autumn art projects

I love this time of year. The change of season is always refreshing to me. And the autumn colors against the brilliant blue sky is breathtaking to me. One of my favorite things is to find ways to bring nature indoors as well as create with my kids. I think it's important for them to create, but I also find it's an essential outlet for me personally! Here are a few projects we have enjoyed doing. 

 

Leaves on Trees: 

 

 Hanging in our classroom. 

Hanging in our classroom. 

We went out and collected leaves, then we pressed them by placing a paper towel inside one of our favorite big books. We pressed them overnight. 

 

 

 I love pressing flowers, leaves, you name it. 

I love pressing flowers, leaves, you name it. 

One of the best parts of this little project was getting out the magnifying glass and letting the boys examine the leaves beautiful veins and colors closely. Nature is so intricate and beautiful! And taking time to really appreciate it is so important to me.

 

 

 Magical! 

Magical! 

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Then we simply glued the leaves on the trees I drew on a roll of paper. My boys love using glue. I try to guide them but not tell them exactly where to place things. That's creative space we all need!

 

Pumpkin Spice Play Dough:

 

I have lost track how many hours the boys have spent playing with this pumpkin spice play dough. They love it. They normally enjoy play dough, but they have never spent this much time playing with it before. It has even been their after school exciting activity.

 

 Those hands are so precious to me! 

Those hands are so precious to me! 

I got this recipe from tinkerlab.com. Such a great resource! This recipe works incredibly well. We did our own spice blend. I let the boys combine to (almost) their heart's content! (Not completely, though because if I would have done that they would have used up all my ingredients)!

 

Supplies

  • 5 cups water
  • 2½ cups salt
  • 3 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 10 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 5 cups flour
  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice, or a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom

Steps

  1. Mix everything but the food coloring together in a large pot until somewhat smooth. It will be lumpy. Not to worry, the dough will get smoother as it cooks.
  2. Cook the dough over a low heat. Mix frequently. The water will slowly cook out of the mixture and you’ll notice it starts to take on a sticky dough appearance.
  3. Keep mixing until the edges of the dough along the side and bottom of the pan appear dry. Pinch a piece of dough. If it’s not gooey, the dough is ready.
  4. Place the dough on a counter top or large cutting board or cooking tray that can withstand a little food coloring.
  5. Knead the warm dough until it’s smooth and then divide it into the number of colors that you’d like to make. We divided our in half: one orange and the other white.
  6. Flatten the ball, add a little bit of food coloring, and knead it in. Add more food coloring to get the desired shade.
  7. Store the dough in a large Ziplock bag or sealed container. Unused, it’ll keep for months.
 Matthew giving Abe a taste. 

Matthew giving Abe a taste. 

Playdough is such a great medium for kids to create, increase fine motor skills, invent, etc.  

 

 We are all about spices in our family. We love them. We start our kids off eating and smelling spices as babies--I think it's wonderful for their development. 

We are all about spices in our family. We love them. We start our kids off eating and smelling spices as babies--I think it's wonderful for their development. 

And to just play. 

 They pulled out all he tools they could imagine and laughed and created for almost two hours the day we made it!

They pulled out all he tools they could imagine and laughed and created for almost two hours the day we made it!

 Love this scene. 

Love this scene. 

Fall Trees & Pointalism: 

I love art. Each birthday or special occasion Jeremiah knows a new painting is my thing. And someday I'd love to paint more myself. For now, I work on projects like these!

 

 

 

 And seriously, those hands!! These are either going to go in the classroom or on the fridge...I haven't decided which!

And seriously, those hands!! These are either going to go in the classroom or on the fridge...I haven't decided which!

First off I talked to the boys about pointalism and showed them a few paintings by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. I think their art is beautiful. The. we got out the Chinet solid white paper plates and some cardstock, watercolors, and Q-tips. Since we didn't have any brown cardstock for the tree trunks, we used blue! I cut out tree trunks and glued them on the paper plates. Then the creating began. 

 

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It was so much fun. Abe even made an owl on his! Oh, how I love creating with my boys! Happy creating to you! xo