Fall Fun with Nifty Nippers

Well, fall has fallen upon us here in North America’s seasonally uneven northwest, and with it the beginning of preschool and activities and all those fun things.  We’re busy with dance class (Sara is soooo excited), Bible study (with the most amazing children’s program that both my girls love), youth group (mostly my hubby’s opportunity to serve God and the youth of our church, who he so loves, and I get in on it whenever I can), tutoring, etc.  And as the days go on, and I realize that Sara no longer needs nap time and she gets more time with me, I realize how much stuff I could teach  her in these glory days!  And how much time we get together!  Being a stay-at-home mom has its difficult moments, frustrating moments, hilarious moments, and boring moments (yes, those too), but the best part of it is that I get to be part of so many of her teachable moments.

So here I am, dreaming and hoping and planning for homeschooling, when I realize how much I have always dreaded arts-and-crafts.  And how much of teaching little nippers is about arts-and-crafts.  And about how I chose not to be an elementary/primary school teacher largely because of arts and crafts.  And how I seriously cannot even draw a stick person.

Well, with a fairly disgruntled sigh, I decided to start doing some research.  What can we do together these days that is fun, inspiring, and enriching?  Here are my ideas (pictures coming as we accomplish them)…


A fall tree poster.  Draw a tree outline on a board of paper with black felt marker.  Using fall-coloured construction paper, tissue paper, or actual crumbly leaves (the latter being, probably, the messiest), glue bits of these pieces to the tree (encourage child to remember falling leaves, too!).

Ladybug Margarine Lid 


  • CD Rom (or margarine lid)
  • printer
  • glue
  • scissors
  • something to colour with
  • a piece of paper


  • Print out the template of choice.
  • Colour the pieces as appropriate and cut them out.
  • You can cover the CD Rom with a piece of black construction paper if desired.
  • Glue the red wings onto the CD Rom.  You can make them together like he’s sitting or spread apart a bit like he’s flying.
  • Glue the head onto the CD Rom (over top of the wings).
  • Glue on the spots.

Apple Printing

Using an apple cut in half and apple-coloured paint (red, yellow, various light greens), create prints on any kind of palet – white t-shirt, paper bag, paper plate, paper, etc.  You could use carrots, squash, turnips, etc for a fall vegetable/fruit medley!

Leaf Sun Print Mural

Place three colours of construction paper (preferably fall colours like yellow, green, red, brown) taped together one one side on the ground where they will get lots of sun.
On top, place leaves of various types, in clusters or singles.
Use pennies or small stones to hold them in place.
Let them sit for 3-4 hours in the sun (check after one hour to make sure the leaves aren’t curling or blowing away)

Leaf Rubbings

Oh, this was fun!  Find some leaves, place them under thin paper, and use the side of unwrapped crayons to rub on the paper.  Really pretty and easy – Sara loved this!

Fall Fingerprint Tree

Using watercolour paints, paint your child’s arm and hand brown and have them make a print on the paper (as the trunk).  Then they dip their fingers in fall coloured paints and make fingerprint leaves all over the top.  Gorgeous, easy, but kinda messy!


Fall Sorting

Materials: 4 egg cartons, 12 acorns, 12 maple seeds, 12 pine cones, 12 leaves, or other fall objects small container.

Description: Place objects in small container on table. encourage children to sort the objects into the egg cartons.


The obvious: have kids pile up all the leaves and jump in, slide in, toss, search-for-ladybugs, etc.  (Sara did this with friends for an hour yesterday and couldn’t stop talking about it).

Scavenger Hunt

Make a list (picture list, if you happen to have time – or you could probably find one online) of fall things for the kid(s) to find.  Example of items:

  • Red leaf (or another colour) – make sure it comes off the ground and not from a tree
  • Acorn/nut
  • Pine cone
  • Really tiny/large leaf
  • Piece of smooth bark
  • Piece of rough bark (don’t need to remove these from the trees)
  • Two different types of grass
  • Flower

Sara finding her purple flower on our scavenger hunt

Thanks For Collage

Just got this idea now…so excited to try it.  Sara is an avid photographer, and we are going to go around for the next few days snapping shots of the things she is thankful for.  I’ll try not to guide her too much!  Then, sometime next week (before Thanksgiving) we’ll print the pictures and she’ll make a collage of things she’s thankful for.  This will be fun!!!

I’m sure we will come up with more in the near future.  But the ladybug is tomorrow’s activity, I believe, so we shall see how that one goes!

Do any of you have some fall ideas – particularly for activities (crafts are usually easy to find)?  What have you done with your own “nippers” that has been especially successful?

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. beth@redandhoney
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 20:34:07

    cute ideas! i need to get on the ball about doing these things. our days tend to be pretty laissez-faire, as is my personality… but I know that Isaac could benefit from a little more structure. Thanks for the ideas!


  2. thismama
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 21:08:18

    Hi! I found you from your comment on Beth’s blog…I *think* that you may have commented on my blog earlier this summer (I just saw the picture in the gravatar) so I just wanted to say hi back and say that I read some of your entries. Wow, sounds like this summer has been quite stretching journey for you and your family. Prayers for you all, especially your little girl.
    And I have been feeling a little short on ideas the past few days so I love that I got to read this post! My girls and I started a thankful tree the other day http://thismama.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/thankful-tree-tutorial/ and that has been a lot of fun.


  3. Crystal
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 01:42:16

    Thanks thismama and Beth! I wish I was more organized than I am (that’s a post for another day) but finding these and getting a start on collecting supplies has been motivating. I’ll check out the thankful-tree in the next day or two…sounds interesting!


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