Bushy tailed squirrel

We’ve been collecting a lot of autumn leaves and fruit so it would have been a pity to let them go waste. I found a really nice squirrel template online so the idea came: we should decorate the squirrel’s tail with these dry autumn goodies.

What you need:PICT0006

  • bushy-tailed squirrel template
  • glue
  • shredded leaves (other flat autumn fruit like Norway maple fruit)
  • brown crayon or coloured pencil
  • 1 googly eye
  • a black or brown pom-pom

How to make it:

The dry leaves we shredded and the Norway maple’s paired samara fruit was used as it was found. You can prepare it before hand but you can do it with your little one.

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  1. I prepared a squirrel as an example
  2. E. coloured the body of the squirrel
  3. She glued on the googly eye and the pom-pom nose
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  4. She glued on the samara fruit first
  5. She glued the rest of the tail and sprinkled the dry leaf flakes on the glue
  6. She swept off the excessPICT0024

Artwork is done 🙂

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Crafty Mommy Workshop – Autumn

After a lot of thinking and preparation I managed to hold my very first Crafty Mommy Workshop with Autumn crafts and activities.

Quite a few moms have asked me about the activities we’ve been doing with E. since she was small, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a craft session for mommies (instead of telling everyone separately).

The workshop was in Hungarian as English-speaking moms didn’t sign up 😞. The main idea was that moms could learn some easy to make activities and at home they can work them out with their kids.

I collected autumn activities around 5 major topics:

  • Conkers
  • Leaves and trees
  • Halloween
  • St. Martin’s Day (Márton nap)
  • Thanksgiving

I dedicated 1 hour to go through the activities, however, they proved to be too many as we couldn’t cover the last 2 topics. Still, I hope the 2 moms who turned up (other 2 cancelled 😞) will benefit from what they heard at the workshop.

The original ideas of these activities are either from other blogger moms or mine. I mainly came up with  the conker games but here I’d also like to pay tribute to the pages I read and “steal” ideas from:

 

Leaves and tree activities:

  1. Paint and stamp with the leaves
  2. Paint around the leaf
  3. Laminated leaf rubbing (or just place leaves under a white sheet of paper and rub it with autumn colour crayons)
  4. Leaf lacing
    Although I didn’t print the free printable leaves, just used our laminated leave that I’d punched on the sides. Shoelaces are pretty good for threading, but if your child has any difficulties with the small ending you can add some cell tape to make the end firmer.

  5. Make leaf faces and  people out of (laminated) leaves

  6. Leaf shred pictures autumn images and animals too
  7. Count the leaves with free printable
  8. Stamping leaves on a tree with toilet paper roll
  9. Popsicle stick tree
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  10. Make a hedgehog/squirrel with leaves

What else to do with leaves:

  • collect them
  • group them by their size, colour
  • make them stand in a line from the biggest to the smallest
  • paint them, colour them, trace them
  • press them
  • make a crown out of fresh autumn leaves

The participants got a nice pack of goodies to work with at home, like 10 laminated leaves, a punched leaf with a shoelace for the lacing, some magnets so they can stick the leaf faces/people on the fridge, popsicle sticks, squirrel/hedgehog templates and the counting leaves free printable.The third topic we could cover was Halloween. Here are the crafts I showed to the moms:

  1. Cotton ball ghost
  2. Baby food jar mummies (I’ll soon write a post on this in detail)
  3. Jack-o-lantern faces with shapes
  4. Pumpkin emotions
  5. Toilet paper spiders, monsters with googly eyes 
  6. Skeleton out of cotton buds

In the mommy package there were some toilet paper tubes, googly eyes, black pipe cleaners, cotton balls, baby food jar, a roll of gauze, black cardboard, orange construction paper and, of course, two printables: the black shapes for making Jack-o-lantern faces and the pumpkin faces showing different emotions.The other topics were postponed and due to the lack of time we agreed to have a similar session with winter and Christmas activities. We had a wonderful time together and I’ve been planning our next session excitedly.

Treetop painting with corks

After playing outside and observing the autumn leaves I prepared an easy, colourful painting activity for E.

 

While doing it with our Canadian nanny, V., we were revising the autumn colours and talked about why leaves change colours in the autumn.

So after snack time when our nanny, V. arrived they sat down together to start painting.
(I didn’t prepare much for this activity. I just put out the paint – orange, yellow, red, and brown -. a palette and two sheets of paper with a bare tree drawn on them. I forgot to take a “before” photo. 😒)

The painting could start. E. squirted the paints on the palette, which is a great activity to strengthen the muscles in her hands).

Each colour had its own cork.

They made dots on the branches.

Autumn leaves are falling down.

Using both sides of the cork is rather messy…

 

End results…

Can you guess which one is E.’s  painting? Just after having finished, E. said something about the wind and tons of leaves and was smudging brown paint all over her tree top. Well… no comment 😜

Popsicle tree

Since autumn arrived we have been collecting leaves, talking about why leaves change colours and why they fall down. We’ve been hugging trees, examining their bark, trying to climb up on them, just to mention a few tree related activities. Outside.

When the weather got really rainy I thought I would bring the tree activities inside. That was when I introduced the popsicle tree activity to E.

What you need:

  • 20-30-40 popsicle sticks (wooden spatulas can be bought at the chemists for 500 HUF – less than 2 euros – but in hobby stores they can be found too)
  • collected leaves (or felt leaves)
  • conkers, acorns or any other nuts
  • felt animals like hedgehog, any kind of bird, squirrel etc.
How we played:
I gave E. the bag which I collected all the goodies in and I showed her how to build a tree. I just started and she took the lead.
While doing it we were talking about the different parts of the tree (tree top, branches, leaves, trunk, bark, roots). Also we mentioned what we can see in the tree top in different seasons. (green leaves in the spring, fruits in the summer, bare branches and yellow leaves in the autumn, nothing in the winter).
She placed the leaves very accurately.
Then some conkers and a squirrel…

After a while I couldn’t hold Baby Sis back and she came to “destroy” E.’s tree. There was some screaming and “don’t touch it” but not much playing together. E. gave L. a conker to play with but I had take it away from L. as it was too small (and I wanted to avoid ER at all cost) E. tried to give Baby Sis a laminated leaf but she wasn’t interested. Baby Sis wanted the popsicle sticks, which meant the end of the tree.

“Noooooooo”
After a while E. gave up  (got a little offended) and turned away from us to build a house instead out of the popsicle sticks.

 

E. was so uninterested at the end that only Baby Sis helped me pack away. At least we practised “put it in” with her.

As you can see life and activities with 2 kids are quite a challenge. I keep trying but success is still far away…

Anyways, I’m thinking of adding some brown yarn or thin ribbons to create the roots. We’ll try again next year when Baby Sis might not want to “destroy” but rather want to build.

Stomp on the grapes

Harvest season is here and E. was very disappointed that she couldn’t take part in the grapes pressing/wine making fun at the kindergarten. Challenge accepted. We’ll press grapes juice here at home in the traditional way.

In the morning we went to the market and bought, among other foodstuff, 2 kilos of grapes (Szaszla).

We washed them together and put them in a big plastic basin.

I also prepared for her a smaller bowl of water for rinsing her feet and a towel too and waited for V., our new nanny, to arrive.

At first, she was hesitant and  didn’t want to step in. Then she did and started to cry a little. She had ambivalent feelings concerning the experience, the feeling on her feet. She got out of the basin.

So Baby Sis gave it a try too.

After some pressure and reassurance, she tried it again and this was the time when she started to enjoy it. And she stomped and stomped and stomped like a dinosaur. She clawed some of the grapes from the sides and stomped some more.

 

 

She got the hang of it and she was even willing to sing the grapes song she’d learnt in the kindergarten.

E. tried the freshly pressed grape juice but it won’t be her favourite refreshment.

We need to do this again with more preparation from my side and some more harvest activities to follow. Maybe next year when Baby Sis can join in more actively.