Autumn is here in all its glory! I spent much of the day outside digging up perenials, separating and replanting them. Would anyone like some free Japanese Iris? I have at least 100 extra tall white ones.
Fall is a great time to go out collecting leaves with your kids. For anyone living here in Lorain Co., pack a lunch and come on over to Beavercreek Reservation where there is a nice playground and Safetytown for the kids to ride their bikes around, all surrounded by glorious color. With two craft projects in mind, fill the now-empty lunch sack with lots of colorful leaves. Look for different shapes and sizes as well as colors. Talk about these things with your preschoolers while you walk and look and collect.
It took me a while to figure out what Mom was describing in that last sentence, cutting the corner and folding up the edges. Then I realized she's giving directions for making a paper frame around the leaf rubbings. These leaf rubbings are also fun to do with colored paper or with the leaves overlapping. Note that you need those old crayons that have been unwrapped by little fingers so that you can rub their sides over the leaves.
A second craft with the leaves is actually my favorite, but you'll need more supplies and adult help. You can make autumn place mats for your dinner table with those beautiful leaves by ironing them between layers of waxpaper.
Supplies needed: leaves, wax paper, scissors (ones that cut a decorative edge are great), old newspapers, cloth rag, iron and ironing board.
Set up the ironing board, plug in the iron and heat to a medium setting, no steam. Lay several layers of newspaper on the ironing board: this will absorb some of the hot wax from the wax paper. Next lay down a piece of wax paper, about 10 x 15 inches. Place a selection of leaves attractively all over the wax paper, leaving at least one inch of waxpaper uncovered at all edges. Top with another piece of waxpaper, then a sheet of newspaper.
Finally, cover the newspaper with an old cloth rag : this is to protect your iron from getting messed up by the wax or the newspaper ink. Set your iron on top and s-l-o-w-l-y heat the entire area of the waxpaper. Take your time and try to not move the whole stack around. After a while, peek under the newspaper: the two pieces of waxpaper should fuse together, locking the leaves in place. Carefully remove the cloth and newspaper and move the warm placemat to a table to cool: you'll probably want to cover the table with newspaper as well to protect it from wax. Make a placemat for each family member. After they are cool, use the decorative scissors to cut a nice edge.