Autumn in Cambridge is gorgeous and this autumn is even better than normal because it’s so lovely and warm! This past Tuesday we had a bit of a treat with the teachers strike which meant a random home day with all the kiddies. Now, before you start to think I’m one of those mothers who’s brilliant at being earthy and coming up with wonderful creative stuff, I need to tell you 2 important things.
1) This so called “treat” day started terribly. By 11am, everyone had been on the naughty step at least once and the dominant emotion in the house was rage.
2) All of these crafts were thought of by other people. There is nothing original in what I’m about to share.
Ok, so now that’s all out there, I can get on with sharing what we got up to. I have to say we had lots of fun and it’ll be a day I remember forever (in a good way!) Before we left the house I had a look on Pinterest and found some cool crafts that we could get stuck into but to do them we needed supplies, conkers, acorn hats and lots of autumnal leaves.
So, at 11am, when everyone was on the verge of total meltdown, I finally hauled us all into our big box-bike and headed off for the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge. As soon as they were outside in the fresh air and cruising around in the bike, they stopped fighting and started chatting and giggling and plotting our adventures.
On arrival we decided to collect our supplies as secret agents which involved a lot of rather embarrassing (for me, the adult…) hiding behind bushes and whispering loudly, to be careful. We found lots of cool looking leaves, twigs, pine needles and acorn hats but no conkers, so we packed up our goodies, had some lunch and a play and set off on the hunt for conkers.
We eventually found an amazing hoard on a local road and filled up the bike with some beautiful conkers.
When we eventually got home and put Izzy down for a nap, the crafts finally began.
1) Leaf Creatures
These are really easy, all you need is some good flattish leaves, card to stick them to (we used an old cut-up cornflake box and a regular card board box as the colours were quite autumnal), PVA glue, poster paints or felt tip pens and paint brushes (although you can use your fingers too!) All you do is stick the leaves onto the card and add the features to your little creatures. Here are the kids efforts…
Sam made the leaf monster of many faces (left) and the leaf creatures on the right and Maisie made the top creative masterpiece!
These are brilliant and again, really simple. all you do is cut some strips of coloured tissue paper and glue the very top of the strips to each other like this;
Then make a hole in a conker (I used a BBQ skewer) fill the hole with glue and poke the tissue paper into the holes. Wait about half an hour for them to dry and then you can have competitions to see who can throw them the furthest. They’re pretty satisfying to throw and go pretty far!
Acorn Hat Jewels
These were the least successful of our efforts but still pretty fun. What you’re supposed to do is use a felt tip pen to colour the inside of the hat and then put a little bit of PVA glue in the hat and leave it to dry overnight. I did eventually read the instructions but think I used too much felt-tip colour in the hat. Just use a little colour and it will bleed prettily into the glue. What I did before reading the instructions was mix some poster paint with some glue and add glitter. Still looks quite pretty though.
You can see all the original inspirations and get some more ideas by going to my Pinterest board.