Fall Craft Time
Things are finally starting to normalize around here. We have (sort of) settled into a nice schedule including getting back into doing some tot school fall craft activities with the boys.
We had a great time apple picking and came home with a ton of apples. Jeff would say it was closer to 20 kilos. So, I knew we needed to try some apple stamping! I cut a few apples in half and we stamped away. I stuck forks in the back of the apples to make them easier for the kids to handle. This was a wonderful activity for outside, where I did not have to worry about little painted hands touching everything. I love these wonderful souvenirs of our apple picking weekend. Extras will be making their way to our family and friends as fall greeting cards.
The weather has been amazing. The temperatures drop overnight so the leaves have started to change here, but the days are sunny. The sunshine makes it perfect jeans and sweatshirt weather. . .well for an American. The Dutchies continue to look cute in their skinny pants and leggings with unbuttoned quilted coats. I digress. I’m trying to spend every moment I can outside with the boys. I took the kids into the woods behind our house for a leaf walk. I let the boys fill a huge bag with as many leaves as they wanted.
Back at home we laid them out in the sun to dry. Thirty minuets later they were getting curly. I put a few of them under some heavy books to flatten them. (In retrospect I should have put them all under books so they were easier to craft with!)
When the boys got up from quiet time we were ready to go with some fall leaf crafts. There are so many options but I chose two of my favorite.
First, we made leaf hedgehogs. We actually have a little hedgehog living near our house. H is currently obsessed with finding it. Jeff and H go out in the morning with a flashlight to try to catch sight of him. I printed this Hedgehog from DLTK’s craft page. The boys each colored their hedgehog with crayons. I slopped a bunch of Mod Podge onto the hedgehog body so the boys could press leaves into them and they would stick. When the boys were done glueing, I put an old towel over the art work and pushed down so the leaves made more contact and stuck to the sticks. (I tried a glue stick and our curly leaves just would not stay put.)
Next, we made these adorable Leaf Puppets I saw on Classic Play. I used the flat leaves for these and that helped a lot. I used Mod Podge to cover the leaves front and back and stuck them to the cardstock. The littles picked out eyes and stuck them onto the already Mod Podged leaf. Once the leaves were dry I cut them out and attached them to the sticks with glue and a bit of tape.
I used a large Sharpie with a nice point to do the mouths. I tried a small Sharpie and it punctured the leaves. We’ve been talking a lot about feelings, so I tried to give each of the leaf puppets a different expression. I cannot wait to put on a performance with our colorful leaf puppets.
The leftover crinkly leaves found a home outside in the boys’ pretend world. Some are food for their “farm animals” and others are special leaves for their “treasure hunt.” I do not think they would be sad to go collect more of them in the woods. I know before too long they will all be brown and soggy, so we are going to enjoy the crunchy leaves while they are here.
Keeping with our fall theme, we’ve spent the week doing apple and pumpkin themed tot school activities. We read Secrets of the Apple Tree, one of Usborn’s “shine a light” books. (Holding the book up to a light or shining a flashlight behind each page reveals fun surprises.) The pumpkin eye-spy printable from Life-Over-C’s was a big hit and a fun and easy way to review numbers. We read 10 Apples on Top, while the kids followed along with these printables from Chapel Hill Snippets. The First Grade Parade has apple life cycle sequencing cards we played with. (The one year old colored them and ripped the paper while the three year old colored, cut and sequenced. I also colored and cut a set to laminate and use in the future.)
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