As versatile as modeling clay is, it is no wonder that it is so popular as a pastime for children. Children love to work with their hands, and the soft texture of the modeling clay allows them to create all sorts of figures and even pictures. Regardless of whether you make playdough yourself beforehand for the topic of autumn or prefer to use previously purchased ones – with the help of our suggestions you can knead great things with children in autumn. Make autumnal figures and motifs or design creative pictures to get in the right autumn mood.
Knead pictures with children in autumn
Surely you have often painted pretty autumnal pictures with acrylic or watercolors. But has it ever occurred to you to use plasticine to get pretty pictures? Sounds interesting doesn’t it? And that’s it. If you want to knead in this way with children in autumn, you need any elements in 2D form, which you first make from plasticine. To do this, roll out a thin layer of modeling clay and then cut out the shapes with a blunt knife, a spatula or similar tool. Even cookie cutters for cookies with autumn motifs are ideal.
Then arrange the finished motifs on a sheet of paper. You can also knead some elements with the children free-hand – branches and twigs for example. The children can get really creative when creating such pictures. You are welcome to look for a few suggestions on the Internet from which the children can learn ideas.
Autumn tree with a round crown
For kneading with children in autumn, first form small balls out of red, orange and yellow clay. To do this, take very small pieces of each of the three colors for each ball and roll them into balls between your hands. This will create an interesting marble effect. Set the balls aside for now and form a long roll for the trunk from the brown modeling clay. Then press the roll flat on a sheet of paper (normal paper is suitable, but corrugated paper as in the example looks more effective and the putty sticks better).
Now arrange the balls in a circle around the tip of the trunk, leaving small spaces between them. Then the balls are also flattened with a finger so that you get oval-shaped leaves. Then repeat this inside the circle: you place the balls offset to the previous row, i.e. always between the leaves and when pressing flat, each new row should overlap the previous one. Carry on like this until the middle.
Knead mosaic pictures with children in autumn
Regardless of the motifs, pictures in mosaic optics always look great. And a simple variant to get such a look is modeling clay. If you want to knead this way with children in autumn, form thin rolls, press them flat and cut off small pieces with scissors. Collect these sorted by color in small containers. Then, in pencil, draw any picture you want on paper. Then spread the plasticine on the motif to get a colored picture.
Foliage leaves with template
Print out a leaf of leaves on paper and start “coloring” and kneading with children in autumn. To do this, place a piece of plasticine in any autumn color on the motif, press it flat and pull or push the plasticine in different directions while pressing. Then take a different color and repeat on an adjacent spot. The pulling apart creates interesting transitions between the colors that are very similar to those of real leaves. You can find a template for printing below.
Sheet of plasticine and acorns
This is a great idea that also promotes the motor skills of toddlers. Choose a suitable surface, such as a baking sheet, large sheet of paper, or parchment paper, and place it on the work area. Then shape a thin, long roll out of modeling clay, with which you can then design any motif. You decide for yourself whether it is a leaf, an apple or another typical autumn motif.
The child can then distribute the acorns (or small chestnuts, dry berries, legumes, etc.) on the lines designed in this way.
Animals made from pine cones and plasticine
With a little dexterity, you can even knead cute animals and other characters with children in the fall, using pine cones as a base. The scales are perfect for fixing the individual elements in place and adding faces, arms and legs in this way.
Fox and owl
This likeable fox and owl are really cute and also made easy. Roll out the modeling clay, then cut out the individual elements. Heart-shaped cookie cutters can be used for the faces and legs. With the fox, you simply press the curves of one of the hearts together slightly to get pointed ears. Then tinker with the other small elements, put them together and fix them to the pine cone.
Kneading with children in autumn – making snails
How about such snails as an idea for kneading with children in autumn? Autumn usually goes hand in hand with plenty of rainy days. Of course, snails appear in abundance. That’s why they’re also a great motif for handicrafts in autumn. Make a base in the form of a sheet of paper or cardboard and paint it. Then you form rolls that you fold together in a spiral once for the snail shell, while a second roll is used for the snail body.
Spider with chestnuts
Those who like to tinker with natural materials will find numerous possibilities for this in autumn. Chestnuts are one of them. As with the cones, the chestnut can represent the body of an animal, while you knead the rest of the elements with children in the fall. In the example above, you can see a really quick and easy idea that is good for kindergarten kids too: a spider. It is the perfect motif for Halloween.
Shape the legs from plasticine of any color by forming them into rolls between the palms of the hands. Then just bend it and fix it below the chestnut. Since the latter has a very smooth surface, the putty will not stick very well. Therefore, such figures are only suitable for standing.
Hedgehogs in spiked dress knead with children in autumn
The plasticine is not the main material for this idea, but it provides the best basis for creating the hedgehog’s spiked dress by inserting the materials into the plasticine. So you will still be kneading with children in autumn. Draw a hedgehog on a piece of paper or print one out. You can then color it in with crayons, acrylic paints or watercolors. Then spread a layer of modeling clay in any color on the area of the spiked dress. Now you can make the spikes and stick them in the clay. In the example you can see three variants:
Ideas for materials to design
- Straws: Cut the straws into smaller pieces. You should cut off one of the two ends at an angle. This gives the spines an even more appealing look.
- cotton swab: Cut the sticks in half and use the cotton wool to color the ends with acrylic, water or food coloring. Use typical autumn colors such as red, orange, yellow, brown and purple for this. Let the paints dry and then distribute the cotton swabs in the modeling clay.
- Pine needles: If you still have Christmas decorations that you do not use and that are made of artificial pine needles, you can also use these. Just cut them off and then press them into the clay. Real needles are also wonderfully suitable.
Whichever of the variants you choose, start with the top row and then work your way down. After each row, add a new layer of plasticine and stick the next row. In the example with the ear sticks, it is easy to see what is meant. You are welcome to come up with other materials. You can also add additional decorations such as homemade apples, leaves as a background, raindrops and others.
Autumn picture with imprints of leaves
Use real leaves for autumn pictures
Free template for hedgehogs
Maple leaf to design
Leaves and acorn
Instead of coloring in, make it colorful with modeling clay
Birch tree to print out – make leaves from plasticine in autumn colors
Tree trunk to design with leaves made of plasticine
Oak leaf template
Spider made of plasticine, pipe cleaner and bobble
Balls of plasticine for trees