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
    KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
  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.

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Conker games

Whenever we go somewhere we MUST collect something. My pockets are full of stones, acorns, berries and conkers, just to mention a few. One day we visited Margaret-island (a small island on the River Danube, Budapest) and managed to collect tons of different fruit of various trees and bushes.

Rose hips, conkers, sycamore “rotors”, pine cones, acorns, London plane seed balls, wild pear, seed pods of China tree

 

So during E.’s nap time I put together this tray of all kinds of fruits and a magnifying glass. As soon as she discovered the tray she eagerly examined their texture, the surface and the inside of the fruit.

We collected a full bag of conkers and pine cones, half of which we took to E.’s kindergarten. The other half of cones we’ll use for decoration and Christmas ornaments (see a later post) and the conkers we’ve used to play games with.

Counting conkers
 
 

I put the conkers in a woven basket and placed the number cards on the table. E. needed to put the right number of conkers below the cards.

When we played this game we’d just returned home from the nursery and changed languages. You can hear in this video how she is mixing English and Hungarian, and also, me asking back “Sorry?” all the time in a silly way 😉

I’ve found a super-cute squirrel grid game on prekinders.com and although we didn’t have enough acorns or walnuts that squirrels love eating, we used our conkers as manipulatives for this game.

How does the game go?

E., Daddy and myself played so I printed 3 copies of the squirrel grid (of 20 squirrel) and put LOADS of conkers in a bowl. You’ll need a game die. Of course, the youngest starts the game, throws the game die and identifies the number on it. The player then needs to place the same number of conkers on the grid. We take turns and the winner is who finishes the grid first. (You can play it as an addition game with 2 dice if your child is older. If he/she is younger, you can use a special die with only 1-2-3 on it)

I’ll be the winner, not you Daddy.
Mind you! Conkers are slightly toxic, so it’s better to know that just a very few animals can eat it (like deer), but people and squirrels never.

 Name written in conkers

I prepared my daughter’s name, each letter on a different piece of paper. First, she put the letters in the right order, then following the lines of the letters, she placed the conkers along the lines.

 Krokotak conker mushrooms

What you need:

  • conkers
  • acorns
  • play dough

Not as good-looking as the original idea, but they represent our family: E. mushroom, Daddy mushroom and Mommy mushroom. (from right to left)

Last year we did some conker threading after making a whole on the conkers with the help of a screwdriver. If you haven’t had enough of conkers, check it out.

What do you play with at autumn time? Share with me in the comments.

Some more autumn crafts

As I said before I love autumn. Not only is it beautiful but also gives us a lot to talk about and plenty of opportunities to be creative.

Here come our new projects concerning autumn:

  • Very Hungry Caterpillar out of conkers and dried orange slices (googly eyes, pipe cleaners and glue sticks). 

I made holes in the conkers with a screwdriver
threading the conker

then the orange slice
gluing the eyes on

caterpillar heads

caterpillar bodies

Let’s make them friends
  •  Autumn Nature Hunt – one day when we came home from the nursery I’d packed a bucket for E. to be able to collect whatever she found on the way home. (More simple picking and collecting whatever we find; not as directed and focused as the Tray Nature Hunt we did in the spring)

The next day we were sorting, grouping and naming them:

end result

playing with autumn shadows

We covered a great number of autumn vocabulary (leaves, trees, berries, colours – just to list few topics), and also the process of sticking, gluing, sprinkling, threading. I’ve just realised that E. is more and more interested in short craft projects and it means a lot of language input. We won’t stop. I’ll come back with more.