Saturday, October 27, 2012

fall crafts even the not-so-crafty can handle

we recently moved, and since then i've actually decorated. uh, whoa. i never felt this urge in the old place. my 5-year-old daughter loves the fine home arts, however, and last year she insisted we bring in some fall flair. so we put up her macaroni pumpkin she made in preschool along with amber-colored bead thingies i had knocking around, and there we go... happy festive fall to thee!

this year, i brought out the big guns. i have dead CORN STALKS standing up outside my front porch in an arrangement that resembles an ACTUAL SHEATH OF CORN. and an ornate URN filled with small self-harvested PUMPKINS that are REAL! oh, but that's not all. me and my non-crafty side are parting ways for good. i even decided to have fall craft time with the girls. it was an impromptu thing. we had a basket full of pristine fall leaves (Little One neglected the flower part of her flower girl duties at a recent autumn-themed wedding, but she aced the cute part so it's ok). we also had a glue stick. and a pumpkin from Sweet One's field trip. hmmm, leaves + glue + gourd ... i can totally handle that! i give you, Sweet One's leaf pumpkin:

isn't it so rustic chic? oh, you know it. but we didn't stop there. we also had a pen. and printer paper. and a crapload more leaves. hmmmm, leaves + pen + paper ... i feel another crafty momma brainstorm coming on. ta-da!

ok, so it wasn't a brilliant idea. pretty obvious, actually. other (actual) crafty mommas out there have moved well beyond the traditional fall symbol of the turkey to things much more hip, like a hedgehog. (and here i'm just starting to understand the whole owl craze.) but darnit, baby steps!

why crafts? i hear your sighs. because the kids love them, yes. because it's good for them somehow (something about fine motor skills and an active imagination...). but also: breaking the monotony. you never know what stories and practical life skills might come out of impromptu not-so-crafty craft time. for instance, Sweet One got a lesson in persistence when our first method of gluing leaves to gourd didn't really stick. i also got to see how she retained a surprising amount about turkeys from her field trip, and that she likes her turkey's beak wide open to let that gobble, gobble come out loud and true. one other thing: i enjoyed it. it's time with my kids doing something completely ridiculous.

(oh, and now i have indoor fall decor to go with my outdoor fall decor. it's pretty autumnal around here.)

here are some other fall-themed crafts that won't scare off the non-crafty among us, things i've found in my trolling that we have tried or plan to try soon:

quick, easy, and fun. halloween storytelling with diy shadow puppets, from Imagination Soup

as ambivalent to carving pumpkins as i am? especially when the kids don't do any of the work? Kids Activities Blog gathers up a nice list of alternative styling tips from around the intertubes (my favorite: Potato Head parts). or just do what comes naturally to a young girl: slather it with glue and glitter and sequins a'la Domestic Goddesque.

over on the BabyCenter Blog, there's a much cuter leaf turkey that uses felt circles.

and, while you're getting the creative juices flowing, do what i've done and steal an idea from at home with Ali by dedicating a whole plastic tub or cardboard box to items otherwise destined for the recycle bin or trash. toilet paper tubes. cereal boxes. rubber bands. random pipe cleaners and feathers and twist ties. you know, a happy box of randomness. you never know what the kids might make from its contents. (no, really, you might never know...)

have something simple to share of your own? let me know! (no, really, let me know.) i need all the help i can get.

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