If you’ve ever sat down and done crafts with young children, then you’ll appreciate just how much joy it gives them. Even the simplest things, such as finger painting, can be unbelievably fun for young children. Arts and crafts are a great way to engage little minds and are great for their development, both physically and mentally. They help to build development skills, learn about colours and shapes and broaden the imagination, however, many parents are put off from doing crafts with their young children because of one thing, mess. But, arts and crafts don’t need to be overly complicated or messy and can be fun for all!
Autumn is a great time of year to do crafts, thanks to the changing colours, natural materials and iconic imagery which children can easily recognise. Whether you’re taking on a fun, family project or want to keep little ones entertained, here are 5 fun autumn crafts you can do!
Colourful Ear-Bud Trees
Want to do some fun autumn painting, but don’t have any paintbrushes? No problem, just use the fluffy end of an ear-bud as a way to paint leaves onto an autumn tree! Very little painting skills are required for this activity and can be done by the whole family. For younger children, simply draw the tree trunk for them and let them add colourful leaves themselves and, for older children, give them the freedom to create any designs they wish. You could work together as a family to create a bigger piece of artwork or an autumnal woodland full of your hand-painted trees!
Wool-Wrapped Autumn Shapes
Teaching young children to develop their gross and fine motor skills as they get older is a huge learning experience for them. This autumn craft is a great way to do this, whilst having fun at the same time. Simply cut out autumn shapes from cardboard – think pumpkins, leaves, acorns, etc – and cut up long pieces of colourful wool. Then, get them to wrap the wool around the shapes until they are colourful enough. This is good for younger and older children, as you can make smaller, more intricate shapes for older children and larger ones for younger children.
Nature Wind Chimes
This activity is a great way to get outdoors and learn about nature in the autumn. Head to your local woodland or forest and get scavenging for things you can find, such as twigs, leaves, conkers, fir cones and small pebbles. Then, when are home, create a cross with the twigs and secure with string. Then, tie longer pieces of string onto the twigs and get children to tie on their finds. For more splashes of colour, you could use beads or buttons, too. Then, once your crafts are finished, hang them outside for a DIY autumn decoration!
Fun Painting Stamps
A great way to teach children about vegetables which come into season during the autumn is to use them as a fun stamp for painting. Simply cut firmer vegetables, such as pumpkins, squashes, turnips and potatoes into fun stamp shapes and give them to children to paint with. You can teach your little ones about the different vegetables, whilst also showing them the insides and learning about the different textures and smells. All you need is some colourful paints and sheets of paper.
Handprint Leaf Wreath
For a calming activity that is perfect for all the family – parents included! – then why not create a family leaf wreath? Cut out a large circle, which is wide enough for you to stick your crafts on, and tie a piece of ribbon to the top. Then, make handprint paint leaves in pretty autumn colours. Whilst you are waiting for these to dry, stick leaves, fabrics and any other colourful materials to the base of your wreath and, once your handprint leaves are dry, cut them out and stick to the base. You’ll have a lovely handmade decoration which the whole family has contributed to!
When it comes to crafting with children, it’s important not to get hung up on the mess it can create. Arts and crafts are a fun way to help your child develop and if they are worried about you being upset due to the mess, they’ll be reluctant to do it again. There are plenty of different ways you can make the tidy-up after less stressful, thanks for craft trays and coverall bibs, and you really don’t need to make the crafts overcomplicated. With younger children, the less fussy the better!