I don’t know about your children, but mine love autumn…the days are cool and crisp, but not so cold you can’t still play outdoors or go for a long walk. There are piles of leaves to jump in and autumn treasure hunts to go on. Then there are those wet days we get (too many of) this time of year too. While it’s sometimes fun to go out splashing in the puddles, some days are so gray and cold they just don’t entice you to go outdoors at all.
If you’re home all day with small children, it’s a great idea to have some quick and easy toddler friendly crafts up your sleeve, ready to pull out just before the boredom settles in. There are so many great activities that my girls loved to do, even as toddlers—I’m looking forward to being able to do them all over again with my youngest. The key is to getting the activity ready before you call your child to start, making sure they can do as much by themselves as possible (toddlers LOVE being independent), letting your expectations go out the window, and allowing them to create what they want to!
I’ve put together a few tried and tested crafts for toddlers to keep them entertained even on the rainiest day this autumn.
Make a Prickly Hedgehog
Autumn is the time of year we start watching out for the hedgehogs in our gardens. We leave a little bowl of food out for them, and it’s so exciting to see if any has been eaten the next morning. Your little one will love making these prickly hedgehogs out of paint and cocktail sticks! With just a little bit of pre-planning, your toddler will be able to create their own little critter that can live indoors!
Beautiful Leaf Suncatchers
One of our favourite things this time of year is to go out hunting for different coloured leaves. There are so many beautiful coloured leaves to be found, and they make a great introduction to talking about the changing seasons. We love making suncatchers, and these fabulous leaf suncatchers are a great way to bring some of autumn indoors. My kids always love sticking things onto sticky-backed plastic, and this keeps them entertained for hours at a time!
If your toddler loves those little eight-legged creatures, they’ll love making some of their own—they could even hide them around the house to scare Daddy! We love making these paper plate spiders—and if you have a pile of toilet roll tubes (who doesn’t?!), then you can even use those to make more spiders!
Decorate a Bag
Ever since they were toddlers, my girls have loved to have a bag of their own to take out with them—and it saves me having to carry everything! Why not take inspiration from the season and let them make their own autumn carry bag? A craft that keeps them busy AND is useful afterward is definitely a winner in my book!
Make Use of All Those Leaves
On our daily walks, we love to collect piles of leaves—we hunt for lots of different shapes and colours. We always seem to have piles of leaves scattered around the house, so I love a craft that uses some of them up! I love these natural art animal pictures—they look fantastic and are a great activity for a toddler. You can talk about different sizes, shapes, and colours whilst you’re creating an animal of your own.
Get Painting with Acorns
Toddlers love to paint. And while it might be messy, they have so much fun that I think it’s totally worth the hassle—plus it usually occupies them for a whole morning or afternoon, giving you a little bit of breathing space! As well as leaves, my girls always collect pocketfuls of acorns, pine cones, and pebbles. This idea for rolling acorns in paint is a great way to put them to use. Kids will love getting messy and making some fun patterns with the acorns.
image: Getty/Cornelia Schauermann
More Activities for Toddlers: