Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Winds of Autumn

on November 29, 2012

“Mommy, can you please do a craft with me?” Little Bear pleaded. “Pleeeaaasssee???”

“Do I look like I can do a craft right now?” I asked (probably through gritted teeth). Baby Bear had just used her potty and was running, pull-up and pants around her ankles, to show me its contents. I was trying to catch both potty and toddler before calamity struck.

“When will you be able to do a craft?” Little Bear persisted.

Catching the toddler, but missing the potty, I sighed. “I don’t know. Right now I have to clean the carpet. Again.”

“That’s what you said yesterday,” she lamented.

… Mommy guilt. It’s a powerful force. …

I had brushed the same plea aside not just yesterday, but the day before yesterday as well, and quite possibly the day before that too. With two busy little people ever on the go, there’s always a mess to be cleaned up or a crisis on the horizon. … I dried the carpet, sprayed Bac-Out liberally, dished up dinner for the girls and spread a stalk of celery with peanut butter for myself before heading to the office to root through my kid craft bin in hopes of finding something quick, simple, and relatively mess-free to put a smile on my girl’s face.

Near the top of the first bin, I found a pack of color diffusing leaves, and inspiration struck. Christmas may be less than a month away, but according to the calendar, it’s still autumn. In fact, the girls had played in the leaves just this afternoon, and Little Bear had reminded me that we hadn’t yet done any leaf projects.

Dinner over, we cleared the table and broke out the markers. Little Bear helped pick out autumn colors — yellow, orange, brown, red, even purple and green. Then, we started coloring.

Coloring leaves …

So happy!

Little Bear colored leaves, while Baby Bear colored leaves, the table, both hands, and her face. Thank goodness for washable markers! I negotiated marker exchanges, kept the table upright, and colored when little hands grew tired. Soon, we were ready to add water.

Once colored, our leaves initially looked something like this:

Dry leaf …

A good soaking with the spray bottle turned them into something like this:

Wet leaf …

After a half hour on the drying rack, we ended up with this brilliant cascade of fall colors:

Finished leaves …

By the time we cleaned up, it was time for bedtime stories, good night snuggles, and LOTS of questions about leaves and why they change color. So what’s on the agenda for tomorrow, the final day of November? A stack of books that might answer some of Little Bear’s questions to read aloud and a lot more fun with the crisp autumn leaves that are finally blowing up on our porch!

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