There has been something about this autumn that has made me want to be a little more creative. I’ve been seeing opportunities for toddler-friendly art projects whenever we are out and about. I’m not usually all that interested in arts and crafts, but I think the combination of the beauty of this season and having a little boy who wants to do new things all the time has opened my eyes.
I forgot, in my nearly 10 years away from London, how much I loved autumn. It is only now that I am experiencing my first British autumn in a decade that I’m really appreciating what I missed. The colours, the low sun, the sound of our wellies splashing in puddles – it’s my favourite time of year (at the moment..). Also, now that Milin is 21 months, he is an avid adventurer. He is, by his very nature, ensuring that we are making the most of this season. He is getting us out and about in the midst of it every day.
It’s been quite dry, so we’ve been doing plenty of collecting and foraging. I wrote recently about Milin’s newfound love of acorns. He is still obsessed, but in the last few days he’s noticed how there aren’t so many good ones to be found, and how those that are on the ground are losing their colour. I’d like him to see a squirrel up close – but nature hasn’t been that kind yet.
We’ve also been foraging for other things that we can bring home and make things with. They’ve worked their way into quick and easy little art activities to do when we’re indoors. Milin has loved creating things and watching our projects take shape – sometimes over a few days.
Our apple tree has been laden with too many apples for us to eat, but we did go hunting for the best of those on the ground to use for painting. Milin wasn’t sure about stamping with apples, but he did enjoy finger painting. I’d drawn a tree on a piece of paper for him, and with red and green paint, we used our apple stamps (or fingers), to paint apples onto it. Next, we glued some of the leaves we had collected from outside to the bottom of the sheet of paper. And there we had it – easy art by a one-year-old.
As well as collecting apples, leaves and acorns, we’ve also been filling our pockets with conkers. I used to love finding conkers as a child, and I have now passed that enjoyment onto Milin. After nursery this week, we picked up as many as we could in the exact same spot that I used to gather them with my dad and sister.
We used a couple of the conkers and acorns to make an autumn mobile. Glitter pens brightened up our leaves, and Milin had great fun sticking cotton wool to the clouds. Once his fingers got really sticky, however, he didn’t like having the fluff stuck to them and we had to do a bit of an emergency hand washing mission. We did the mobile over a few days, so when it finally came together, my little mister was most impressed by what he had made.
The rest of our conkers didn’t go to waste. They were lined up in patterns on the carpet in the lounge and transformed into a slalom course for Milin’s racing cars. I have a feeling I’m going to keep finding acorns and conkers everywhere for the next little while.