It’s nearly October half term – eek – and we’re still recovering from the six-week summer holiday that was only five minutes ago. It’s not surprising then that lots of parents have run out of fun things to do with the kids. Luckily, autumn lends itself to various activities that are perfect when cries of “I’m bored” begin.
The great thing about leaf printing is that it combines the outdoors with the indoors. Wrap up warm and go for a walk collecting leaves. As many different shapes and sizes the better. Then come back and refuel with hot chocolate before painting the leaves and pressing them onto sheets of paper or fabric.
Follow the advice of The Imagination Tree and paint the leaves with brushes instead of dipping them directly in the paint. This should cut down on the mess and bring out the veins in the prints. You don’t have to stick to one colour either, so the kids can mix up their favourites to make really jazzy leaf prints.
Cardboard tube firework painting
It’s great to get creative around festivals and in autumn, there’s loads of choice. Bonfire Night is a brilliant inspiration that can lead to loads of crafts. You can do them in the run-up to the event to get everyone excited or make the memories last longer with some messy fun.
There’s always cardboard tubes knocking around the house from kitchen or loo roll, so put them to good use, with this simple painting technique. Mum in the Madhouse shows just how easy it is to cut slits around the end to dip into paint to make exciting firework explosion pictures.
The kids always want to do some baking, but it can turn into a mess or a stress when they start to lose interest and the recipe’s still not finished. Pick something easy that gives good results quickly, like pancakes. They can be whipped up in minutes without too much fuss and as long as you’ve got a good non-stick pan, there’ll be hardly any washing up either.
Get cosy with Gourmet Mum’s recipe for apple pancakes that includes warming ingredients like cinnamon and brown sugar. Then let them loose with a whole load of toppings. These could include, fruit, syrup, nuts and whipped cream depending on how many half term treats they’ve already had that day.
Hot chocolate in the woods
Taking the kids for a walk in the woods is a pretty effective way to get them to blow off some steam, but sometimes it can be hard to persuade them. Make up a batch of yummy hot chocolate and the smell will quickly draw them to the kitchen. Pop it in a drinks flask and head out the door with your kids in tow.
If you follow this recipe from the Petite Cook, then there will be no need to convince them to come with you. It’s thick and tempting and they will be trudging happily through the woods with you in no time, looking forward to cracking that flask open.
Homemade natural paints
When you think of autumn, it’s probably the colours that jump to mind. You can explore these with your kids by more than just pointing them out or collecting different leaves. Way back before artificial pigments were developed, paints were made from natural ingredients, so there’s no reason why you can’t make your own.
From flowers and grass to berries and rosehips, there’s loads of natural colours around at this time of year. Activity Village has some useful tips on how to get the colours out of all the lovely plants and things you’ve collected.