Kids Make Their Own Autumn Placemat
This is a great activity to do after our SoGAL Autumn Scavenger Hunt! If you don’t have time for a full scavenger hunt, have the kids venture out into the yard to collect about 12 dozen of their favorite autumn leaves or greens. Items that will easily flatten work best.
I can’t take credit for this idea either, as I have memories making these with my mom as far back as when I was about 4 years old. I know my warm, cozy memories of Autumn are due largely to the time spent with my family crafting and laughing! I hope you too will enjoy the memories made with your favorite little ones making these placemats!
Here’s what you need:
1 roll of contact paper
leaves and other nature items that will easily latten
Construction paper or any other paper you have on hand
a Rolling pin or pins
One large dictionary or another heavy book for each person
Crayons, markers, or paint to decorate the paper/poster board.
Here’s what you do:
Have the kids place their leaves and items in between the pages of the dictionary or book to help flatten them out.
While they are flattening, roll the contact paper back in the opposite direction to help flatten it out.
Help each child Cut 2 pieces of contact paper to your desired size (Approximately 12″ works well)
Put the pages together and have the kids roll them out as flat as possible. (It’s OK if you don’t have a rolling pin, you can use your hands but the kids get a kick out of rolling when possible!)
Have the child select their pieces of colored paper. They can also color, paint or decorate these pieces of paper. Suggest that the kids put their name or initials on the paper somewhere because this will be their very own placemat!
Carefully peel back the paper from the first piece of contact paper. It helps if the child holds one end while you peel back or vice versa. This is a bit tricky, but just do it slowly and you will be fine. If the paper begins to stick to itself, slowly roll back and flatten the continue. Lay this sticky side up on a very flat surface. Repeat with each child.
Have each child lay their leaves and paper on the sticky paper with their own creative flair leaving the edges and random patches clear so that they can stick together.
When all of their pieces have been laid out, you will now need to cover with the top piece of contact paper. This is the tricky part so take it slow. This is a 2 person job. Match the corners perfectly to one another and again slowly roll the contact paper away from it’s backing sticking it evenly as you go. You will get some bubbles and creases but that’s OK, it’s art!
Once you have rolled the entire back off, have the kids roll over the mats with their rolling pin. If edges have been left exposed, they can be trimmed with scissors and if something got really askew in the process, no one ever said the placemat had to be rectangle! Use your imaginations together and it will be a functional work of art no matter what!
Now if you are lucky, the kids will be so inspired, they might even want to help set the table tonight… hey, it’s worth a shot! But either way, your kids will be feeling so good at life, trust me!