Covid-19 has changed everything for families around the world and many children won’t be returning to school this fall, at least fulltime. One way to keep kids busy and learning is to involve them in autumn nature activities and nature projects to do at home.
Nature Crafts for Kids
You’ll probably find plenty of inspiration for kid’s garden projects in your own backyard or you may want to take your kids on a socially distanced nature walk around your neighborhood or local park.
Here are three imaginative children’s activities for autumn:
Fun with Terrariums
Terrariums are fun projects for kids of any age. A quart or one-gallon jar works well, or you can use an old goldfish bowl or aquarium. Put a layer of gravel or pebbles on the bottom of the container, then cover with a thin layer of activated charcoal.
Top the charcoal with a thin layer of sphagnum moss and add at least 2 or 3 inches (5-8 cm.) of potting mix. Sphagnum moss isn’t a necessity, but it absorbs excess moisture and prevents the potting mix from mixing with the charcoal and rocks.
At this point, you’re ready to plant small plants from your yard or you can buy inexpensive starter plants at a garden center. Mist the plants with a spray bottle and repeat whenever the soil feels dry, usually every couple of weeks.
Old-Fashioned Apple Pomander
Apple pomanders are great nature crafts for kids and the aroma is amazing. Start with a smooth, firm apple, perhaps one harvested from the garden, with the stem attached. Be sure you have plenty of cloves, which are usually more economical if you buy them in bulk.
The rest is easy, just help your kids poke the cloves into the apple. If younger kids need a little help, just make a starter hole with a toothpick, bamboo skewer, or a large needle then let them do the rest. You may want to arrange the cloves in designs, but the pomander will last longer if the cloves are close together and cover the entire apple.
Tie a ribbon or a piece of string to the stem. If you want, you can secure the knot with a drop of hot glue. Hang the pomander in a cool, dry place. Note: Old-fashioned pomanders can also be made with oranges, limes, or lemons.
Wands for Wizards and Fairies
Help your kids find an interesting stick or cut a sturdy branch to a length of about 12 to 14 inches (31-35 cm.). Create a handle by wrapping a shoestring or leather lace around the lower part of the stick and then secure it with craft glue or a hot glue gun.
Decorate the wand to your liking. For instance, you can paint the stick with craft paint or leave it natural, but it’s best to peel off any rough bark. Glue on seeds, stems, feathers, tiny pinecones, seashells, seed stalks, or whatever else strikes your fancy.