As those of you that came to our Awesome Autumn yesterday will know, autumn is the perfect time to do a bit of crafting with the children. With trees dropping leaves, twigs, nuts, and seeds a little bit of scavenging can produce a large array of tools and supplies to make some unusual items.
Leaves are definitely the easiest to find, the most colourful and have the most versatility. While they can be used as stamps, dried leaves can also be painted on directly to produce a variety of pictures. They work particularly well for painting trees and a mammal who loves dropped leaves the most, hedgehogs. Damp, newer leaves can be folded and rolled to produce flowers, with the red to yellow colours fitting in perfectly with the colours we expect to see in roses. Those crafters with shaped hole punches can use them on the leaves to produce unique toppers to any picture or even cards.
Trees’ nuts and seeds can be used for more than just a game of conkers. Acorns work well on their own, with a bit of glue, to producing flowers while adding toothpicks means you can make people and beloved pets. Those lucky enough to have a Horse Chestnut tree near them can string the seeds together to product brown caterpillars and snakes, which can be painted to produce brighter varieties, or used as the base to make hedgehogs, squirrels, and snails.
Twigs make great paint brushes and stamping tools, perfect for painting trees, but work particularly well as a base for more 3D structures. Weaved together or fastened with string they are great for photo frames, dream catchers, and mobiles, as well as being part of more wintery flower displays.
Then, of course, there’s the mud. More easily accessible around this time of year it can either be used on its own, mixed with a little bit of water, or added to red and orange acrylic paint to produce textured pictures with a unique colour all of its own.
All of this with the added bonus of doing a bit of wildlife watching while you collect your supplies, not exactly something you can do in a shop. If you want to learn more about autumn crafting then why not come to our next Awesome Autumn children’s activity on Wednesday 15th October, 10.30am – 12noon.
Georgina Bowie, Visitor Centre Assistant