Evie Creates • Fall Leaf Suncatcher

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When I go on a hunt for toddler crafts on Pinterest, I usually come away feeling perpetually cross-eyed or something. I seriously question some of these people's sanity - you want me to let my two year old do what with noodles and paint and string and glue and balloons and a tub of water? Don't get me wrong, I know kids love to get messy, but I just don't have the strength to clean up after those kinds of projects week after week. I mean, I grew up without sensory bins and themed play dates and I turned out alright. I'm convinced that things don't have to be complicated for kids to enjoy them, so I'm always searching for simple craft projects that Ev and I can do together, just to give her a taste of the pride that comes from being able to look at something and say 'I made that.' This is one of the simplest and mess free that I've found yet and it could be changed to suit any season or occasion, plus it was pretty enjoyable for Ev. I plan on doing one of a turkey with her when Thanksgiving gets a bit closer.

Anyway, you take as many different colors of tissue paper as you want and cut them into squares. You don't need a lot, just a jar full, enough to cover a 6 x 6" square or so. We chose to use use Fall colors and to cut them into 1/2" squares, but you can do whatever you want. I even thought it might be neat to cut them into simple leaf shapes, but Ev didn't have the patience to wait on me to cut out all those leaves so squares it was. Then you take a sheet of contact or laminating paper that is twice the size of your end product. Peel back the plastic halfway and secure with Scotch tape and/or fold over the edge a bit so that it won't curl up while you're working. Stick the pieces of tissue paper to the sticky plastic, layering them a bit, until the sheet is covered and there are no clear spots. Then peel the rest of the paper off of the other side of your sheet of plastic and fold it over your layer of tissue paper, sandwiching the tissue paper in plastic. Smooth the plastic out with a credit card, pushing out air bubbles and wrinkles as you go, but it doesn't have to be perfect.

At this point, Ev's part was done and she was getting grumpy so I laid her down for a nap and did the rest on my own. You could do this next step any number of ways, but the easiest way I found was to take some leaves we had collected from the backyard and hold it on top of the sheet as I cut around it. (Pinterest has a lot of free leaf coloring pages. If you wanted to, you could trace leaves onto the sheet with permanent marker, then cut them out.) Then I freehanded the ripples, taped them to the window, and it was finished!

I showed Ev what we had made together when she woke up from her nap and she was so excited about her 'leeb'. She giggled and squealed, sat down in front of the window, pointed and said "mama leeb?" to the big ones and "bee bee leeb" to the small ones. When Alex came home, I told her to show him what we made today and she was so excited and proud. She grabbed his hand and led him to the window, jigger jabbering and pointing to each one. Each time she passes the window, she stops and presses her little fingers onto each leaf. I love watching her in awe of such simple things.

Do you have any simple, low mess crafts that you do with your toddler? Please share!

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  1. This is such a fab idea. I think I might try it with John one day next week.

    1. It was so easy and Evie loved it! If you guys try it, let me know how John likes it. ;)



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