It’s that bleak time of year in many parts of the country when trees are giving up, and dropping their leaves like dead skin all over everyone’s yards. The days are darker, shorter, and they’re getting colder. Instead of running around free in our shorts and sandals at the playground, we’re all cooped up inside and our kids just won’t…leaf us alone.
So, as a diversion from all this earth-spinning misery, I have come up with some foliage-themed crafts. Each of these takes under five minutes, which is great news if you’re lazy, like me. But of course, if you’re trying to fill up a whole afternoon, you’ll just have to do each one about 1,000 times.
The first step for all of these crafts is to bundle up and quickly gather some leaves that are somewhat intact and don’t look like they’ve been ravaged by some kind of horrible, speckled tree disease. (Or is that just our trees?)
Leaf Owl: Find a marker. Draw two circle eyes and part of a triangle for a beak. Voila! Whoooooo is the coolest parent ever? Bonus points if you give those little near-sighted intellectuals some eyeglasses.
Leaf Confetti: Crush dried leaves into tiny, minuscule bits and throw them up in the air in celebration. Note: do not ever allow this or any other confetti to enter your home until your kids are fully-grown and mature enough to handle it responsibly. On second thought, unless you have an industrial strength vacuum and the patience of a saint, don’t let confetti of any sort cross the threshold of your home. Ever.
Leaf Collage: Gather a bunch of leaves and other bits of nature and stick them on a piece of contact paper. It’s like a miniature version of what’s going on outside your windows. You can call this abstract design, “Our Messy Lawn.”
Leaf Crown: Tape leaves together in a circle the size of your little king or queen’s head. Note: Make sure that all adhesive is completely covered by the leaves or by another piece of tape, or else you’ll have to give your child an impromptu chunk-style haircut.
Leaf Punching Bag: Gather a pile of leaves together and stuff them into a pillowcase. Show your kid how to throw a jab, a hook, and an uppercut. Are you mad about winter coming? Here’s some Autumn-themed anger management!
Pine Needle Bonus: If you also find your property strewn with pine needles, they make excellent quills for porcupines and hedgehogs. With the help of a little twine, they make wonderful, tiny brooms, perfect for sweeping up an explosion of leaf confetti mentioned above.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. Feeling thankful this year for friends, family, all the readers of the Chronicles of Parenting …oh, and also a shout out to this huge pile of LEAVES.