Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fall Toddler Crafts – Why Rake When You Can Make Leaf Turkeys

I am constantly on the lookout for toddler crafts for my little Bean but at only sixteen months, many of the amazing toddler crafts are just a little bit above her level.  However after trolling Pinterest (my latest obsession) for a few new ideas, I came across these leaf turkeys and decided to give it a go.  This project was magical for more than one reason.  For one thing it required fallen leaves, which meant going outside to pick them up.  
Bean spends every morning leaning against the patio doors pleading to go “side, side peas” and with fall upon us,  I find myself having to say “no” more and more often.  Today we bundled up and went into the backyard with her Halloween bucket in tow.   I tried explaining that we were putting leaves in the bucket but she just stared at me blankly so I began picking up leaves showing them to her and then placing them in her bucket.  After only a few leaves she began taking them from me and placing them in her bucket on her own.  Then as her toddler independence surfaced, she began taking the leaves from me,  walking them to a new spot in the yard,  laying them down on the ground and then picking them up and putting them in her bucket on her own.  Finally, she realized that my taste in fallen leaves was no comparison to her own and she began shooting down my leaves with an affirmative “NO” as she turned her back on me and filled her bucket on her own.  

Once her bucket was full,  I told her we were going to take them inside and she looked at me overturned her bucket with and “uh oh”!   I tried to hold in the laughter as we began filling the bucket all over again. 
When it came time to create our turkey, I cut a circle out of plain cardstock.  We started by coloring the circle.  Then I turned it over to add the “tail”.   think glue dots would have worked but I only had scotch tape.  I started by handing the tape squares to Bean but after I pulled the tape from her hair, I changed my strategy and added the tape to each leaf and drew crayon dots on the circle.  She then pushed the leaf to the circles and we both patted them down.  When the leaves were added, we flipped the turkey over and added the face.  I recently bought a container of a hundred foam stickers so since I was working with what I had we used upside down letter “y”s for the feet, the insides of the “o”s for eyes and a “J” for the nose.  The Bean added the eyes and nose and I drew crayon circles on the front to help her place the feet.  

Since Bean was not ready to be finished and threatened a tantrum when I lifted her turkey away, I placed tape circles on the back of a few leaves and let her add them to the front until she got distracted and walked away!  
All in all this was definitely a great fall toddler craft and it was one that we can continue tweaking since our yard has an abundance of fallen leaves.  I am thinking leaf pumpkins, leaf pilgrims, leaf Indians native Americans!  I hope you enjoy this one and be sure to let me know if you have any ideas for more fall toddler crafts suitable for a one year old!
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