Showing posts with label leaves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leaves. Show all posts

The Leaf and The Tree -- We Are All Connected


Disclosure: I am working with The Children's Book Review and Bruce Nemovitz and will receive a small stipend for this post. I was sent a digital copy of the book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

We are in the middle of winter here in Massachusetts. The trees are bare, but I am dreaming of spring and warmer weather. Today's book is perfect for this dream. It is The Leaf and the Tree by Bruce Nemovitz and illustrated by Ani Ghosh. 

Fall Crafts Capturing the Beauty of Autumn Leaves


Last week I shared some autumn crafts including leaf embroidery. I promised another fall craft if it worked and it mostly did. So today I am sharing how to make a leaf bowl. Now I saw photographs all over the place like this one for inspiration. I went outside and picked some beautiful fall leaves. Then I wiped them and let them dry for a few hours. I gathered a plastic cup, a balloon, a paintbrush, and my ModPodge. When I was ready I blew up the balloon and put it in the plastic cup. The cup works as a stand so you do not have to hold the balloon in place. Put the knotted side down into the cup. Then I spread some ModPodge on my first leaf and stuck it on to the balloon. I then spread more ModPodge on the other side of the leaf to get it really stuck. I continued doing this trying to overlap the leaves.

Autumn Crafts - Leaf Embroidery & Autumn Fairy


I haven't been crafting much lately. Every once in awhile I work on a diamond painting, but otherwise life has been busy. Awhile ago I saw beautiful embroidered leaves on a Facebook ad similar to these.  I thought that was so neat and wanted to try it. I went out and gathered leaves, wiped them and left them to dry, but didn't get around to them until they were really dry. However I decided to try them out. I did some research and found a few places that give directions including one for kids

Autumn Crafts with Dollar Tree Supplies -- a Crafty Weekends Craft and Link Party

Disclosure: I will receive a small percentage from any purchases made from the Dollar Tree links. All opinions are my own!

This week I am sharing some easy fall crafts with supplies from Dollar Tree. They had some cute autumn ribbons. I chose a plaid. I also got a burlap ribbon spool and one of the adorable fall owls. I also used a 10-inch Styrafoam wreath form. I wrapped it with burlap ribbon and used a pin to hold it. Then I tied a bow with the plaid ribbon and hot glued the owl and a decorative pick (I bought elsewhere) onto it. I attached a loop of twine as well to hang it. I am going to give it to my parents to hang on their door of their new condo.

Autumn Peg Dolls -- Autumn Fairy

Perhaps you saw this week's Sharing Saturday and how I featured the Autumn Leaf Peg Dolls from In the Playroom. Before seeing hers, I had thought of using our fake leaves as clothes for the peg dolls, so we finally found time to do so when Hazel was home sick this week. Since our fake leaves were so small we used the girl peg dolls. I pulled out autumn colored felt and the pack of fabric leaves and let Hazel do what she wanted with them. I clothed a few as well. After all the glue (and on Hazel's there was a lot of glue) dried Hazel added faces and hair to each one.

Now Hazel is talking about the season fairies and how we need to build the summer fairy a house to sleep in since it is autumn. Hmm...guess fairy houses will be a craft soon!

I have leaf paper doilies too, but have not pulled them out yet. I think that may be next. I found all the autumn peg dolls all over the couch this morning. I think Hazel was making up stories with them. So fun!!

Decorating for Halloween & Fall

Have you entered my new current giveaway?

This past weekend we made a very easy Halloween decoration. Our decoration was inspired by the DIY Halloween Tissue Ghosts I saw over at Shindigz back when I was doing a review for them. I happened to find the tissue paper bells on clearance at the Christmas Tree Shop and I think I paid something like a dollar for all four. Then we took a piece of black construction paper and cut out eyes and mouths. I let Hazel cut her own and then we glued them on.

Since the bells had strings and the bottoms had the round ball that would ring the bell, we hung them on our chandelier to greet anyone who comes to our front door. Since we were hanging them, we skipped the tulle as well.
I guess we did a good job since Steve thought I had bought them that way. We also hung the extra spider web we had leftover from our various crafts and added the big spider we used at Hazel's nursery rhyme birthday party for Little Miss Muffet.
We also went on a wonderful nature walk around our neighborhood. We of course took our wagon (to carry everything and in case Hazel got tired) and a bag to collect things. We some saw fun mushrooms. We thought this one might be a fairy bathtub or pool.

And here is a fairy village.
The colors were also beautiful on the walk.
The trees have been so wonderful this fall. The colors are so vibrant.
We were collecting leaves and such and Hazel picked up a stick and started putting leaves on her stick. She decided it was a leaf stick. It came out beautifully and we have it sitting in a glass jar on our table now.
We planned on making more, but haven't made it out there yet.
But in the jar it looks like a flower. We love it! How are you bringing nature in to celebrate the season?

Autumn Nature Walks & Crafts

The last few days Hazel and I have taken nature walks. The autumn colors are so beautiful around here. We bring along her red wagon and a pail in which to put our treasures.
When she gets tired of walking, I pull her and she then takes any treasure I pick up and pretends I'm paying her and the pail becomes the cash register. 
One day it was particularly windy and Hazel commented on how the leaves were racing. I asked her which one was going to win, but she wasn't sure. We tried to get a picture of the leaves floating around, but had no luck. However we did get a pleasant surprise at the other end of the street.
Have I mentioned that Hazel loves cement mixers! And to watch the cement go up the big thing and back down to form the basement walls was really neat. We picked the perfect time to walk!

Now on these walks we have been gathering lots of treasures. Most of the treasures are leaves of every color. We bring them home and I have been sealing them with Mod Podge.
My craft room has several spots that look like this. Ugh!! The leaves are taking over and she keeps wanting more. Now we need to get crafting with them again. We made a few pictures.
Hazel's Leaf Fairy
My Leaf Fairy
My Leaf Owl

My favorite treasure thus far however is this huge pine cone we found. I have never seen one so big before.
We will share some of the pine cone crafts we have been doing at a later date. Enjoy!!

Nature Walk = Leaf Crafts Galore!

Sharing Saturday is still open! Please stop by to share your child-oriented crafts and activities and to see this week's features or just to be inspired by all the amazing ideas already shared!!

The other day Hazel and I went on a short nature walk with the intention of collecting some autumn leaves for crafts. Since it has been raining so much, we observed many mushrooms. We have been trying to decide which ones would make the best fairy houses. What do you think? We also noticed these green seed pods on our neighbors trumpet bush. We thought they looked like green bananas and found them rather interesting.

While picking up leaves, Hazel noticed that the oak leaves have a soft and fuzzy back whereas the maple and a few others do not. I noticed that the oak leaves were mostly brown or green. Now only one neighbor has an oak tree and almost every neighbor has a maple so our choices for oak are limited. 

I recently read on Gingerbread Snowflakes that you can preserve the colors of leaves with Mod Podge. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Mod Podge? So that night while Hazel slept, I painted each one with Mod Podge and left them to dry overnight. The result is slightly shiny leaves (even though I used a matte finish) that still have all their beauty. Hazel was better this year at picking up prettier and not so dry leaves though a few dry ones made their way in our bag.

Today we had fun making some crafts. When we were picking up all the red, yellow and orange (though not too many orange ones around) leaves we thought how they reminded us of a fire, so we decided to make a leaf fire picture. I cut Hazel some brown strips and gave her some glue and a piece of black paper and she made a beautiful leaf fire.  She also used glue and made a leaf man who has berries for eyes and an acorn--not sure what it is for. Though I guess accurately it is a leaf woman since she was describing some parts of it as she made it. I also cut a paper plate in a spiral and had her glue on some leaves so we can hang it like a mobile and let it spin to look like falling leaves. She used a lot of glue so it will take awhile to dry. 

Our final craft was a wreath. I used a straw wreath I bought ages ago and wrapped it with some ribbon I got a the dollar store. Then I stuck some of the leaves in the ribbon and I topped it with Hazel's craft from Lakeshore Learning the other week. It is an Indian corn welcome sign. They had the corn, husks and signs cut and she glued on pieces of tissue paper to be the kernels and then we decorated the welcome part. It is now on our door. Above is a close up of it.

I will save the rest of our crafts from today for another day. What nature crafts have you been up to? I know I'm finally getting in the fall mood here! And if you want more leaf craft ideas check out these posts (mostly from last autumn)!

Leaves--Crafts & a Story

Today we worked on changing Hazel's seasonal tree to be autumn. We started to hang our salt dough ornaments and I made her a leaf garland. All I did was use thread and a needle to sew some fabric leaves that I bought at the dollar store. Very easy to do and it added much to her tree. It could also be used to decorate a mailbox, mantle, or staircase.
I used those same leaves on a candle I bought at Rite Aid. I took the sticker off and used Mod Podge to stick them on and seal them on. I actually tried with some pressed leaves that I had, but I think they had gotten too dry and pressed because they would not stick well. I love what the leaves add to the candle. Did I mention the fall candles are 50% off this week?

Finally here is another story about Sister Autumn and her leaf fairies. Click on the picture to get the pdf of it.
Happy Autumn!! Enjoy!!

Thanksgiving Crafts, Books and Games

Well this morning we finished our centerpiece turkeys. We got the instructions from Messner Holiday Library Thanksgiving Fun by Judith Hoffman Corwin. It is a book I found at the public library. It had a few crafts I liked but not too many. These turkeys were very easy. You need a toilet paper roll, paper (I used card stock), newspaper and googly eyes and glue (and we used a piece of tape). You could also use paint on the toilet paper roll, but I took the lazy way out and covered it in paper. The toilet paper roll becomes the neck and head. You use a piece of paper rolled with the newspaper stuck inside for stability for the body and cut the tail feathers out of two different colors and add the wings. As you can see Hazel and I had different ideas where the wings should go. Neither of us chose the place the book suggested though Hazel's were closer. Mine are on the body instead of the tail.

Next we read The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri. I used Rachel's squirrel from I HEART CRAFTY THINGS (she shared it at our Sharing Saturday link party, which is still open if you want to share with us). She got the squirrel template from All Kids Network. We decided to gather the same food as the busy little squirrel. So we made a tree trunk for his home and added the food we saw him gather in the book, bird seed, acorns, apples, corn, and berries. The book starts with the leaves are falling so we also glued on some falling leaves. We used real bird seed, acorns and leaves, a Christmas tree ornament apple, and some fall decorations of miniature corn and fake berries.

The next thing we did is we talked about Thanksgiving. I made up some memory games for Thanksgiving. This time I did not put the clear contact paper on them since I don't think they will get played with enough to get that messed up and they are easy enough to make. Hazel is at the age where she doesn't really remember much about Thanksgiving from the past so I thought I could introduce her to the whole story using these cards. Then we could play with them and keep talking about it. I did this in Word and you can download it  Thanksgiving Story Match Game.  If you need another format, please let me know. It is easy to save it as a pdf as well.

I also made a Thanksgiving dinner game, so we could talk about the food she might see at the Thanksgiving table. I figured this might get her excited to try some of it even if she hasn't had it before or didn't like it before. Again I did this in Word and you can download it at Thanksgiving Dinner Match Game Again let me know if you need it in a different format.

To make the game I cut the cards out and cut cardstock into 3 inch by 4 inch rectangles and Hazel and I glue sticked the pictures onto the cardstock.

Pumpkins, Leaves, and Halloween

Today has been one of those days. I knew Hazel would crash and it was just a matter of when. She woke up at 3 a.m. and would not go back to sleep for anything no matter what we tried. It threw us all off for the day. Sure enough I finally convince her to get dressed and go run errands around noon and she falls asleep about five minutes away from home. Needless to say the errands did not get done. So far she has been sleeping for two and a half hours and I slept for about an hour as well. But before she slept we did some crafts.

First we finished up a craft we had started the other day. Hazel wanted to do a craft when I was leaving so I suggested to Steve to paint coffee filters with her watercolor paints. Then we cut them into leaves. I saw the idea at Frugal Family Fun Blog.Then taking the idea from 1+1+1=1, we glued them onto a spiral to look like falling leaves. We also hung some of the leaves on the window to look like stained glass leaves. I love how the light shines through them.
Trick-or-Treat, Smell My Feet!

Hazel as Delia

Next we did some foam activities I had found in the discount bins. Frames and magnets for Halloween. Nothing too exciting. Then we did a cutting activity I saw on Mer Mag.  We started with pumpkins and then did ghosts and witches. We decided the two witches were the witch twins from Trick-or-Treat Smell My Feet! by Lisa Desimini.

Then we cut open our sugar pumpkin. Well we tried to cut open two, but one was not ripe and wouldn't cut. Hazel wanted to see if it had a star inside like the apple. She didn't want to touch all the strings, but loved putting her hands in the bowl of seeds.

We have been reading books about pumpkins. I posted about some from the library previously. We also bought two at a library book sale. The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons which goes into the biology behind growing pumpkins as well as the significance of them in Thanksgiving and Halloween. This book is written so a young child can understand it but also so an older child can get more from it. It includes how to plant pumpkin seeds and how to dry them from your pumpkin to plant them next spring, which we plan to do. We also bought Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington. This is about a young boy planting seeds and caring for the plant until he can harvest his pumpkin and have his parents help him carve it to be a jack-o'-lantern.

The Pumpkin Book
Finally another book to check out is All Hallows Eve: The Story of the Halloween Fairy by Lisa Sterlazza Johnson. It is another version of the pumpkin fairy. Although I like my version better, it is nice to have a story to read to Hazel at this age.

Nature Art and Activities

Hazel's Pine Cone Fairy
Today was a fun packed day at our house. Hazel did not take a nap, so it was also a long day. We started our morning with an early play date, though both kids slept in so it was later than usual. During which we played inside and outside. Hazel wanted to take a walk with her little wagon so she could collect nature treasures. Of course to her all the leaves are treasures so we didn't get very far.

After our playdate Hazel and I headed over to the Farmer's Market. I promised to buy her some apple cider doughnuts and some apple cider. It was the last week of the Farmer's Market in our town, so it was our last chance. Then we came home and had lunch and tried to nap. I almost fell asleep, but apparently Hazel didn't want to and decided she wanted quiet time today instead. Quiet time is at least half an hour of alone time in her room. She can play with her dollhouse or read her books in there, but shouldn't call me unless it is an emergency. She is getting much better at this. I feel it is important for each of us to have a little down time in our day and a change of pace as well as time to be alone.

Acorn and Pinecone Paintings
Then we started to do some crafts. (Well actually I guess we continued to do crafts since we had done some before our playdate this morning.) These crafts however were done in the garage. I would have done them outside, but after our Father's Day experience outside crafts do not work for us. We started with the acorn painting similar to what I saw on Tippytoe Crafts. However I didn't look to see what they did in awhile, so I went with my own intuition. We also did not have many complete acorns so we threw in some pinecones. We put a piece of white paper in a shirt box and then dipped acorns, acorn caps, and pinecones into fall colored paints. The result was interesting.

Hazel's Fall Treasure Wreath
My First Nature Person
Next we took some of those leaves, pinecones, flowers, acorns (well mostly caps) and glued them onto paper and a cut paper plate wreath.

My Maple Leaf Fairy
Our Oak Leaf Fairy
Then we decided to make leaf people which we then made into leaf fairies. Oh, and Hazel decided to use a pinecone instead of a leaf for one of them.

Then Hazel really wanted to go dig in the garden, so I let her. Yesterday she got to dig to help plant fall bulbs. And I was very glad she wasn't worried about getting dirty like she use to be.

Hazel's Digging Adventure

After digging, we decided to try some more painting. This time we used flowers, leaves and anything we could find as our brushes. We had a great time. Hazel got sick of the flowers, etc. and decided to use her fingers and hands.
Choosing a flower
Dipping it
The Result of Flower Painting
Painting with her hands

Her hands and painting
While she had her hands in the paint I pulled out more fall colored paper and got her to do her handprints for handprint turkey cards for Thanksgiving. I will stash them away for a bit. Then I hosed her off. She somehow ended up with orange paint in her hair. It was definitely a bath night tonight. We did some more painting and crafts, but we will safe those for another post. I figured while she was already dirty to do footprint paintings too. They are our Halloween cards. I'll share our Halloween crafts tomorrow.