Monday, 10 October 2016

Colour Me Happy - Autumn Crafts in the Forest

I'll admit to feeling a bit of a slump this September.  It hit me really hard. The end of a fabulous summer and amazing holidays. I struggled with the back-to-school scenario, Ruby moving up another year, her last year in her current school.  The sense of time rushing on and passing me by.  The sudden change in the weather and the days shortening.  However, Autumn has always been my favourite time of the year and now that October has kicked in, I can feel my spirits start to lift again with the promise of spectacular colours, afternoons spent kicking through crispy leaves, gathering shiny conkers, the smell of woodsmoke and bonfires, hearty casseroles and wooly mittens on the horizon.


I'm not alone,  recent research by the Forestry Commission shows that  96% of people point to beautiful autumn colours improving their mood.  In order to make the most of this stunning time of the year, they have developed a series of 'Colour Me Happy' autumn trails  to delight the senses.  Children and families can search for and hide acorns like squirrels, listen to the crunchy leaves underfoot and forage for juicy blackberries.  The trail will give your wellbeing a boost before the winter months.

Rachel Giles, Learning Manager, explains:

“Autumn is such a special time of the year, and the forest creates a wealth of opportunities to explore with all our senses – from tasting juicy blackberries, to smelling the damp earth, and enjoying the amazing array of colours of the trees. We hope that this trail will really get people excited about being in the forest this autumn, and that they will also learn something about the trees and wildlife that they find during their visit.”

There is also the chance to be part of our wonderful woodland weave. Hang your piece of forest art within the canvas to help us create a vibrant community artwork and share the growing masterpiece with us on Facebook using #ColourMeHappy.

We headed to the forest this weekend to soak up some fresh air, and I popped a few craft materials in my bag.  Collecting up autumn treasures such as acorns, pine cones, beautiful coloured leaves, delicate ferns and soft feathers, we set about making a dream catcher.  All you need is a hoop - you can use a wooden embroidery hoop, or make one from wire - some string or yarn and some beads and collected treasure to decorate.



Dream-catchers originate in Native America and are hung above the bed to filter out bad dreams.  Ruby's delighted with hers and plans to hang it in her bunk in the camper van.

Next, I set her the task of finding some tiny treasure. She hunted down teeny pine cones, delicate feathers, small pieces of fern and miniature coloured leaves to make fairy jars.  I brought along a packed of little glass jars (I bought mine from The Works and cost £1 for a packet of 6) and some packets of glitter.  We filled the jars with fairy treasure and a sprinkle of magic dust.  She's made some for her friends as good luck charms, and we think they're just delightful.



If you want more ideas such as making your own blackberry art, leaf bookmark, mini woodland weave or autumn colouring sheets, download the free activity pack from the Forestry Commission.

Disclosure: We are Forestry Commission bloggers and receive an annual pass, we were also sent a pack of craft materials for this activity.



Growing Family

17 comments:

  1. I love the colours of autumn too, they really are uplifting and golden! Ruby's dream catcher is beautiful - I have one too, over my bed! I hope it brings her sweet dreams!

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  2. love the dream catcher, a trip to the forest always makes us happy.
    Love the collection of treasures!

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  3. I love Autumn too and not just as it's when I have my birthday! It is a stunning time of year and spending time with trees is good for positive mental health.

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  4. Autumn is fantastic for spending time outdoors and in the woods. I love the dream catchers with natural treasures. The little bottles are so cute - I am definitely off to get some of those so we can bottle our own Autumn treasures. I need to download the activity pack and get us out into the great outdoors.

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  5. The fairy treasure jars are such an adorable idea. I'm not the most talented person when I comes to crafts but I think even I could manage those ��

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  6. Autumn is also my favourite time of year. We nearly named our daughter after the season and I read a blog post from someone who had, where they described how some people think o autumn as a sad time because it's the end of things, but actually autumn is when you reap your harvest and can enjoy the rewards of your work. By the way, as an aside, I think The Forestry Commission sound like a really lovely brand to collaborate with.

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  7. Love these crafts. I find Autumn really hard, the transition out of summer and I think the only way to deal with it is to embrace it. Love the Forestry Commission.

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  8. So much fun to get outside and collect all the wonders that nature can offer for crafts. We have a big walk planned for this Sunday. Mich x

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  9. Oh I love your dream catchers - so pretty! We've been trying to find the local woods to where we've just moved to but without much joy, I'm desperate to go for a proper walk!

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  10. Eliza would love doing this, she is obsessed with fairies at the moment

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  11. Lovely ideas - any mention of tiny treasures and fairy jars warms my heart! So much to find out there at the moment.

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  12. Oh what an adorable idea! My daughter would love to make that dream catcher x

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  13. Oh I love these. They look amazing. The dream catchers are a fab idea xx

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  14. Oh, how beautiful! I love autumn and could spend all my days ourside if I could, admiring its beauty and vibrant colours!

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  15. Those dream catchers are so pretty.

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  16. What a magical way to spend time outdoors exploring nature! I think autumn is the most uplifting season, there's just something about all those colours and textures that makes me stop and appreciate the big outdoors more than at any other time of year. Those fairy jars are just brilliant, and what a lovely idea to make them for friends - I definitely need to do this craft with my daughter, she'd be in her element! Thanks so much for linking up with #NaturallyCrafty :)

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  17. Love love love these activities thanks for linking up #naturallycrafty

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