Key to Successful Family Craft Projects: Keep Them Simple!

by Lindsay Ferrier | December 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm | comments

The fall transition into winter is one of my favorite times of year. After a long, hot Tennessee summer, we revel in the crisp autumn weather and spend much of our time outdoors. During this season, I try to work nature into our craft times as much as I can.

School and work keep us all very busy, and if I took too many cues from some of the family crafting blogs and magazines out there, I’d feel defeated before I even began. I’m not the most artistic person in the world, and I simply don’t have time for crafts that require a lot of prep time or skill, although I do admire people who have a knack for that sort of thing.

Luckily, though, I learned something important very early on: my kids don’t care. They simply want the time with my husband and me, regardless of what we’re doing. With that in mind, I keep our family activities frequent… and very, very simple.

Earlier this month, for example, we went for a walk around our neighborhood. By now, many of the leaves have fallen from the trees, but there are still plenty to be found on the ground. We were determined to find the most beautiful ones and bring them home.

My four-year-old proudly brought along his “Nature Journal” to hold the leaves inside. Its binding is a brown lunch bag, folded with extra space on the open side so that it could be folded down. A pipe cleaner runs through a hole punched through the top to create a storage envelope for the things we find on our walks. The pages are construction paper cut to fit the book and stapled inside. My son decorated the outside by drawing and cutting out a bumblebee of his own design.

My daughter put her leaves inside a “Nature Box” we made last year, which is a shoe box covered in construction paper and decorated with her drawings. This Nature Box stays in the garage and has really come in handy when my daughter has brought in bird feathers and eggshells. Those things are nice and all, but not exactly items I want to keep in the house!

By the time we circled the neighborhood, each child had collected dozens of fall leaves and Mommy had collected dozens of fall photos. We had more than enough to make our fall crafting project! It looks pretty impressive, but it’s actually just a paper plate with the center cut out. I hot glued the leaves to the plate’s rim. Voila! A nice fall wreath for our kitchen! It goes to show you don’t need impressive arts skills to have fun crafting time with your family. All you need is the drive to create and quality time to spend together as a family.

What is your family’s favorite fall craft?

Lindsay Ferrier is an Emmy award-winning journalist who found a new career as a blogger (Suburban Turmoil) after having children. She now has two stepdaughters in college, a four-year-old boy and seven-year-old girl.