Despite Summer’s almost universal appeal,
there really is something magical about the approach of autumn. The weather
cools, the days get shorter, the leaves on the trees change color, and all of
nature seems to take a deep breath in preparation for the onset of winter.
And jackets, I love jacket weather.
Typically when people think of DIY they think of a garage full of tools, installing sliding door hardware to the living room or just building something ingenious like turning a dresser into something much more. DIY projects can be so much more than just furniture building (even if that is the most popular type of DIY) During the fall however, there are endless possibilities for family oriented DIY projects.
Historically, humankind has taken its cue from the world around them, using Fall as a time of harvest and preparation, so that everything will be ready once the frigid temperatures of year’s end arrive. As a result, a few harvest-themed holidays have developed to coincide with this season of transition. You can help your family get into the festiveness of the Fall-holiday season, by joining them in some fun, Autumn-centered crafts and projects. Here are five ideas to help you get starte
1. Build a Scarecrow Lawn Display
Scarecrows remain one of the most popular fall symbols. Perhaps because these straw-stuffed figures resemble human beings in appearance, every scarecrow possesses truly unique qualities, giving them a ‘personality’ all their own. Building a scarecrow lawn display with kids offers a way for young people to demonstrate creativity while learning cooperation. With a few old clothes, safety pins, a disposable sheet, some straw, some twine, and a glue gun, your family can assemble a magnificent fall lawn scene. Rip the sheet in half and center one part inside a long-sleeved shirt. Then stuff straw inside, to push the sheet through the collar and form a face. Add straw inside the torso and sleeves. Tie off the ends of the sleeves with twine and pin on a pair of straw-stuffed mittens. Place straw in some discarded jeans and secure this section to the torso with pins. Use the glue gun to tighten down fabric and add some facial features and/or accessories. Many people include a pipe and a straw hat to complete the display. This project requires a lot of hands to finish. It proves helpful to assign every child an age-appropriate task, so that everyone makes a contribution. You might also consider including a long firm stake and a broom, to help secure the scarecrow in an upright position. On the other hand, by propping the scarecrow up against a bale of hay (or two), you’ll be incorporating even more harvest imagery into your scene.
2. Assemble a Plaster Cast Leaf Collection
Another fun family project involves taking a stroll together through a park and collecting interesting fallen leaves. Save them in a bag or shoe box.
When you get home, place each leaf carefully inside a greased saucer. Add plaster of Paris and permit the mixture to harden. You should obtain a detailed cast showing leaf veins and other interesting features. When it dries, your kids will enjoy painting these items. Display them around the house to help usher in the season.
3. Prepare a Tasty Pumpkin Dish (or Two)
Select a pumpkin dish, such as pumpkin pudding, pumpkin cookies, or pumpkin loaf. Have fun preparing your treat together. Allow each child to assume responsibility for adding one of the ingredients. Let kids help with cleanup afterwards.
4. Create Gourd Turkey Table Centerpieces
Some families undertake a group shopping trip to select gourds at a grocery store or craft shop. These dried plants come in a variety of interesting shapes and colors, and are very heavily associated with the imagery of the season. Allow each child to choose a gourd, then ask every child to decorate the gourds using craft glue and hobby accessories. Colorful paper cutouts work very well for some features, such as turkey feathers. Your household can share many happy hours working together designing these seasonal decorations, which can then be displayed around the home, or used as centerpieces for holiday meals.
5. Create a Wonderful Harvest Table Buffet
Another fun family DIY project involves gathering as a group and asking everyone to list items to include in a fall party harvest table. Then visit a farmer's market together. Collect samples of your favorite produce: Corn, apples, cucumbers, garlic, potatoes, pumpkins, squash and other fresh foods make an attractive temporary display on a buffet table. Add fall treats, such as cupcakes, spice cake, and cookies, and don’t forget to include some chilled apple-cider to wash it all down. Throw a fall harvest party to help get your family excited for the holidays.
With a little creativity, these projects present engaging and educational activities for children of all ages. So, celebrate the bounty of the season with your family, with a bit of Autumn crafting!