Autumn · Craft · Outdoor Play · Sensory Play

Autumn Leaves

We are now well into the season of autumn. I may have mentioned it a few times, but I love autumn; there really is something for all of the senses! It is the season for bonfires, fireworks, hot chocolates with marshmallows, ginger cake, apples, cinnamon, toffee, pumpkins, acorns, conkers, and leaves. Lots and lots of beautiful leaves!

This week D has been on half term (we are very lucky that he gets two weeks off), and we have managed to get out and about quite a bit. We haven’t gone far, really only as far as the local woods, and it has been wonderful. It has involved a lot of simple play and discovery!

Each time we have been out we have come back with pocketfuls of autumn treasures! Whilst the children seem to have a bit of a conker problem (they can’t physically walk past a conker tree without doing a quick recce, and they can’t see a conker without picking it up, even if their pockets are already overflowing), I most definitely have a leaf problem. I cannot see a pretty autumn leaf without picking it up, and this year I am really being treated to some gems. There are so many beautiful colours, and they come in so many shapes and sizes! But D is quite fed up of me bringing random leaves into the house and then doing nothing with them (we do have leaves absolutely everywhere to be fair, and they do go quite crumbly when they dry out, and then somebody needs to vacuum them up…), so I decided I needed to sort myself out!

This afternoon we went leaf hunting, and we actually took a bag to collect some in (no more leaves stuffed into every pocket and handbag/backpack imaginable). We set off, crunching the leaves as we went!

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We managed to fill the bag quite quickly and so we continued walking for a bit longer. We found a new park and decided to have our picnic on a bench there. While we were eating, D checked to see if there were any geocaches around the area that we were in (as we often do when we are out walking), and he found that there were loads, so we decided to walk for a bit longer and go on a ‘treasure hunt’.

We discovered a new field, a new wood, a new stream, and lots of new trees; this area is about a ten-minute walk from our house but we have just never walked in this direction before-it was very exciting!

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Disappointingly, we came away without finding a single geocache so we left before everybody got too tired.

Back to the leaves…

Once we got home we set to work with the leaves straight away! We have made autumn wreaths for the last few years, and A has already done some leaf printing this year, so I really wanted to try something different. Thankfully, our new Woodland Trust Nature Detectives booklets gave us lots of ideas!

We started by laying out all of our finds on the tuff spot. They really did look quite magical together.

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And then this is what we got up to:

We made leaf people and leaf animals:

In case you are wondering, we made a leaf person, a hedgehog, a squirrel, and something that was meant to be an owl but ended up looking like Angelina Ballerina dressed up as a fairy (this one was mine)!

We made a ‘rusty rattle’ by threading some older dried-out leaves onto a pipe cleaner (this could also be done out in the woods with a stick instead of a pipe cleaner):

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We used some leaves to make an autumn crown. For this we simply threaded leaves into the willow crown from our summer holidays; although the summer flowers are long gone, the willow is still perfect, and I am aiming to regenerate it each season. I really love this result:

Finally we made a lantern by gluing a variety of leaves to an empty (and clean) olive jar:

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We had a lovely afternoon playing with our leaves, but we still have hundreds left! So, what do you do with autumn leaves?

Like it? Pin it!leaves

I have added this post to the following linkies:

Country Kids

Nature Mum Blog
Single Mum Speaks
Dear Bear and Beany

29 thoughts on “Autumn Leaves

  1. What a wonderful afternoon. That woodland walk looks so lovely and so close to home without you even realising too. I have great memories of conker trees growing up but we don’t have any on the farm here, such a shame. We are full of acorns though from the oak trees and I have been crafting with these. Your leaf art is gorgeous and i guessed them all without reading. We have also been leaf printing with paint and using sticky backed tape to stick leaves into letter shapes and weaving leaves into woolen spider webs. I’ll be sharing all our activities over the next few weeks. I do like your lanterns, is this just PVA glue? .One for me to try.

    Thank you for sharing your autumn nature afternoon on #CountryKids

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    1. Thank you 🙂 we have hardly done any acorn crafts. There are so many oak trees but also so many squirrels to eat them! We only really have two horse chestnut trees but they produced so many conkers! Yes the glue is just craft pva. It works really well. I coated the leaves in it once stuck down to the jar and it makes them last forever!

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  2. I love this – I commented on Instagram this week that I always have my pockets full of shells, conkers and acorns and I should of included leaves. My girls love finding pretty leaves and there are so many to choose from at this time of year! I have promised them that we can do some leaf printing so we will have to collect some more. Fab pictures! #countrykids

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  3. Fabulous arts and crafts. We love bringing autumn finds home too. It is a shame not to use them and display them in some way, isn’t it? Love the lantern and the googly eye creatures. I do have a soft spot for googly eyes. Not come across a rustle rattle before. It looks fun. #CountryKids

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  4. I too have a leaf problem – they’re just too beautiful to not pick up. Some great ideas of what to do with them too. I’ll have to get some googly eyes! Geocaching is such a great way to discover new places. Thanks for linking up to #schoolsout

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  5. Ahhh this has given me so many ideas. My house is littered with acorns because my 2 year old has become obsessed with collecting them! Making leaf people is fab, I have goggly eyes in our arts box. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  6. We started geocaching earlier this year (stopped for Summer as it was just too hot to go walking about) so I am really looking forward to starting again, possibly more than the kids are!

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  7. How lovely to find somewhere new to explore near your house even if you didn’t manage to find any geocaches. Love all your ideas for using the leaves – those leaf animals are fab, will have to try doing those with my girls. Love the autumn crown too. We tend to make collages or autumn wreaths but will have to give some of your ideas a try too. Love your header by the way – not sure if it’s a new one or I’ve just been unobservant before! #countrykids

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  8. Some fantastic ideas here. I love the leaf people and the leaves in the jar, and I totally need to get on board with geocaching. It sounds right up my street! Thanks for linking with #SchoolsOut

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  9. Love these ideas – you can’t beat this time of year for leaf collecting with the litte ones but we then run out of ideas of what to do with them when we’re at home so this is great. Thanks. #SchoolsOut

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  10. How cute!! Love those little leaf animals, what a great idea! We must get onboard with geocaching, I always read about it and think its a great idea but never got round to actually doing it. A task for this weekend I think! x #schoolsout

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  11. What a lovely afternoon and such gorgeous Autumn colours. My girls love to collect leaves too and I come with nappy sacks full of them!!! Such brilliant ideas to use the leaves when you get home for some crafting. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

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  12. We’ve been loving our autumn walks too – Max loves conkers, but sadly has no use for leaves (I love them though, I’m always picking up particularly pretty ones). Such simple craft ideas here, I really love them, we’re just starting to do a bit of craft together and I can see some of these ideas working really well. Love the autumn crown – beautiful! Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

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  13. What a lovely day you had. The colours of those leaves are just stunning. Autumn really is the best time of year to get out into nature with your little ones. The crafting activities look wonderful too. Love the leaf animals! Thank you for linking up such a fabulous post with #ChasingNature

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  14. What a wonderful idea! I love the leaves wrapped around the jar. You could do something like that with a vase as well maybe?

    Beautiful photos by the way – lovely to see you back again for #ChasingNature 🙂

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