Fall is one of the most inspirational times of the year. Maybe it’s the changing leaves, the earlier sunsets, or the cooler air, but there’s something about it that makes me want to be creative. Of course, the leaves falling are also a reminder that winter is just around the corner and that it will soon be too cold to get outside and explore.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the harvest season with your toddler and feed their creativity at the same time, you’re in luck. We rounded up 15 of the most adorable fall-themed craft ideas for kids we could find so you can make something beautiful together.
The best part? They’re all inspired by nature. There is more to a “crafty morning” than pipe cleaners and a toilet paper roll. You can use leaves, apples, and pinecones as materials to name but a few. That means you and your little one have an excuse to fit in an easy outdoor adventure to collect some of your crafting supplies.
So, whether you’re looking for a way to use up those empty toilet paper rolls you’ve been saving or you want to make fun fall crafts that your toddler will be proud of, you’ll find some inspiration here. Let’s get right to it.
Check out Debbie’s cute crafting idea from one little project. Fall is apple season and apple stamping is a fun, easy way for little hands to get messy and make an adorable craft at the same time. The best part is it can be adapted for kids of different ages. You can either use apples you get from the store or go out and pick your own for some added fun.
In addition to the apples, you’ll need craft paint and paper. Cut the apples in half from the stem to the bottom, apply the paint, and let your little one stamp away. You can embellish with doodles, googly eyes, glitter or just leave it as is for a more abstract look.
Autumn Handprint Tree
Art Crafty Kids put together this simple project where all you need is a pencil, paint, a paintbrush, some cotton swabs, and paper. Trace an outline of the child’s hand in the center of the paper, then paint inside the outline with brown paint. This is your tree trunk.
Next, have your child dip the cotton swabs in colorful paint and dab around the fingers to create brightly colored leaves around the branches of the tree. They can use either a single cotton swab or bundle a dozen or so together to cover more area. This is one that you’ll want hold onto to look back on as your little one gets older.
Munchkins and Moms put together a fun marble painting craft you toddlers would be sure to enjoy. For this craft, you’ll need marbles, paint, paper, and a shallow cardboard box or tray with a lip that you don’t mind getting covered in paint. You can showcase the browns, reds, and oranges of autumn but this craft can easily be adapted for any season or holiday.
Place the paper in the tray and drop a few blobs of paint on it. Then, place the marbles in the tray and let your toddler shake it back and forth, rolling the marbles through the paint and creating a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Want even more of a fall theme? Simply cut the paper into a leaf or acorn shape.
Louise from Messy Little Monster put together this simply yet super cute craft. Obviously, the first thing you need for leaf monsters is leaves and collecting them together is part of why this project is so much fun. Get outside and start hunting. Any leaf will work but large, flat leaves that haven’t yet turned brown work best.
Lay the leaves out on a table and have your toddler paint them any color they want. Allow the paint to dry then embellish them with googly eyes for a monstrous look. You can also add doodles with a permanent marker, sequins, feathers, or any other embellishments you have on hand. If you want something that will last a long time, you can always use fake leaves instead.
Leaf Rubbing Collage
Here’s another great way to get outside and put your leaf collection to use from Mama Papa Bubba. For this project, any leaf will do but the more variety you have, the better. Other than leaves, all you need are crayons and paper.
All you have to do is lay the leaves down on the table with the veiny side facing up. Then, place the paper on top of the leaves and color over leaves with a crayon. That’s it. You can change it up using a different color for each leaf or stick with one for a more uniform look. Frame the finished project and hang it up every fall.
Pinecone Bird Feeder
Here’s another great craft from My Kids Adventure using natural materials that also gives you a chance to enjoy nature a little more when you’re done. All you need to get started are pinecones, birdseed, and peanut butter. You can also use vegetable shortening if anyone in your home is allergic to peanuts.
To start, smear peanut butter all over the pinecone making sure to get into all the little cracks and crevices. This is a great way to let your toddler get messy. Once the peanut butter is in place, roll the pinecone in the birdseed until it’s covered then use string to hang outside where it’s visible from a window.
This is a great way to enjoy nature even if the cold weather is keeping you inside.
This one from Glued to my Crafts is really simple but gets some beautiful results. All you need are pumpkins and paint. As far as the pumpkins go, you can really use any size you want. Mini pumpkins are fun and very friendly for little hands but this is a good alternative to actually carving a pumpkin, too, that will last a while longer than a jack o’latern.
All you have to do is give your toddler a pumpkin and let them paint all over it. You can provide brushes, sponges, or cotton swabs or they can use their fingers. Pouring small amounts of paint is good fun, too. Allow the paint to dry then display for all to see.
Crafty Mornings shows you how to make a really nice keepsake that you’ll look at year after year and wonder where the time goes. All you need is brown and white paint, a paint brush, and paper. We suggest getting a frame, too, so you can revisit this one every year when you get fall decorations out again.
Start by mixing a bit of the white and brown paint together. Then, cover your toddler’s palms in the resulting light brown shade. Then, help them make handprints on the paper. Add a painted cap to the handprint acorns and allow to dry.
Glitter Leaf Garland
I’m in love with this craft project by House of Jade! Not only is this a fun craft for you and your little ones to do together but you also end up with a genuinely lovely fall decoration when you’re done. All you need are a bunch or artificial leaves, white glue, a hole punch, ribbon, and glitter. If glitter is too messy, you can also use confetti.
Paint the leaves with the white glue then sprinkle on the glitter. Let your toddler pick where to place the glue for a more interesting look. After they dry, punch a hole in the top and use the ribbon to string them.
Potato Stamped Leaves
This is a pretty simple project by How Wee Learn. All you need for this project is paint, paper, and potatoes. You can use any size potato but make sure they fit comfortably in your little one’s hands. A mix of sizes would work well, too. Cut each potato in half then cut some vein shaped into the flesh so it resembles a leaf.
Let your toddler dip the potato into the paint or you can brush the paint on if that’s easier for their skill level. Then, have them press the paint onto the paper and create as many leaf shapes as they want. You can embellish with doodles or glitter pens if you want to add a little something extra.
Coffee Filter Leaves
This is another cool craft from Artsy Momma that results in an awesome fall decoration for your home. Your toddler will love seeing something they made hanging up for all to see. For this project, you’ll need round coffee filters, scissors, and markers and a water bottle.
Cut leaf shapes out of the coffee filters and lay them inside a disposable pan. Using the markers, help your toddler draw onto the leaves. Next spray them down with a water bottle. Allow them to dry then take them to a window or glass door where they’ll glow in the sunlight.
Tear Art Leaf
This is a really toddler-friendly project from Buggy and Buddy that even the littlest hands can get in on. All you need is some construction paper, paper plates, glue, and scissors. You can also add pompoms, glitter, stickers, or any other embellishments you have on hand. You can also use tissue paper if you want an airier look.
Give the paper to your toddler and just let them tear it to bits. Then, cut the center out of a paper plate to form a wreath shape and glue them onto the circle. Add any embellishments then let dry. Use string to hang.
Autumn Sun Catchers
For this project from Artful Parent, you’ll need to do a bit of prep work. Cut the center out of a paper plate then cut a piece of clear Contact paper that’s slightly larger than the hole. Have your toddler stick leaves, flower petals, seeds, and any other semi-flat natural material to the Contact paper. This is another project that encourages you to get outside and see what you can find.
Once your toddler is happy with their work, use another piece of Contact paper to seal everything in. Your toddler can decorate the paper plate frame any way they want, too, or you can leave it white. Attach the art to the frame and hang in a window, they look great in bright sunlight.
One of the best things about craft leaf printing from Meaningful Mama is you have to get outside and collect some fallen leaves which gives you and your little ones an excuse to get outside and explore. Whether you find them in your backyard or take a toddler lead hike on a trail, it adds a lot to the experience.
For this project, you need leaves, paint, paint brushes, and paper. Any size leaves will work but generally the larger the leaf, the easier the project will be for small hands. Let your toddler cover one side of the leaf in the color or their choice, then simply press it onto the paper for the finished look.
Coffee Filter Fall Tree
Not only is this craft perfect from Reading Confetti for little hands, but it also reuses empty toilet paper rolls and gives you an opportunity to teach your little one about the importance of recycling. You’ll also need round coffee filters and fall colored markers.
Have your toddler scribble on the coffee filters with the markers. Then, mist the filter with water so the colors all run together then let them dry. Cut about ⅓ of the way down one end of the toilet paper tube to create branches. Add three to four coffee filters inside and you have a perfect little fall tree.
Be Inspired by Nature
Fall truly is one of the most beautiful times of the year and one of the best ways to celebrate it is by spending time with your little one to let your creativity flow. Best of all, you can actually get outside and collect some of your materials to really get those juices flowing.
We gave you plenty of ideas here but choose the ones that make sense for you and your toddler. If they prefer making a mess to making art, there are plenty of ways for them to get their hands dirty and still make something worthwhile.