Fall Leaf Crafts That’ll Keep Kids Occupied When It’s Chilly Out
Before having kids, I never dreamed how often crafts would save my life. Fast-forward to today, and kid-friendly projects are key — especially when it's too cold for anyone to entertain the thought of playing outside (and actually enjoying it). And although it's easy to plop down your offspring in front of a screen, plenty of kids will be thrilled if you offer them an alternative — quiet, creative, non-electronic — pastime.
Enter: fall leaf crafts. Even if your kid isn't exactly the "outdoorsy" type, they'll have fun getting a little closer to nature with these activities — while staying inside where it's warm and cozy.
Leaf feather craft
I have to admit even I was impressed by this leaf craft as we transformed long leaves into feathers. My next challenge is to try to get my kids to turn bigger leaves into faux peacock feathers.
- Assortment of long leaves
- Assortment of acrylic paints
- Large craft paintbrush
- Small craft paintbrush
- First, press your leaves between the pages of a book overnight to help them lay flat.
- Next, use your large craft paintbrush to cover the leaf on one side with your base color. Allow it to dry a few minutes.
- Then, use your small craft paintbrush to add thin lines of another color in feather-like strokes.
- Finally, allow it to dry and admire your colorful feathery fall leaves.
Leaf animal craft
From a bird to a fox to a mouse to a fish, there's no limit to what types of animals your child can make with this fall leaf craft. Let the shape of the leaves guide your kid's imagination and you may just be amazed.
- Assortment of leaves in any shape
- Googly eyes
- Craft glue
- Assorted decorative paper scraps
- Glitter glue (optional)
- Sequins (optional)
- Black permanent marker
- First, decide what animal you'd like to make as you press your leaves between the pages of a book overnight to help them lay flat.
- Next, glue on animal-like features with googly eyes, round mouse ears, tear-shaped bird wings, sequin noses and glitter-glue beaks. My daughter even used her leaf feathers to add wings to her leaf bird.
- Then, use your permanent marker to add in details like bird legs and mouse whiskers.
- Finally, allow it to dry and revel in your children's excitement over these easy fall leaf crafts.
Leaf wind-catcher craft
Kids will love watching how this homemade wind catcher offers fluttering fall leaves that won't blow away. You can even make a longer-lasting wind catcher using fabric leaves.
- Stick or dowel
- Jute string
- Collection of fall leaves
- Fishing string or clear thread
- Beads for weight
- First, find a stick or dowel and tie a length of jute string to the middle of the stick. Remember to leave the string long enough for hanging your leaf craft.
- Next, begin tying your fishing string or clear thread to the stem of each leaf, leaving space between each leaf until you're satisfied with the length. Keep in mind that it's more interesting if each strand is a different length.
- Then, tie a bead at the bottom of each string to weigh it down when it hangs.
- Finally, tie each chain of leaves along the length of the stick or dowel and hang it on an eave to blow in the breeze.
Originally posted November 2014. Updated October 2017.