Autumn Celebrations at The Holiday Zone
Corn Cob Flowers | Dried Bean Mosaics | Fall Color Placemats | Harvest Paintings |
Leaf People | Leaf Rubbings | Marbled Leaves | Mr. Pumpkin Head | Nature Prints | Pressed Leaves |
Pine Cone Bird Feeders | Pumpkin Mosaics

Art and Craft Projects for Fall


Corn Cob Flowers
Purchase dried corn cobs from a feed-and-seed store; or purchase ears of corn at the store, shuck them, cut them into 2-inch lengths, and allow them to dry for a couple of weeks.

Place trays or paper plates of tempera paints at each table. Show children how to dip the end of the corn cob into the paint, then press it onto a paper to create a flower shape.

Give each child a sheet of paper, and ask them to create a garden full of corn flowers. They may use markers or crayons to add stems and centers after flowers have dried.

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Dried Bean Mosaics
Photocopy simple nature scenes onto sheets of heavy paper. (Cardstock is ideal.) Gather an assortment of dried beans (different sizes, shapes, and colors.) Let each child pick a picture, then show children how to fill areas with dried beans to decorate the picture.

Older children may enjoy the challenge of using small grains--rice, wheat, rye, oats, millet, etc.--to decorate their pictures.

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Fall Color Placements
(Laminator recommended; laminator or hot iron required)

Take children on a nature walk and encourage them to fill a bag with their favorite leaves. Upon returning to the classroom, hand each child an 8- 1/2 x 11-inch (A4) or larger sheet of laminating paper. Direct students to open the sheet, then arrange leaves between the two layers. Once leaves are placed, allow children to add other color -- crayon shavings or tiny bits of colored paper (origami paper works well).

> When the design is complete, simply have children fold the top layer of paper back down. The teacher may collect the finished projects and laminate or iron.

To personalize this project further, include a child-made name plate or a preprinted picture of the child inside the placemat.

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Harvest Paintings
Gather an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Depending on students' language abilities, you may wish to review the names of each.

Cover tables in newsprint or butcher paper. Place trays or paper plates of tempera paints on each table. Fall colors are preferable.

Show children how to dip vegetables and fruits in paint, then "stamp" their shapes on the table. Let each child paint the section of the table in front of him or her.

If possible, do this activity at the end of the day so that "table cloths" can dry while children are not in class. For the next few days, students can enjoy their paintings at the tables.

For second or foreign language students, table paintings make a great review. Ask students to find a brown apple print, a potato print beside a pear print, a corn print above a celery print, etc.

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Leaf People
As a class, take a quick walk outside. Ask each child to choose one leaf. (If this is not feasible, bring an assortment of fall leaves to class.)

Give each child a piece of paper. Tell students to glue the leaf to the center of the page, then use crayons or markers to add faces, arms, hands, legs, and feet.

As students complete their "leaf people," ask them to think of things their leaf person might say if he or she could talk. In the second or foreign language classroom, these may be adapted to the language abilities of children. For instance, a beginning student might say for his or her person, "My name is Jee-soon. I like rice and kimchi." A more advanced student might say, "My leaf person would introduce himself to the class. Her name is Alexandria. She enjoys coming to class, but she looks forward to going home to play."

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Leaf Rubbings
As a class, take a walk through a wooded area. Give each child a small bag in which to collect leaves. Encourage children to choose leaves that aren't too dried out--either still on the trees or recently fallen--so the leaves aren't crumbly. As the class gathers leaves, ask students to point out the differences they see among the leaves--differences in color, size, shape, texture, etc. Encourage children to father a variety of leaves, not just leaves of one sort.

Upon return to the classroom, ask each child to pick the "leaf colors" out of his or her crayon box. Direct them to put all the other colors away. Show students how to place a leaf under paper, then color over it to create an impression of the leaf in a vibrant autumn color. Explain that the leaves will fade in a few days, but the rubbings will remain colorful for a long time.

Give each student a sheet of paper. Let them create leaf rubbings to preserve their fall leaves.

A step further: To expand on this activity with older students, show students how to use a field guide. Have students identify the type of tree each leaf came from. You may also ask them to write a couple of sentences or a short paragraph about the type of tree, based on their field guide reading.

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Marbled Leaves
Copy various leave shapes onto white cardstock, one or more per child. Direct children to cut leaves out and place their leaves into a disposable aluminum pan. Invite one or two children at a time to bring their pans to a painting table, dip marbles into two or more fall colors of paint (red, orange, yellow, or brown), then drop the marbles into the pan and roll them around on the leaves.

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Mr. Pumpkin Head
Give each child a small pumpkin. Ask children to lightly sketch facial features on in pencil, then color them in using tempera paints or permanent markers.

After faces have dried, beginning ESL/EFL student may use their Pumpkin persons to review facial features and/or expression. (Ex. "Who has the happiest Pumpkin Head?" "Whose looks the scariest?" "Touch your Pumpkin Head's left eye." etc.)

Cover a windowsill or shelf with various colors of fall leaves. Display pumpkin people on leave-covered surface.

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Nature Prints
Gather a small assortment of leaves, weeds, flowers, herbs, and so forth. Cover tables in newsprint. Ask each student to select three or four items, dip them in tempera paint, then arrange them on a section of newsprint.

Have children clean hands, then give each child a piece of heavy paper or cardstock. Tell children to press their paper against the paint-covered objects. When they lift their papers, they will find their "print" on them.

Children who can write enjoy making their own "stationary," then writing letters after the papers have dried.

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Pressed Leaves
Give each child two identitical pieces of waxed paper. Tell children to arrange leaves in any pattern they like, then cover with the second sheet of paper so that leaves are "sandwiched" between the two pieces.

(To add interest, children may use glitter or crayon shavings in addition to leaves between the two sheets of paper.)

On a heat resistant surface, place the leaf arrangement between two cloths or towels. Press with a warm iron. Do not let children do ironing. The hot iron will seal the pages together.

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Pine Cone Bird Feeders
Give each child a pine cone, a piece of string, and a spreader. (Plastic knives make ideal spreaders.) Place a jar of health-food store peanut butter (no added sugar or preservatives) and a tray of bird seed at each table.

Ask children to tie their strings around the small ends of the pine cone. (Young children may need help.) Show them how to spread peanut butter along the surface of the pine cone, filling in the spaces along the lower two-thirds.

After cones are coated in peanut butter, roll them in bird seed. Finally, let each child take his or her feeder home and hang it up, or scatter the feeders in trees around the school. Enjoy watching the birds feast on a tasty treat!

A Step Further: Buy peanuts from a health food store. Slowly pour peanuts into a blender to make peanut butter as students watch. You may need to add a little peanut oil to improve consistency of the peanut butter. Let students sample the freshly-made peanut butter before sharing it with the birds. WARNING: CHECK WITH PARENTS BEFORE DOING THIS. SOME STUDENTS MAY BE ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS!

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Pumpkin Mosaics
Give each child a paper plate, a sheet of orange construction paper, a brown stem cut from construction paper, and a green leaf cut from construction paper.

Show children how to tear orange paper into tiny pieces, then glue the pieces onto the bottom of the paper plate. Ask them to cover the bottom of the plate completely in orange. After they have finished, they may add the stem and leaf near the top of their pumpkin.

(This project is designed for very young learners who cannot handle scissors. Older children might cut their own leaves and stems. They could also use torn pieces of black construction to add facial features.)

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