Autumn crafts for families

Mental Health

Get your creative juices flowing with these seasonal activities

Crafting is an incredible activity for wellbeing. It not only helps kids develop fine motor and problem-solving skills, but gives their self-esteem, creativity, and confidence a boost, too. And what just might be the best and most brilliant of all craft resources? Nature: it’s free, readily available, interesting, and educational. It’s also a sustainable and eco-friendly material, and it won’t cover your house in glitter – which is always a win!

What’s more, spending time gathering materials for your nature craft projects gets kids outside and moving, and it’s important to encourage this as the autumn days roll in, and exposure to sunlight decreases. In fact, this is backed by evidence, as research by the Wildlife Trusts showed that children’s wellbeing increased after they had spent time connecting with nature.

Nature crafting has many fabulous benefits, so here are four crafts you might like to try with your kids this season…

Autumn mandala making

A mandala is a circular pattern with a design that grows out symmetrically from its centre.

Creating a mandala is an act of mindfulness, as it requires focus and concentration. It’s a brilliant way to distance kids from any worries, and it’s also a beautiful piece of land art.

You will need:

Fallen autumn treasures, such as leaves, sticks, old lavender, acorns, pine cones, conkers, feathers.

How to make it:

Gather your treasures and find a clear space to set your mandala (avoid a path so no one walks on it!). Decide what to put in the centre, then build your pattern around it, one layer at a time.

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A pine cone cow

Pine cones make brilliant craft materials. They can be turned into hedgehogs with clay faces and googly eyes, or cover them with paint and roll them over paper to make brilliant prints.

However, our favourite pine cone craft is making a pine cone cow – it’s so easy you could make a whole family!

You will need:

Slim sticks, broken into four equal parts, and pine cones.

How to make it:

Cone cows are traditional homemade toys in Sweden and Finland, made by pushing sticks into a pine cone to make little legs. You might want to build an animal enclosure for your cone cows to live in, too!

A stone tower sculpture

Making a stone sculpture can be great fun. You might want to make one together with your child, or have a competition to see who can make the tallest tower before it topples.

You will need:

Stones and pebbles of all shapes, colours, textures, and sizes.

How to make it:

Start with the biggest stone at the bottom, then carefully balance each smaller stone one on top of the other. As you place each stone, really examine it to appreciate its uniqueness. Once you have the knack of building with stones, you could try to make a small house from them.

Autumn bunting

Autumn leaves are fantastic for crafting – you could make a crown, a wreath, or even a bowl! Autumn leaf bunting celebrates the season, and looks stunning strung up over fence or fireplace.

You will need:

A Variety of unbroken leaves that aren’t too dry, Mod Podge, string, mini pegs or glue.

How to make it:

To preserve the leaves, coat them on both sides with Mod Podge, and leave to dry. Once dry, attach to your string with mini pegs or glue, then display with pride!

Practise family nature crafting with no pressure or expectations – simply enjoy being together, and creating with the beautiful bounty of our natural world!

‘A Year of Nature Craft and Play’ is a new book packed with ideas by Becky Goddard-Hill and Catherine Hughes (Colins, £12.99, out 30 September).


To find out more about mindfulness and art therapies, visit counselling-directory.org.uk

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