The leaves are beginning to slowly change colour, which can mean only one thing, autumn is on it’s way!

Autumn is the season of colour, and by far my favourite. I remember I used to go out of my way to step on a crunchy leaf, and for some reason it still brings out the child in me!

These activities have been created with young children and preschoolers in mind, but they’re equally as satisfying for older age groups too (ahem, even really big kids at heart!). They’re easy and quick to put together and especially great for keeping those toddlers busy while you get something else done, or better yet, sit down and have a cuppa, or read that magazine you bought three weeks ago that’s still sitting on the kitchen counter!

Contact Art

You will need:

  • Clear contact
  • Black card or brown paper, cut into a trunk and then some branch shapes.
  • Homemade leaves (you could pre paint/fingerpaint some autumn colours with your child and cut it into leaf shapes)
  • Or craft leaves from a variety shop
  • Sticky tape

To begin… Cut some contact off the roll and round off the top. Then pull off the paper backing. Stick this (with the sticky side of the contact facing outwards) to a window, wall or sliding door with sticky tape on the edges (you’ll only need a little.)  Press on the trunk and branches!

Pop the leaves in a bowl and let your child enjoy adding them to the tree!

This activity is very easily adapted for other themes! You could make a basket instead of a tree and decorate with homemade cardboard glitter eggs for Easter, or a Christmas tree with round painted baubles or even a snowman made with cotton balls!

I found the autumn tree worked a charm, our leaves even fell off a few times which made it look like a real tree dropping leaves!

Sensory Zip Lock Art

You will need:

  • Two pieces of coloured card
  • One zip lock bag
  • Sticky tape
  • Red, Yellow, Orange and Brown paint

To begin…

  • Trace around a large leaf or freedraw and cut out the two pieces of card, so that they are the same. It’s easiest to cut one and use that as a template for the other.
  • Place small squirts of each paint colour in the zip lock bag and zip it shut.
  • Place the bag in between the two pieces of card and tape the edges.
  • Attach to a window with tape at the top and bottom.

Watch as your little one discovers the joy of mess free painting!

This activity can also be adapted to different themes. Easter eggs, trees, stars, suns, moons… the ideas are endless!

HOT TIP: For crawlers, this is a brilliant activity to tape to the floor or high chair!

Broccoli Leaves

Every child loves to stamp, and for some reason using vegetables or fruit makes it extra fun! This activity is extremely quick to set up and will bring you much needed quiet time as your child enters that relaxation ‘zen’ mode whilst they paint! Bliss! Beware! It could get messy, so it’s a great one to do before a bath!

You will need:

  • Large piece of paper
  • Red, Yellow, Orange, Brown paint
  • Broccoli
  • Pencil or texta

The only prep required is to pop the paint on a paper plate or a palette (if you have one) Draw the tree trunk and branches. Then chop up the broccoli!

You may need to do a quick little demo to explain the activity to your child! Just dip the broccoli in the paint and add the pretty leaves to the tree!

Adaptation: If you don’t have broccoli you could also use cue tips, bubblewrap, fingerprints, toilet roll ends squashed into a leaf shape, flowers, cotton ball paintbrushes (cotton balls held by a peg)