To mark the 30th anniversary. let's shine a light on some of the unsung heroes who joined the fight for equality.
One of our brilliant Creative Trainers, Carly, took the time last week to share some pictures with us. She’s been running a creative residency within a school and together, they had just created a couple of displays to showcase the excellent work each year group had accomplished so far.
We loved the brightness of the ‘Africa’ display and the use of photos and facts to demonstrate how the Year 2s had been learning songs and dance from the continent. However it was the use of autumnal colours and cut-out leaves that really caught our attention on Year 1s ‘Percy The Park Keeper’ display!
And it made us think … bringing the outdoors INDOORS via art and craft is a great way to celebrate the changing seasons. Autumn itself is especially beautiful with hues of shimmering golds, glorious yellows and deep-burning oranges. So we were inspired, and wanted to share with you some of our absolute favourite Autumn crafts, which you can use to create your very own seasonal display in school!
1. Autumn Leaf Collage
We’re sure you’re all already familiar with this one when it comes to Autumn crafts, but its simplicity does not make it any less effective! Just grab some tissue paper in red, orange and yellow colours, scrunch and rip them up into smaller pieces, and simply glue them onto a cardboard cut-out of a leaf. Beautiful and bright!
2. The Class Tree
The variations of this craft is what makes it so special. First, use brown or gold card to cut out a tree shape – make sure you include the branches! Then, you have 3 options:
- Your class could each create their very own ‘leaf’ by cutting out the shape they like best and painting/colouring it in.
- Take a trip outdoors to find your very own natural leaves to glue on the tree (make sure to press them for a couple of days beforehand).
- Create HANDPRINT leaves, with each pupil ‘printing’ the shape of their hand onto the tree, using autumnal colours for the paint. It looks wonderful and is brilliantly tactile.
3. Conker Painting
Another excuse to have an autumnal scavenge outdoors! Collect some conkers and use them to create your very own abstract piece of art. You can dip the conkers in paint and ‘print’ them onto the paper, or roll them around to create lines and shapes. Add leaves and twigs to your repertoire of painting implements to get even more creative!
Garlands are great for a hanging Harvest Festival display. If you’re after something quick, you could simply cut out leaf shapes from card and decorate with crayons, before punching a hole through the top to thread string through. Next step up is to gather real leaves and use them as a template – if you lay them vein side up, place paper over the top and rub with a sideways crayon the pattern transfers! Lastly, you can try this with pine cones. It looks amazing but is a little fiddly – the easiest option we found was to loop the twine around them rather than having to attach hooks.
5. Leaf Person
A fun Autumn crafts project that encourages children to look for different sizes and colours with which to create their ‘Leaf Person’! Once the leaves have been gathered, arrange them to form the body, arms, legs and head, then glue onto paper. Every single one will look completely different, so it can be used as a lovely way to celebrate diversity.
6. Paper Plate Scarecrow
Ah, the good old paper plate! All you need to accompany it are some scraps of coloured paper and glue, so you can cut out eyes, mouth, hat, scarf, moustache, rosy cheeks – whatever you like! Scarecrows are a good opportunity to teach about farming and harvesting, but they are also very much a part of UK history. Not only are there many Scarecrow Festivals around the UK (see if there’s one near you which you can tie into the learning), but they also have a range of names according to local dialects. Here’s a small list on Wikipedia. Ever heard of the Hodmedod?!
7. Twig Frame
To give displays an autumnal vibe, create a twig frame to accompany each piece of artwork! Just cut out a ‘picture frame’ in any colour card and use a strong glue to stick down the twigs to it. Hey presto, higgledy piggledy Autumn artwork at its finest!
8. Mindfulness Tree
This is one of our favourite Autumn crafts as it brings together two things we love: Autumn and Mindfulness. Painting a tree can be a pretty relaxing activity on its own, but accompanying it with a personal message and visualisation techniques can turn it into something even more powerful.
Trees are a great tool in mindfulness because they are natural and strong, yet susceptible to damage and stress if not looked after – just like us! We try to teach that while we sometimes have to contend with storms, it is really our roots (i.e. what makes us ‘us’) that keeps us strong. This page explains using the “I Am A Tree” grounding exercise with children really well, and it could be a great activity to run before starting your tree painting!
A huge thank you to Activity Village, Projects for Preschoolers, The Imagination Tree, One Mom and a Blog, Munchkins and Mayhem, Teaching Heart Blog and Sparklebox for the photographic examples above.
We hope the remainder of Autumn Term is filled with crunchy leaves, dazzling colours, blustery walks and creative ideas. We’d love to see your Autumn crafts displays!
Lots of love from us all at One Day Creative x