Fall is an incredible time to get creative and have fun doing seasonal projects with your kids. The temperature is cooling down, leaves are turning beautiful new shades of color, and the air has a bit more crispness to it. This season comes with feelings of gratitude for the waning heat of summer and lots of family time with the impending holiday season. It can be inspirational in so many ways, and if you have a child with special needs, the sensory aspects of transitioning into fall can be a wonderful way to utilize their gifts and talents with harvest-inspired crafts.
There are so many ideas out there for fall-centric crafts, as well as fun places to visit this time of year. We chose 5 crafts for the season that are specifically tailored to getting children with disabilities excited for all things pumpkin, orange leaves, and turkey. Especially after what can sometimes be a stressful start to the school year, these 5 fun activities are perfect to try this month. Check them out below.
1. Leaf Friends, inspired by Fantastic Fun and Learning: This project will encourage your kids to embrace nature. Together, gather a selection of fall-colored leaves, acorns, small sticks or twigs, pine needles, seeds, and any other small bits of nature you can find. On pieces of gold, maroon, or orange paper, glue the items to create people from all of the collected goodies (sticks can be bodies, leaves can be heads, seeds can be face features—you get the picture). You can encourage your little ones to create and share stories about the characters they make, too.
2. Sensory Acorn Craft, inspired by Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas: Not only is this one a blast to put together, but it also smells incredible. Coffee crumble, anyone?
You’ll need an acorn template (hack: simply draw one on cardstock!), brown paint, white paint, glue, paintbrushes, coffee grounds, and oatmeal.
First, cut the acorn out of the cardstock—moms, be sure to help out if your children are too little—and mix some glue with both colors of paint. Paint the acorn with the paint-glue mixture: brown on the bottom portion of the acorn and white on the top. Sprinkle coffee grounds over the brown paint portion and oatmeal on the top part of the acorn. Pat the grains into place so they stick to the paint-glue. Allow about 10 minutes to dry, and then shake off excess coffee and oatmeal.
3. Toilet Paper Roll Fall Leaves, inspired by Crafty Morning: Fun painting project with minimal supplies? Yes, please.
For this one, you’ll need an empty toilet paper roll, fall-hued paints, paint brushes, a brown crayon or marker, and paper. Draw (or have your child draw) the base of a tree and bare branches on the paper using the brown color. Take the toilet paper roll and squish it so that the end is a leaf shape, not a circle anymore. Use this as your leaf “stamp,” and dip the end in your orange, yellow, and red paints, pressing the colors onto your tree branches to create a lovely fall tree! Fill in the leaf outlines using the paintbrushes and remaining paints.
4. Pinecone Bird Feeders, inspired by Freebie Finding Mom: Ever make these as a kid? They’re so easy and so fun!
Take the kids out on a walk or hike to find and gather some pinecones. Back at home, you’ll need peanut butter, twine, and birdseed. Cut the twine into about 2-foot lengths and tie it to the top of the pinecones. Using a small spatula, spread some peanut butter onto the cones before sprinkling a decent amount of birdseed onto them. Encourage the kids to find a special place in the yard to hang them, and then watch for how your local birds love their new treats!
5. Autumn Mobile, inspired by Red Ted Art: Another fun activity for the whole family, this project requires a walk to discover and find pinecones, acorns, leaves, and sticks. You’ll also need yarn, and bells are a fun addition, too. Take a large stick and attach a few pieces of yarn to it in differing lengths. At the bottom of each length of yarn, tie your nature-walk treasures. Hang the mobile in the kiddos’ rooms or the kitchen to admire the autumn craftiness all season long.
We know life can get challenging or stagnant, especially during seasonal changes and transitions—and it’s not always easy to find child disability daycare in Little Rock or other resources readily available to keep your child involved and engaged. Give one or two of these projects a try this month, and invite other families to participate, too!
For more support this season, or for more information on child disability services or intellectual disability treatment in Little Rock, contact us today by calling (501) 406-0442.