{Fall Activity Tree} Seattle Area Childrens Photographer

We did this last year and it was such a hit, the boys asked to do it again. Around here, autumn begins with long rainy days starting in October and doesn’t really end until June. With school holidays, snow days, days off from school due to power outages, the “activity tree” is a great way for a frazzled parent to have some things on hand for the kids to do, or look forward to doing as a weeknight or weekend treat.

I got the original marbled leaves idea from Little Wonder Days’ blog. First, I cut out different leaf shapes (I googled “leaf shapes”  and found a bunch of great leaf outlines to print).  Definitely use cardstock or a heavier paper (I used old file folders). Regular paper will soak up too much paint and you won’t get the marblized effect. Also, I would recommend just putting the leaves on top and then lifting them, instead of dragging the leaves across. Dragging mixes the colors, and while it’s fun, you get more brownish leaves instead of the marbled leaves.


Shaving cream with acrylic paint on top. I let the boys swirl with a chopstick.


What your leaves will look like. So pretty!


Be sure to have some sort of water on hand, for fun mixing when you’re done with the leaf crafting.


If your kids are like mine, eventually after all the leaves are marblelized, they’ll start to play with the paint and shaving cream mixture themselves


Then you might have some kid clean up to do as well. 🙂


After we made all the leaves, the boys and I made a list of what type of activities we wanted to do during the fall and winter. Then we wrote one activity onto the back of each leaf.


Using paper grocery bags, I made a paper bag tree with branches to hang all our leaves. I used thumb tacks to secure the leaves to the wall. Last year, after we picked our activity, the boys would have the leaf “fall” to the ground. They were pretty excited about the bare tree at the end of winter!


Here is our list for our 2012-2013 Autumn Activity List:

  • make a spaghetti and marshmallow building
  • have a sleep-over in the tree house
  • go bowling
  • make a train city and take over the house
  • have an unbirthday party
  • have a rain party (I’m not quite sure what this entails, but my youngest came up with this so we wrote it down)
  • make s’mores for dinner
  • go camping (with the tent) in the family room
  • kids get to be the parents for a morning, while the parents get to be the kids (big hit last year, requested again this year)
  • make cookies
  • go on a scavenger hunt
  • write and mail letters to family
  • make our own movie
  • visit a farm
  • have an egg hunt
  • put on a puppet show
  • go on a hike
  • do Dad’s electric train set
  • do a leaf nature book
  • shadow puppet show
  • make a blanket fort
  • family board game night
  • pretend to be pirates for a day, even when we leave the house
  • make a time capsule
  • have a dress up parade


Have fun and ENJOY! The more input your children get, the more excitement you’ll see them generate, and the more creativity they’ll get flowing. Plus, there are just bonus points if it’s something you can direct them to do and it lets you have a few more moments of peace and stillness during the long winter’s day. 🙂

Lasso the Moon

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