24 Oct Celebrate fall with crafts
by Brittany Gilbert
When the chill of the fall air cuts through and overcomes the summer heat, it brings good news and bad news for parents. The good news is that the heat is gone! The bad news is that soon our outdoor time with our kids will become more limited as the temperatures start to dip lower and lower through the fall months.
Mix in some arts and crafts time to celebrate fall!
Pumpkin Patch Pudding
What you need: Chocolate pudding cups, Oreo cookies and pumpkin candy.
This couldn’t be easier to make. We used the pudding cups that are already made. Remove the white cream from the center of the Oreo and crush the cookies. Scoop out half of the pudding and put some of the cookie crumbs in the cup. Put the pudding you just removed back on top of the cookie crumbs and top with more cookie crumbs. These crumbs represent the dirt in a pumpkin patch. Then place your pumpkins in the dirt and enjoy. Our treats didn’t last in the refrigerator so all the more reason to eat them right away. This is a treat you can do with your kids in less than 10 minutes. My kids are 4 and 2, so not quite old enough to do this independently without making a huge mess, which isn’t always a bad thing. However, this is definitely a craft that can be modified to fit your child’s age and ability.
Rice Krispies Treat Leaves
What you need: Rice Krispies type cereal, butter, jumbo marshmallows, food coloring and a leaf cookie cutter.
This is a fun treat for a classroom, playdate or just for family dinner. Follow the recipe to make Rice Krispies Treats by melting butter and marshmallows. In this step, add food coloring. Depending on whether you want to create one color of leaf or more, you will either use one pot or more than one. This will require some measurement math. We decided to go with two different colors, so we split the recipe in half. After you get the food coloring blended in with the marshmallows, add the cereal. (Hint: Use more food coloring than you think you need. It will fade once the cereal is added.) We used a cookie sheet with raised edges instead of a cake pan that we would normally use because we wanted thinner, cookie-type treats, rather than the thick treats we are used to making. Thinner treats make it easier to use the cookie cutters.
Not only is this fun, but it can also be used as a cooking lesson. My kids were able to help measure the cereal and put the marshmallows in the pot. They can also help with adding food coloring, spreading on the pan and using the cookie cutters. Basically, they just needed to stay away from the heat. Older kids can play a bigger role. We talked about measurements, hygiene, cleaning up and mixing colors.
With Thanksgiving coming up, I’m always looking for crafts that will get my kids interested in a holiday that I feel is often overlooked.
Materials needed: Orange and green construction paper, scissors, tape or glue and a pen or marker.
I chose this activity on a day when my oldest son wasn’t acting very thankful; in fact, he was behaving very ungratefully. I felt this would be a good way to remind him just how blessed he is. You can go about this craft in whatever steps you want. I chose to take his mind off of his bad attitude by having him cut up some orange construction paper into strips about an inch wide. He’s learning to use scissors, so this was fun for him. After cutting the strips, we talked about all of the things we are thankful for. As he mentioned something, I would write it down on one of the orange strips. Then we assembled the pumpkin and decorated the top with two green strips and made leaves. This activity is short and sweet. Not only is it a fun holiday-related craft, but it also doubles as a holiday decoration that will allow your kids to feel as though they participated in making the house ready for the season. Your child’s hands-on contribution will depend on their age and ability.
Apple Matching Tree
Materials needed: Green, brown and white construction paper; red dot stickers
This next craft helps reinforce the alphabet or another skill that your child needs to practice. Have your child help create an apple tree using the construction paper. Use the red dots to trace circles all around the tree and then write a letter in each circle. Write letters on the red stickers as well and have your child match the stickers to the dots on the paper.
Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have two sons and a daughter and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at [email protected].