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There’s something naturally inspiring about autumn: the crackle of fallen leaves, the russets of berries, the magic of Halloween. It is a wonderful time to turn your hand to some simple autumn crafts to keep the kids entertained over half-term or even after school as the evenings draw in.
Here are our favourite autumn craft ideas which kids will love, all of which are low-cost, easy to make and fabulous fun!
This is one of our favourite simple craft projects. It’s a great way to use up spare paper plates left over from children’s parties!
If they’re patterned, turn them over and paint the reverse orange, if they’re plain, even better as you can decorate both sides! Cut some ghoulish features such as eyes and teeth out of black card and stick them onto the face of your paper plate pumpkin, before adding a green stalk which can be fashioned from fallen leaves or green card.
String your paper plate pumpkin up in the window to welcome visitors and set the tone for Halloween!
This autumn craft activity combines both physical exercise with fine motor skills – perfect to incorporate into a family walk.
Simply task each child (and grown-up too!) with finding a good stick, about the width of a pencil and no more than a foot long.
As you walk, collect up fallen leaves of differing colours and thread each leaf onto the stick like a kebab. Children can make them as full as they wish.
The result not only looks beautiful but it gives you and your children a chance to admire nature and talk about the trees you spot along the way.
Plus, leaf crafts such as this are free and super simple to make.
This is a Halloween twist on the classic gingerbread man silhouette and only requires card, scissors, glue and white wool.
Using either a template or stencil, create some gingerbread man-shaped figures out of black card and stick two googly eyes onto the face. If you don’t have googly eyes, you can cut small circles from black and white paper to create a similar effect.
Then, using white wool, wrap the yarn around the figure, making it look magnificently mummified! Make sure the fun googly eyes peep through the wool for a fun, spooky effect.
If you’re feeling crafty, make a bunch of figures and join them together to make a creepy garland for Halloween!
This craft activity is brilliant for building fine motor skills.
It is a busy time for squirrels as they gather nuts to store for winter, so making your own adorable furry friends from pinecones is a simple yet fun seasonal activity.
On a family walk, collect up a batch of different sized pine cones (the more ‘open’ shaped the better). They’re free and easy to find, making them ideal for autumn crafts for kids.
Using good quality glue, stick a brown pom pom towards the narrow end of the cone, making the face, then attach a couple of googly eyes. If you don’t have googly eyes, little white stickers with black dots for pupils work just as well.
Next, get two brown pipe cleaners and wind these into the body of the pinecone to create two arms. Do the same with another, larger pipe cleaner for the tail.
Finish by gluing an acorn to the end of one of the arms for a cute and fun festive touch.
Why not make an entire family of squirrels and place them in a tree in your garden for a seasonal display?
A pack of glowsticks are a relatively inexpensive source of fun, especially with the darker evenings setting in.
A fun and creative autumn twist, which makes a great prop for Halloween, is to make super-charged glowstick broomsticks!
Each individual glowstick acts as a broom handle and, using brown paper (parcel paper on a roll is great for this), cut a strip about the size of a DL envelope.
Lay the paper horizontally with the shorter sides vertically facing away from you. Keep a one-inch band at the top of the paper and, from the bottom, make incisions up to meet that band. Move across the paper, making these incisions the whole way along. By the end it’ll look like a mini grass skirt.
Next, carefully cellotape the ‘skirt’ to one end of the glowstick, wrapping it around until the paper runs out. Top tip: the little plastic connectors which are used to connect one glowstick to another are perfect to anchor the skirt to and they help to hold it in place.
Gently crinkle the flowing ends of the broom and sprinkle a little glitter on top.
These could make magical broomsticks for teddy bears or cute favours for a kids Halloween party. Either way, they’ll sparkle their way through the chilly autumn nights!
This autumn craft activity is so easy it’s perfect to keep little fingers busy!
Wash up some used jam jars, carefully removing any sticky labels.
Cut tissue paper into small squares and apply to the outside of the jar with glue. You’ll need yellow and orange tissue paper to create a pumpkin-inspired lantern, or white tissue paper for making a ghost.
Secure the tissue paper in place and allow it to dry before you decorate the jar with spooky features, such as eyes, nose and mouth, all cut out of black card.
Think about the scary features you’d cut into a pumpkin and replicate these shapes here. Stick them on with PVA glue before applying a final layer of glue over the entire design.
Once the jar and all its decorations are dry, pop a battery-operated tealight inside and leave it on the doorstep to ward off fiendish foes!
Scarecrows, with their straw-stuffed bodies and floppy hats, are a fun and silly character which children read about in stories and see propped up in fields.
The warm orange and sandy tones of autumn lend perfectly to the creation of a simple scarecrow hat, which can be decorated with crafting materials or leaves and twigs from the garden.
Using a roll of thick brown paper or felt, start by fashioning the hat.
Use a measuring tape to work out how far down from the crown you want the brim of the hat to hang. Double that figure then draw two perpendicular lines of equal length in an ‘X’ shape on the paper.
Trace a circle connecting the ends of the lines and you’ll have your rough hat shape.
Sit the hat on the child’s head and, using a length of fabric or ribbon, create a hat band going all the way around. This will gather the paper or fabric together, help the hat to fit and will create the quirky hat shape required.
With the band in place, the homemade hat can be decorated with nature’s bounty such as twigs, conkers, acorns, flowers and straw or painted and decorated with craft materials like glitter, buttons and lollipop sticks. The more rustic the better!
Harvest festival teaches children the importance of food and where it comes from.
Extend that theme by creating your own food donation box, which you can decorate in autumn colours or with nature finds, then fill with non-perishable goods to donate to a local food bank.
Find an old cardboard box (a shoe box is ideal) – just make sure it’s robust enough to take the weight of a few tins and packets – and task the kids with decorating the box. They can paint it, adorn it with seasonal nature finds, or create a pumpkin-inspired design.
Once finished, a trip to the supermarket gives the kids an opportunity to pick their own goods to put inside. Complete the project by packing the box.
Finally, take it to your local food bank or Salvation Army branch. It will not only look seasonal and appealing, but it will teach kids about the importance of kindness and giving.
Doing creative craft activities with your children is a great way to bond and have fun. And, as the weather starts to cool down, autumn crafts for kids is a great way to keep them active indoors.