory Tub

Bubble Wrap Corn
Pinecone Pumpkin

Indian Corn Mosaic Craft

by Kim

 

This craft is fast to set up and fun. It can be easily modified depending of the supplies you have on hand, too. Plus, nothing says fall like Indian Corn.

You will need a piece of paper (I used construction paper), self adhesive craft foam, scissors, and a marker. You can use non0adhesive craft foam or even construction paper. You will just need to have some glue, too.

Draw a shape that generally resembles an ear of corn. No artistic ability is needed, as you can see. Then draw so horizontal lines inside the ear of corn.

Cut the foam into small squares. It does not have to be exact, just the general size of the space between your lines that you drew inside the ear of corn.

Let your child start sticking away! There is no rhyme or reason to this. You can encourage them to keep the pieces in the rows you drew. You could also use this craft to explore color patterns. We chose to just make the colors random. I did instruct them to try their best to keep the squares in the rows.

This craft was great for fine motor skills. Little fingers had to peel the sticker backs off. If you are using regular foam or construction paper, just make a line of glue inside the row and have you child affix the squares. I would suggest doing just one row at a time.

Once you are done, you have a genuine ear of Indian corn.

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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 Noodle Tree Craft

 by Kim 

The temperatures are tapering off. Summer has gone and Autumn is making its appearance. Whether you live where the lives change or not, this craft is the perfect way to prepare for fall and all of its splendor.

You will need construction paper, glue, sandwich/snack bag, brown marker, cotton swabs, and three colored pasta (uncooked).

You or your child can draw a rectangle on the paper for the tree trunk. Have them color it in. My 5 year old drew his own, my 3 year old just colored.

Put some dry pasta in a plastic sealed bag. I used a snack size bag, but it really doesn’t matter. You want to make sure all of the excess air is out, though.

Have your child crush the noodles. Depending on the brand, they can be difficult to crush. Having the excess air out enables you to have the option of putting the bag on the floor and stomping it, or using a plastic hammer and whacking the bag. Trust me, we have done it all. Obviously the more intense crushing you do the more likely the bag is to rip and make a mess. So just be prepared. Regular crushing (and even stomping) hasn’t ripped our bags yet.

Squeeze some glue onto the piece of paper in the general shape of a tree top. Have your child spread around the glue with the cotton swab. I squeezed glue out for my daughter, but my son did his own glue.

Now sprinkle the noodle pieces onto the glue. This is exactly like giant noodle glitter. You will need to put on a lot, let it dry, and shake off the excess.

The final product looks just like a fall tree. It will have a wide array of colors, too. This craft is great fro talking about Fall, the changing seasons, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and colors. It also is a great sensory craft.

Look at that texture! It is so much fun to run your fingers across.

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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

Autumn Painting for Toddlers

I couldn’t wait to post this toddler art activity. Watching my daughter explore art with fresh abandon is so inspiring. The last class I taught as a preschool teacher before staying home with my own kids was a class of fun 2-3 year olds. At  the start of the year I did many art projects like this , that allowed them to explore freely, and created fun specific shapes within a theme we were learning and playing with in class.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper ( we are using craft paper from the mail aisle) , removable tape,  a marker, scissors, paint, paper plate and paint tools that are age appropriate for your child. For us we are using bubble wrap that is secured to a pot scrubber.
  2. Secure the paper to a table and draw leaves.
  3. If you want to use bubble wrap like we did, make sure that all edges are secure and your child can’t get the wrap int their mouth. I used an elastic to secure it to the handle of the scrubber.
  4. Put paint in a dish.
  5. Add a very excited toddler!
  6. Paint with your tool, paint with your hands – however works for you!
  7. She loved feeling the paint squish. Narrate their actions for them.
  8. Let dry and cut out.
  9. Decorate a room your child is in often and make sure to refer to how they made the leaves, how they painted.

Books About Fall

 A Friend for All Seasons by Julia Hubery is a gem! The book explains the change of seasons in a fun and easy to understand way for young children. Readers follow along with Robbie Raccoon as he notices the changes that are happening around his home, a big oak tree.  My favorite part of this book was when Robbie and a few woodland friends notice that the tree’s leaves are falling and they assume he is crying, so they give him a hug. I loved that! Robbie’s mama raccoon explains the changes and before they go to sleep for a long time during winter’s dark days, they plant 5 acorns . This was a fun part of the book because I had my son predict what would happen. I liked that it gives parents an opportunity to extend this into a science lesson about seeds, and a oak tree’s life cycle. Sure enough when Spring comes there are tiny baby oaks waiting for Robbie when he awakens. I loved this book and would recomend it happily!

Every Season by Anne Love Woodhull and Shelly Rotner is a keeper. The text is simple, but the pictures really capture all the wonderful things that each season brings to make up a whole year. The photographs can be used as ice breakers about things children love about each season, are looking forward to or even don’t like. Either way this book is full of possibilities.

I Know It’s Autumn by Eileen Spinelli  is  age appropriate for young preschoolers and  toddlers. The book is a simple look at all the things that tell a small child that Autumn is here. Pumpkin muffins, apple picking, cooler weather,  hayrides and more all signal that the summer is gone and the fall has arrived. I like this book because there will be something a child will relate to and be able to identify with. I also love that the family is biracial and there is no mention of it at all. It’s nice to see and I wish more books were so non challant about representing all kinds of families.