Looking for a fun, cheap Autumn nature craft activity to do with the kiddos over the last few days of the holidays? A few years ago I made these beautiful sun catchers with my kids, using Autumn treasures. It came up on my facebook memories so I thought I’d pop it up on the blog!

I loved this activity as I just love Autumn. It also is a great way to get the kids outdoors going on a nature collection to gather treasures, and a lovely way to bring nature inside.

Can you believe my kids were only 3 1/2 and 18 months old when we did this?! If you’re doing this with preschoolers then most of the prep requires adult set up but the leaf collecting and sticking is the kids’ domain.

I only just recently threw ours out after it had fallen down from the window one too many times and was a bit beyond repair! So it lasted for three years, which I think is pretty amazing really.

First step:

Go on a nature walk with your kids and find some nice Autumn leaves. Fun times!

You will need for the craft activity:

duraseal

– paper plates

– hole punch

– string

– your collection of autumn leaves.

It can work best if you flatten the leaves in a heavy book overnight first but this step is not 100% necessary.

We didn’t flatten our leaves but I remember some being quite “bubbly” underneath the duraseal.

Instructions:

  1. Cut the middle out of the paper plates.
  2. Cut two circles of duraseal for each plate, about 2cm wider than the hole you’ve cut.
  3. Stick one side onto the plate sticky side facing in. 
  4. Get your kids to decorate to their hearts content.
  5. Stick the other duraseal circle on top, sticky side facing in to seal the leaves in.
  6. Punch holes and thread string through.
  7. Hang in a sunny window and enjoy!

Variations: 

  • Use a laminator, instead of duraseal and plates.
  • Last year I had no plates so I just used a piece of duraseal folded over and the kids added glitter to their creations.
  • I don’t suggest going out and buying new paper plates for this unless you really want to of course. These were years old ones I had in the cupboard to use up. Being an eco-conscious parent I’m mindful of our effect on the planet. Please especially don’t but plastic plates to use instead. That would really make me cringe.
  • If you live in Auckland or Christchurch you may be able to source rolls of duraseal from Creative Junk or the West Auckland Resource Centre.

The beauty of this project is that it can be very open ended – meaning that even though there’s an “end product”, it’s not a dictated craft activity and the kids can make it their own. It’s the process that’s the best part, not the end product :).

Enjoy the last few days of the holidays and our wonderful season of Autumn!

xx Rach.

P.S. I most definitely did not come up with this idea myself. I most definitely followed instructions from somewhere on the internet. But I most definitely cannot remember where from, given it was three years ago. Sorry, unknown source!

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