After Halloween is over and the spooky decorations come down, kids can often feel as though all the fun has gone out of fall and early winter. If this has happened in your household, don’t worry; there are plenty of Autumn and Thanksgiving-themed crafts your kids can make to decorate the house with and feel as though the seasonal fun is still continuing.
Stamping is a great way to liven up plain paper and crafts from scrapbooks to banners. Take it a step further by gathering up some typical fall items to use as your stamp, rather than using the expensive rubber stamps you can find at the craft store. Autumn items that make great stamps include:
Apple halves, which showcase a star on the inside
Pinecones, which can be rolled across a page for a unique pattern
Have your kids gather a variety of different fall leaves and arrange them on top of a sheet of paper. Encourage them to create leaf scenes, leaf animals, and leaf people out of them, and then lay a second sheet of paper on top. Tape down the edges of the second sheet so it doesn’t move, and have your kids rub the side of a crayon over the entire sheet to reveal the images of the leaves underneath. Once you’ve made one or two, experiment with using different colors on the same sheet to create various effects.
Gather the largest pinecones you can find (these are also available at craft stores), along with a range of different found objects and craft items you already have on hand such as felt, buttons, wire, feathers, glue, and paint. Now decorate the pinecones to look like a fat Thanksgiving turkey. Paint the spines of the pinecone to look like feathers, glue bunches of feathers onto the back for a tail, and use the buttons, felt, and wire to create details like feet, eyes, comb, and wattle. Display your finished creations as the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table, or pop them around the house in unexpected places so that guests can catch their eyes when they come to visit.
Pumpkin carving provides great Halloween memories for children and parents alike. Today’s pumpkin carving tools – available in most grocery and dollar stores – make the process even easier and more fun.
Here are a few pumpkin-carving tips when working with children.
Stay age-appropriate. For very little ones, have them draw the face on the pumpkin for an adult to carve. Or you may not even carve the pumpkin at all – instead use a set of colored sharpies to let children draw jack-o-lantern faces. This is particularly fun for them with the little desk-sized pumpkins.
Share the fun. If possible, let every child have his or her own pumpkin. If that gets too expensive, have one child decide on the eyes, another the nose or mouth, etc. so that everyone has a part in the final product.
Stay safe. Keep sharp knives away from children. Instead of lighting a candle for inside the pumpkin, pick up an LED votive candle for flameless light.
The photo on the right shows another fun craft for Halloween. Cut heavy paper into strips – with decorative scissors if you have them although plain strips will also work. Create a pumpkin shape and staple or glue in place. Top with green paper leaves and some curly ribbon.
Black construction paper can be cut into bat and cat shapes for walls and windows. Bend the bats so they look like they might fly away before tacking to a wall or door.
One other simple craft approach – using leaves – is easy to create but can provide intriguing and dramatic results as you can see in the photo to the left. Cut out scary faces with scissors when leaves are fresh and then let dry in a book to keep them flat. You can tape the final results to your windows to make your home look extra spooky and interesting this Halloween.
Halloween is a great time to get the family together to make decorations for your home during the season. Explore Pinterest and the Internet for other fun ideas for crafts that will help you make Halloween extra special.