Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall Fun for the Entire Family

Before the fall leaves have turned brown, be sure to play with them:

-Make leaf rubbings. You'll need very fresh, moist tree leaves or other plant leaves, a hammer, and pieces of muslin. Lay your piece of muslin down on a piece of paper, taping it down around the edges with masking tape. Lay your leaf down on top of the piece of muslin, and place a thin piece of paper over top of it (scrap will do). Pound the leaf with the hammer evenly over the entire leaf. This will transfer the leaf shape and color to the piece of muslin, so make sure to pound it all! Afterwards, you can glue the muslin to a piece of cardboard-framing it with a colorful mat if you wish. Note: I like to put a piece of scrap wood under the paper and cloth before pounding just to make sure it doesn't leave marks on my counter or table.

-Chop your fall leaves up with the lawn mower and use as a free winter mulch for your flower beds and throw some in the compost pile if you have one.

-Stuff a scarecrow with leaves instead of straw. Tie off the ends of the shirt and pants with jute (twine), and make a head of plain muslin-stuff them very tightly and leave a few showing for a fun touch.

~Create centerpieces by lining wicker baskets with leaves and filling with gourds, pine cones and other seedpods, or place a mum plant in a basket and surround with leaves.

-Have the kids gather leaves, and they can make a big collage on a piece of poster board. This won't be a "keeper" art project, but they will have a great time collecting, designing and gluing the leaves. Hang it up for the season, be sure to take a picture for them too.
Slip in some educational fun by having them identify each leaf!


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