Fall is a great time to create and continue family traditions that engage kids and adults alike. Teaching your children to get crafty hones their creative skills and provides hours of entertainment, not to mention the resulting keepsakes that will produce fond memories for years to come.

The craft ideas below are designed to be safe, fun and seasonally inspired. Encourage your kids to try one out, or be ambitious and go through the entire list!

  1. Prismatic pinecones. Arm your kids with a palette of paints and brushes and let them paint the edges of pinecones. (Tip: Paint the edges white first to make the colors more vibrant.) Tie colorful ribbon to the stem of each pinecone and hang the masterpieces from window frames, on doorknobs or walls for a fall-fresh display.

  2. Acorn surprise. Start with plastic Easter eggs and a ball of twine or hemp. Wrap twine around one end of each egg to make it look like an acorn shell, securing it with super glue. Then fill each “acorn” with treats. Think about having a fall acorn hunt for a seasonal surprise!

  3. Menu magic. Make holiday dinners even more special by letting your kids in on the menu-making action. Paint an old platter or tray with chalkboard paint and let your kids write out the menus for upcoming holiday gatherings. If your kids can’t write yet, let them add their own brand of artwork!

  4. Lovely leaves. Press a leaf between two heavy books and let it dry for a couple of days. Then, place the leaf between two pieces of glass and line one piece of glass with colored linen bookcloth and display inside a picture frame.

  5. The Thanksgiving Tree. Paint a branch and put it inside a vase filled with rocks, nuts or pinecones. Cut out leaves from fall-colored construction paper. Punch a hole at the top of each leaf and use ribbon or an ornament hook to hang them from the “tree.” Have your kids write what they’re thankful for on the leaves.

  6. Scattered gold. Spray thick leaves with copper or gold paint and place on a mantle or wherever you’d like a beautiful fall accent.

  7. Autumn garland. Find an elegant-looking wire from the craft store. Next, attach your kids’ favorite trinkets to the wire, about one foot apart. You can also send your little ones on a nature hunt for leaves, acorns and other relics to use. Hang this precious “garland” over the fireplace or kitchen table for a memory-laden ornament you’ll cherish.

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