Fall leaf garland

© Sarah Lipoff

Between fits of screaming, crying, and general temper-tantrums yesterday, the babe and I actually came together to create a fun and cute simple art activity. She isn’t adjusting well to the whole “turn-the-clocks-back” thing and has decided sleeping is no longer essential. I, however, still need a little shut-eye at night and have stood up to her “shoooooes” murmurings at 2 am.

So, after her super-short hour-long nap yesterday, instead of enduring her fits of orneriness, I tossed her in the stroller (while she was uber-crying) and headed out with a determined smile on my face. After a couple of minutes, we both felt better and were ready to enjoy a lovely afternoon walk. The weather was perfect and those leaves were just calling to us to be used in some sort of fun art activity.

I selected some for the babe to hold while we walked and tossed a few under the stroller for later. By the time we headed back to the house, I had a great collection of colorful and local fall leaves. I spread them out on the table and got out the hole punch. My daughter is a bit young to punch holes, but leaves aren’t very thick or tough, so she was able to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze away her frustrations and get a couple of holes in a few of the leaves. I helped her out by putting holes in the rest.

Then, I searched around the house for a length of ribbon hiding somewhere. Once it was discovered, we sat down to thread the leaves with the ribbon to create a special fall garland to be hung along the mantel. Yeah, I did most of the threading, but my daughter sure was caught up trying to get the ribbon through the hole, which is great for building her hand-eye coordination and fine-tuning the small muscles in her hands.

And, it kept her occupied and busy for almost 20 minutes! WIN!

This is also the time of year to dig out all the fun fall books that along with entertaining your wee tot also educate. I came across We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger the other day, and we have tons of fun reading it together. We pretend we’re reaching up to grab the leaves off trees, attempt to say the colors of the fall trees, and then actually head outdoors and GO on a leaf hunt like the kids in the book. All in all a wonderfully fun learning experience. And, the book also introduces kids, in a simple way, to different types of trees and their characteristics. While we finished threading, I gave the book another read, which sure made finding the colors in the leaves in front of us even more fun – and great for my daughter’s color recognition skills!

After we had finished the fall leaf garland and hung it on the mantel to show dada when he got home, we were both ready to enjoy the rest of the evening. And, we both found our new decoration quite nice. In fact, my daughter spent a good amount of time enjoying some imaginary play pretending to make several more garlands to hang on her play kitchen while I quietly observed from the couch loving the show.

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