It’s Not All Mary Poppins


It’s here. Fall. Not just because we’ve passed that day on the calendar, but because it’s HERE. The mornings are crisp, the days notaby shorter, the leaves are turning.

Why can’t spring do that? The First Day of Spring appears on the calendar, and outside? Snow up the wazoo, icy winds, sub-zero temperatures. It’s sheerest cruelty, tantalizing us with something that won’t arrive for another full month.

Fall, however, comes right on schedule.

Good thing I like the season. (All but that “harbinger of winter” part.) So out we go to find —“Colour! Look Mary, colour!” — the bright leaves that are beginning to speckle the sidewalks. We bring them home in bags, we bring them home on belts.

Our theme these days? Fall, of course. Mostly the falling leaves. We’re focussing on fall colours: red, orange, yellow, and brown.

The week we coloured leaves, which we added to our tree:


Next week we’ll sponge-paint leaves, in two ways. They’ll sponge on pre-cut leaf shapes, which will be added to our tree, and they’ll also sponge through a template onto a full-size sheet of paper, to make artwork to take home.

The week after? Those shaved-crayon projects I like to do, only leaves this time. Won’t they look nice hanging in a window?

Yesterday, a chill and rainy day and needing some rowdy indoor play, we played squirrels. A dozen blocks become ‘nuts’, and the children the squirrels. While they hide their eyes and DON’T PEEK — “I said ‘no peeking, you!’ ” — Mary ‘hides’ the blocks.

This block is hidden.

This block is hidden.

Then they run to find them so as to put them someplace safe to eat later. Just like real squirrels.

I may rue the fading of the light, but it sure does give us a lot of activity ideas!

September 25, 2009 Posted by | Canada, crafts, daycare, Ottawa, outings | , , , , | 6 Comments

Why I love my job, reason #563,143,654

Anna makes her leaf belt. Don’t you just want to squeeze her all to goodness?

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Anna, crafts, outings | , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Autumn crafts, again: Leaf belts and seeking more

Here we have our masking-tape belts, all turned into tapestries. The one on the far right is baby Noah’s. He was more interested in crumpling the tape than sticking things to it. The few leaves on it were placed there by the other children, who noted that if they stuck stuff to his back, he couldn’t rip it off. Clever little things, aren’t they?

The belts were not quite so lushly decorated when they were removed from the children, but once displayed on the dining room wall they became much more interesting. The leaf stash in the stroller — there is always a leaf stash in the stroller these days — the stash was raided, and slammed onto the tapes on the wall. Whapping leaves onto the wall was way fun.

Ta-dah! Thanks for the tip, JWG. (JWG’s comment is number three.)

It striked me that with fall here (or on its way for some of you), the time is right for leaf crafts. We’ve done a couple here. I have more, but I’m sure I’m not the only one with ideas!! Let’s open the floor: How about you out there? Any crafts you like to do with the fall leaves?

October 8, 2008 Posted by | Canada, crafts | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Autumn Craft

Two weeks ago there was the occasional leaf fluttering to the grass. A week ago, there were small scuffs of leaves edged up against the curb. Now there are increasing drifts of the things, and no walk is complete without a lovely crackling shuffle through the piles, and a great wadge of scarlet, orange, yellow, and brown crammed into every nook and niche in the stroller.

It seems a shame to leave such beauty lying about in the stroller, crumbling to leaf dust. (Or ingested by Baby Noah. Can’t convince them that the seat behind Noah’s butt is not a good leaf niche.

“Hey! Baby Noah is eating my leabes!”
“We’ve talked about this, lovie. Don’t put them where he can reach them. He’s a baby. He eats things.”
“But he’s eating my LEABES!!”
“Mm-hmm. So he is.”)

Today Mary decided we should put our leafy largesse to good use. The blue sheets are the last two of a package I bought from Grand and Toy a year or two ago (ON SALE!!): puffy white clouds on a pale blue sky. A couple sheets of brown construction paper become the tree skeleton. Green grass completes my part of the project.

Dot liberally with glue, and let the tots at it!

It helps to have friends who share.

And… ta-dah! Trees!

Only 3,574,083,094 leaves left to go.

October 7, 2008 Posted by | Canada, crafts | , , , , , , | 9 Comments