When thinking of fall craft projects do you think of those boring coloring page pictures of a squirrel picking acorns among leaves. The entire fall craft is to color in the leaves in fall colors. Another classic, copycat autumn crafts project is a pumpkin. Again usually a pumpkin picture downloaded from the web.
Fall art projects can be very creative using fall colored materials. I use these type of collage ideas throughout the year and they are applicable to different units, seasons and holidays.
Please be aware that these were not done by 3 and 4 yr olds but were done by 6 and 7 yr olds. It is very important to be know that collages are wonderful but, very young children are not up to making very representational looking collages. When they begin their collages they are usually messes as they usually slap things down on top of each other. Kids in the younger age groups are learning the mechanics of glue and paper and are not thinking in a very developed fashion.
If they are allowed to collage freely from the time they are very young then they will be able to produce more sophisticated work as they get older.
The type of collage I have here is what I call “art collages”. In this case an autumn art collage. The art collages are collages that are based on inspiration from the real world. I choose some pictures with the theme the children are going to collage and I hang up the pictures for them to see. If its a transportation unit, I may hang up many different types of modes of transportation like planes, ships, cars, buses etc.
In this case I collected some fall pictures from some calendars that I got from a calender company. I called up the company and asked them if they have any old calendars that they are not using anymore. I told them I was an art teacher and need them for inspiration. They sent me two entire boxes of old calendars. If you you wanted you could order calendars like these Autumn in Vermont Wall Desk Fine Art Books and Calendars.
It’s always a good idea to put up many pictures so the children will not think that they have to make a specific type of picture. Al this does is give the children a basic idea of the theme and what they may want to use the materials for.
Below are some images of the pictures I showed the children here before the activity but in retrospect, they could have been better samples. You can find lots of pictures online and if you have a color printer, then just print them out, the more the better.Pinterest is a great resource)
Explain to the children that they are in no way expected to copy these pictures, they are there just to give them some ideas.
To give the picture a beginning, I offer the children various tree trunks. I made a few fatter, some skinnier and short and long ones all to give more choices. I did give them brown trunks but, you can also give them black and other dark colors.
The children were told to decide if they wanted to make a picture with one large trunk, 2, or a few smaller ones and to choose what they would need to being their pictures.
The next step was for them to choose the materials they would use in addition to the trunks. Of course, they did not have to make a picture with trunks. If these are really young children, just by having trunks and fall color materials the pictures will look like a fall art picture. Even if they just put all the materials on top of each other it will still give a fall illusion.
The children were then told to choose their materials from an array of materials(cafeteria style)that they would use to create their fall art projects.
I made sure to choose materials that were suggestive of what they could make, like crafts sticks and cotton balls and of course fall color materials. I used fall colored tissue paper, cellophane paper, fall colored construction paper etc.
Anything in fall colors will go.
I usually give the children tagboard to work on as it is thicker than construction paper and in this case I gave them the larger size in white.
Above you can see some of the beautiful creations and you can see that it is one of the most easy fall crafts projects that encourages great creativity in creating the collage on the children’s part.
Just a quick note: If you would be looking for fall crafts for toddlers this would probably not be a good project for them. The best thing for toddlers is for them to paste and paint and glue and color and do only process only art.(chalk art activities are great for toddlers).
With toddlers you can give them a bunch of pieces of paper that are the colors of fall. Have them collage with them and then title it on top “My Fall Collage” It will look very beautiful and it is probably the best type of fall craft project you can give for very young children.
Another simple fall crafts idea:
During the fall season it is a great time to add all sorts of outdoorsy fall leaves andr fall nature objects into art activities.
The activity below does not only have to be done in the Fall, but since Fall is tree time, you can concentrate on trees in your art activities in many activities that can be done with kids.
The way we did this activity is a follows.
We took the children on a nature walk to collect all kinds of leaves.
(If that is not possible due to where you live, then if you can, you can bring in a whole bunch of leaves for the children to work with.)
We showed the children how to do the rubbings.They turned the leaves over backwards and placed a paper over each leaf and using an unpeeled crayon rubbed the leaves until the shapes and its veins showed through.
You can give the children either colored construction paper as seen above or plain white computer paper. (Computer paper is thinner)
We had them cut out the leaves.
We presented them with a choice of trunks to use.(You can use different brown and black materials for this, it does not have to only be the types I offered in the image below).
We gave the children a piece of tag board and had them paste the tree trunks they chose onto the tag board. They then used the leaves they cut out to decorate their trees along with some of the real leaves.
You can also give them other materials to add to their trees. String. buttons, pieces of felt or anything else you can think of that would work with trees.
There are many, many ways to do activities with leaves. It happens to be that Fall is the time when most do them. I did a much more recent activity with some children in a school I teach in that just used the leaves as a template. This leaf art was one activity and then another time we made leaf people.
If you like the activities here, please share 🙂