Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Autumn Crafts!

Last week at Little ARTventurers our theme was "Autumn" - I am a huge fan of autumn crafts and our kitchen is already covered in them!

I asked all of the children to collect some autumn leaves and bring them to the session - we then tipped them all out into the middle of our circle and the kids loved showing each other the leaves that they'd brought and rustling them around.

Then we created some autumn art using some of our leaves......

We made Autumn Tree collages - this was great fun! I'd drawn a tree trunk outline on a large piece of coloured card for each child and had also pre-cut some tissue paper leaves in autumny colours. The children had loads of fun gluing and sticking the leaves they'd collected onto the tree together with the tissue paper leaves, they looked fantastic. Lots of glue was needed and we pressed each leaf down well to make sure it was stuck down (I use glue sticks in my session as they are so easy for the littlest children to grip hold of and use but PVA might work best). We finished with a good old sprinkle of gold glitter!

We also used our leaves for leaf printing. I've done this activity many times before but it isn't always the most succesful, especially for toddlers. This time I revised my technique and we made the prints using rolling pins which was lots of fun and worked really well. We painted the leaves first them places them flat down on the paper. We then popped a piece of newspaper over the top and then rolled over the top with a rolling pin - then peeled the leaves off to reveal the prints. Like I said, the prints came out really well......

We also made scarecrows on sticks (very cute!) - a really simple activity but took a bit of prep. Basically I cut out all of the pieces - the scarecrow head, jacket, hands and drew the face on. The children then stuck it together and added texture through the buttons and hair (I found adding a hat made him too top heavy and floppy). And then we stuck the scarecrows onto sticks. The children really seemed to love them - we ended the session with a game of Musical Scarecrows!

I also run a Saturday art club for older children and I found it tricky to find autumn crafts that weren't going to be too "babyish" for them. However one autumn activity that did go down well with them was doing some linear autumn leaf drawings. I had pre cut some leaf shapes which they drew round on a large piece of paper (or they could just draw their own leaf shapes) - making the outline in thick black marker. They then drew in the veins of the leaf using the marker, taking the lines right to the edge of the leaf to divide it up into different sections. I then asked them to use lines and patterns (no shading) to fill in each section of the leaves. Some of them did find this quite challenging - thinking of different combinations of colour, lines and pattern to fill each space. We finished the pictures by drawing energy lines around the leaves themselves. I think the finished results look great, really effective!!

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