DIY Autumn Sponge Stamps

All you mamas know that kids get bored easily, and when they get bored it’s difficult for anyone in the house to have any peace. Sometimes it can be good for them to be bored and figure out how to entertain them, but what do you do when you get an entire week of bad weather and everybody’s getting cabin fever?

For the past few months I’ve had the privilege of being friends with another military mom of a toddler close to my daughter’s age. This creative gal is a former elementary school teacher and, like me, hopes to homeschool her kids. For us, this common interest and our mutual need to keep our kiddos entertained blossomed into a series of regular play dates featuring fun activities focusing on colors!

I want to share one of my favorites with you, because it’s a perfect craft project for fall! This is an activity that could entertain both school-age and preschool-age children, although toddlers will need a lot of close supervision to do it.

Supplies Needed:

  • A few kitchen sponges
  • Scissors
  • One clothespin for each sponge
  • A marker to draw designs (if you’re like me and need lines as a guide)
  • Paper
  • Paint (my friend and I used a recipe for edible finger paint, which I’ll share below)

Directions:

First, take a handful of sponges and draw fun Autumn-inspired shapes on them! I’m not the most gifted at drawing, but I can handle drawing simple shapes like leaves, acorns, and pumpkins.

Using your scissors, carefully cut out the shapes. Then use the scissors to cut slits in the center of the back of each sponge. The slits should be about 3/4 inch wide and about an inch apart so that the tips of the clothespins will fit inside them, making a handle for each sponge shape.

Once you’ve cut the slits and fitted the clothespin handles into your shapes, you can use them to stamp paints onto paper to make a pretty fall collage!

For our 19-month-olds, my friend and I thought it would be best to make an edible paint just in case any ended up in their mouths. So, using a recipe I found in an older craft book, I used food coloring to dye some condensed milk a bright, cheerful green (since green was our focus for this project - you could do any combination of Autumn colors). If you want to keep your little one’s work of art, I wouldn’t recommend milk-based paint (although you could probably seal it with Mod Podge or something similar).

The advantage of using this recipe is that the paint is washable, non-toxic, and cheap. So if wandering little hands find their way into mouths or onto clothes after touching the paint, no harm will be done. With older children, I would use something like acrylic paint instead. Paint will wash out of the sponges easily as long as it’s wet, so you can wash and re-use these many times. Instead of using acrylic paint and paper, you could use fabric paint and stamp pillowcases, t-shirts, or cloth napkins with your fall designs.

When autumn turns chilly and wet, what indoor activities keep your kiddos occupied?

2 Responses to DIY Autumn Sponge Stamps

  1. Cute! And yeah, just in case it ends up in their mouths? Oh my. If I gave Levin a bowl full of brightly colored sweetened condensed milk, he would straight up drink it. There would be none left for autumnal leaf stamping!

  2. What an adorable idea! Will definitely be trying it soon!

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