Take the kids on a walk to forage for leaves, twigs and pinecones, then kick off your wellies, make a hot chocolate and get stuck in to some autumn crafting together. All of our projects are easy enough for little ones to make, and they're budget-friendly too, as they use either natural materials or bits from the recycling box. For more fun craft ideas great for when the weather starts getting cold, read our guide to indoor activities for kids.


Cooking with kids is a great way to entertain your little ones. Check out our kids’ cooking recipes and kids’ baking recipes for ideas on easy meals and bakes that can help kids’ confidence grow in the kitchen. If you want to help your kids learn basic cooking skills, watch our kids' kitchen cooking tutorials to help them learn chopping and pan-frying, to weighing and measuring ingredients.

A great way to release kids' creativity and some of their energy is to create instruments from your recycling. Check out our guide on instruments kids can make for inspiration. If you’re looking for a more peaceful pastime, why not help them throw an afternoon tea? Or run through our fun yoga for kids' practice.

1. Upcycled fox

Homemade cardboard fox model

This fantastic fox is made from a cardboard toilet roll tube and two cupcake cases – simply add beads or googly eyes to bring him to life.Takes 30 mins plus drying time

You will need

More like this
  • newspaper
  • orange paint
  • paintbrushes
  • toilet roll tube
  • 2 white cupcake cases
  • 3 black beads
  • glue

What to do

  1. Lay down newspaper to protect the work surface. Paint the toilet roll tube orange and leave to dry.
  2. Open both cupcake cases out flat, fold both in half, then a quarter and then in half again. To make the face, open one of the cases back out so that it is in a quarter-fold with a crease down the middle. Glue the inside folded quarters flat together. To make the tail, glue the second case together so you have a thinner cone shape.
  3. Paint the two folded cupcake cases orange, leaving the tips unpainted for the tail and nose. Leave to dry, then turn over and paint the undersides. Leave to dry.
  4. Once the body is dry, create the ears by pressing the top front and the top back of the tube in towards the centre.
  5. Glue two beads onto the face for eyes and another for the nose. Stick the fox’s face to its body and glue the tail in place at the back, pointy side out.

2. Pinecone mouse

Pinecone mouse

These mice are easy enough for even the littlest hands to make – help them cut the ears and feet from felt, then let them glue everything in place. If you don't have felt, you could also use our playdough recipe to make the ears, feet and nose.Takes 15 mins

You will need

  • pinecone
  • light brown felt
  • small square of card
  • glue
  • scissors
  • small pink pom-pom

What to do

  1. Cut two small circles from the felt to make ears, then cut a small square from the felt that's about the same size as the base of the pinecone. Stick the felt square to the card and cut out a small base with two indented feet at the front.
  2. Glue the pinecone to the base and stick the pom-pom at the front for a nose before gluing the ears in place.

3. Apple stamps

Apple printed invitations

We've used halved apples to make a simple pumpkin-shaped stamp and a little herb leaf to make a stalk – perfect for homemade invitations to your Halloween or Bonfire Night party.Takes 15 mins

You will need

  • newspaper
  • apple
  • orange paint
  • plain white cards
  • plain white sticker label
  • black marker pen
  • scissors
  • small herb leaf, like sage or bay
  • glue
  • contrasting card

What to do

  1. Lay down newspaper to protect the work surface. Slice an apple through the middle and dip in some orange paint. Ensure it is coated well – you may want to use a paintbrush to coat the apple.
  2. Print pumpkin shapes onto the cards and leave to dry.
  3. Draw eyes and mouths onto your white sticker label with a marker pen and cut out. Once the pumpkin prints are dry, peel the sticker backing off the eyes and mouths and stick them onto your pumpkins.
  4. Glue a leaf to the top of each pumpkin and cut a small triangle from contrasting card to stick to the corner of the invitation. Add a little message in pen at the bottom.

Read our handy Halloween guides if you're planning a spooky party:

4. Eggbox owl

Eggbox owl

Thread ribbon through this cheerful owl and hang him from your child’s bedroom ceiling or a classroom wall. Raid the recycling box for egg cartons and wooden forks!Takes 1 hr plus drying time

You will need

  • newspaper
  • empty egg carton, preferably brown
  • scissors
  • brown, white and orange paints
  • black and brown pens
  • 2 wooden forks
  • 2 white cupcake wrappers
  • glue
  • orange felt, cut into a triangle-shaped beak
  • ribbon
  • shredded paper or paper straw (optional)

What to do

  1. Lay down newspaper to protect the work surface. To make the ears, cut in half the small semicircular flap from the side of the egg carton where it overlaps and closes. Paint the two ears brown and leave to dry.
  2. Flip the carton over so the bumpy base is facing upwards – this will be the front of your owl. Paint two white circles for eyes in a mask shape. Once the paint is dry, add black circles for eyes with a pen.
  3. Next, paint the body of the owl brown and the wooden forks orange. Leave to dry.
  4. Flatten the cupcake cases, fold in half, then a quarter, then in half again. Stick the insides together so that you have two ruffled wings. Use a pen to colour the wings brown on both sides.
  5. Once everything is dry, open the egg carton and stick the ears to the bottom half of the carton in the top corners.
  6. An adult should help with this step. Cut two narrow slits in the bottom of the carton where the legs will go. Insert your forks into these slits. Keeping the carton closed, use the scissors to poke a hole through the top centre of the owl between the ears – this is for your ribbon.
  7. Thread your ribbon through the hole and tie a knot. If you have holes in your egg boxes, fill them with shredded paper or paper straw. Stick the felt beak in place and glue the wings on to finish.

Think this owl project is a hoot? Try our brilliant chocolate owl cake and yummy hooting Halloween owl cupcakes.

5. Painted leaf collage

Homemade collage using leaves and twigs

Collect different leaves and twigs on a family walk, then use them to make your own creative collage.

Takes 20 mins plus drying time

You will need

  • newspaper
  • white card
  • assorted paints
  • sponge or paintbrush
  • leaves and twigs
  • glue
  • coloured pens
  1. Lay down newspaper to protect the work surface. Paint a backdrop for your scene – we used a sponge to paint patches of blue sky on our card.
  2. Glue down the leaves and twigs to make whatever characters and shapes you like. Leave to dry.
  3. Add details to the leaves with paints or coloured pens. You can add eyes and faces to your characters, or have fun with patterns and details.

Discover more ways to keep kids busy:

Indoor activities for kids
Rainy day cookies projects for kids
How to make paper mache
How to make a bath bomb
Top 5 easy bakes for kids


What are you favourite autumn crafts for kids? Leave a comment below...

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