Dried, brightly-coloured leaves

Autumn & Halloween craft ideas for toddlers

Autumn is my favourite time of year! Actually, I think I say that at the start of every season, maybe I just love seasons in general! Anyway, I’ve taken the half-term week off work and this morning have been compiling a list of things I want to do that week with my 18-month-year old, including some crafting sessions that I’ve been getting prepped for.

This is by no means a big, long list of really fancy and item-heavy ideas. I always try to keep things easy, simple, not too structured or complex (appropriate for his age) and on the low-cost side. I thought I’d share what we have planned in case it offers any inspiration for parents with a similarly-aged child.

The small-print stuff… check that items are age-appropriate for your child, watch out for choking-hazards, ensure you wash hands after handling leaves, and all that jazz! The below examples have been perfect for my 18-year-old who has himself outgrown his paint-eating, pen-lid-swallowing desires!

Leaf rubbing

Collect some leaves a week in advance and press them in a book or within paper so that they dry flat. Leaves with lots of textures work the best. Then purchase some jumbo crayons and plain white paper and you’re good to go for leaf rubbing!

Leaf decorating & painting

Using the same leaves, you can then decorate them with felt pens, paints or poster/paint sticks. I’m obsessed with the latter, they’re great for small toddlers, relatively mess-free and easy to grip. The Little Brian ones were recommended to me and you can get a giant tub for £12.99 on Amazon. You could string the final creations together to make a garland (the leaves not the pens, haha).

Pumpkin & squash painting

We’re going to purchase small pumpkins and squashes from local farms over the next couple of weeks and then decorate them with paint, paint sticks and glitter and put them around the house as decorations. An onion squash is cheap and looks like a small pumpkin! For children who are a bit older, you could ask them to write directly onto the pumpkin, words that are ‘Autumnal’ or some of their favourite Autumn memories or things.

Home-made pumpkin apple stamps

Something a little more structured. Halve apples (maybe leave them to dry out for an hour or so), dip them in orange paint, then use them as a stamp to create the shape of a pumpkin on card or paper. Leave to dry, then use felt pens and sticky-eyes to decorate the shapes into pumpkins.

Unstructured, messy creating time!

The last idea and what will inevitably be our favourite – just something a little less controlled. Haul some Halloween craft things from Hobbycraft or other (we have spooky stickers, orange and purple paper and pictures of leaves cut-out from old gardening magazines). Leave these out with pots of paint and pens, roll out a giant piece of white paper or card on the floor and let your kids go crazy with no rules and no plan. The least fancy-looking final result but undoubtedly the most fun!

Enjoy your lead up to Halloween and share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram!

Photo by Jeremy Thomas (Unsplash)

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