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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Kids Crafts: Fall Leaf Cards

Fall... Autumn... whatever name it goes by, I love this season. My eyes can't help feast on the pageantry that Nature puts on around this time. The yellows and oranges and reds browns all around are too gorgeous to not let the spirit soar.

I have been deliberately taking a short detour, driving through a particularly beautiful neighborhood to get to Ana's school these days so I can fill up on the brilliance of the season.

kids crafts fall leaves greeting cardsOf course, with such pleasure comes a bit of pain in the form of fallen leaves that need to be cleared out before they clog the drains and pile high on the driveway.

Sure, I could use all the help I can get - even if it means letting little Ana laboriously drag a whopping half a dozen leaves nearly 2 feet across, only so she could gleefully jump on the pile and disperse the leaves I have already gathered.

During our little stroll around the neighborhood, Ana and I gathered a few fallen leaves - some reds, some yellows, some oranges and some browns - of various shapes, so we could dry them and use them to make greeting cards.

D's grandma had made a nice and sturdy flower-press when he was a kid, and now, it has sort of become an heirloom and passed on to Ana. We carefully placed the leaves in the flower-press and waited patiently for a week when it was sufficiently dry to be used for our crafts.

kids crafts fall leaves greeting cardsThese simple greeting cards are easy and fun to make, with very few items:
  • Fall leaves of various shapes and colors, pressed dry
  • craft glue
  • card stock paper
  • glitter glue in various colors (optional)

If flower-press is not handy, just place the leaves between blotting papers or even several layers of newspapers, weight it down with a phone book and let it sit for a few days; check to see if it is dry but not brittle before using.

kids crafts fall leaves greeting cardsBeing a sprightly little girl, Ana enjoys adding glitter and sparkles and rhinestones to everything she can and is allowed to... and these greeting cards were no exception.

To make the greeting cards, we simply glued the leaves on the card stock, let it dry a bit. This is fine as-is. But, of course, we had to add some shine: glitter glue is fun, but not easy for 3-yr-olds to use - it requires good control to squeeze the tube at a steady rate and move it into desired patterns.

Ana, of course, ended up squeezing big blobs on a couple of the cards and screamed in frustration that it didn't look like what I had done with my card. So, I held her hand and gently guided her to form dots and lines on her cards, which seemed to tickle her pink for some reason.

kids crafts fall leaves greeting cardskids crafts fall leaves greeting cards

It was nice for a change to hear the "No, Amma, I want to do it. Let go, Amma, let me do it" turn to "Amma, hold my hand and make pretty patterns on my card", leading to a co-operative and fun enterprise.

Soon the trees will be bare, casting a doleful backdrop which would be almost dreary were it not for the coniferous evergreens standing tall and reassuring through the soggy, frosty Winter.

And, of course, the anticipation and preparation for Christmas makes Winter almost welcome. Almost.

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At 5:39 PM, Blogger Darcie & Dad said...

We dont get in and read this enough--you do a great job of updating, Sheela--thank you! The P&J costume was a CRACK UP--how CUTE! And I always appreciate your artistic crafts--these leaf/cards are beautiful. Looks like Ana has inherited a bit of this talent as well. See you soon, I'm sure!

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Subhashree said...

I loved the pics. You are doing a great job jazzing them up. Is Oggie better?

At 7:50 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

HI dad & darcie, good to see that you stopped by :)

Hi Subhashree: thanks for checking... Oggie is slowly recovering after back to back ear infection and bronchiolitis, with antibiotics course... wonder why he is sooo susceptible...


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