Walking in the forest or park is such a lovely thing to do during the autumn months when there’s still some warmth in the sun and crunchy leaves underfoot. Collecting pine cones and acorns is a good way to keep little ramblers distracted with a little bit of healthy competition to see who can find the best, biggest or most woodland treasures.
If you are feeling creative when you get home you can get crafty by adding a bit of paint to your haul to decorate the house for Autumn. You can use emulsion tester pots (that way the colours might even match your home décor!) or just use kids acrylic paint. No need to be neat, they all look good mixed up together, lined up in a row or tumbled into a big jar.
Even if the weather doesn’t lend itself to a countryside walk we’ve made you a printable leaf template. Just print off onto coloured card, or plain paper and get colouring. Cut the leaves out and make your own spectacular Autumn wreath, or let everyone make their own mini wreath by sticking their leaves to a paper plate.
Ombré Pine Cones
Gather some fresh pine cones and some acrylic paint or leftover emulsion tester pots. Stick the bottom of a pine cone to a tray with some plasticine or Blu-tak to keep it steady then dot paint onto the end of each pine cone scale, starting from the bottom. One-third of the way up, add a bit of white to your paint colour, then two-thirds of the way up add more white to get an ombré effect.
When they are dry decorate your mantelpiece with them, hang them up with cotton or put them in a big jar.
When the acorns are still fresh and green they stay obediently in their little acorn cups for painting. Once they are a bit older they sometimes fall out and you may need to glue them back in.
Get some with the stalks still attached as a useful handle and paint with acrylic paint or colour with metallic markers. You can make a mini washing line with string and peg them up to dry. They look great in a Mason jar with a glass candle holder, but make sure they are well away from the flame.
Use our printable template here and print onto paper or coloured card. It’s easy to soak up an hour or so colouring them in with crayons or felt tips, even adults like a bit of colouring in. If you have glittery card you can trace some onto the back of that too, they look great added into the mix for a bit of sparkle.
Cut your coloured leaves out (little ones might need help with this) and either stick them to a paper plate with the centre cut out or onto a wreath base or just a large circle of card. Hang your wreath up for some crafty Autumn colour in your home.