We’re thrilled to welcome guest blogger Jen H. She is the co-founder and art director of Family Sponge.
Autumn in Florida is like no place I have ever lived. The weather is warm, the leaves don’t change colors, and the pumpkins are shipped down from Tennessee. You have to try really hard to make it feel like fall, yet it is so worth it. One craft my kids and I did to get ready for fall is make milk jug jack-o-lanterns. Since the Tennessee pumpkins don’t make it down to Florida for a few more weeks, this project is an easy way to bring some fall cheer to the front porch.
Tools & Materials
mini Christmas lights
I absolutely love making crafts that are made from things that might be considered “trash”— it’s a great way to show the kids that there is beauty in everything and how to be more environmentally conscious. These lanterns are made from plastic milk jugs that would have gone into the recycling bin otherwise.
After we rinsed out the jugs and let them dry, I cut a hole in the back with scissors. (This is definitely a grownup step.) The hole can be whatever shape you want—it really just depends what sort of light you are going to put inside. We used Christmas lights that we had in storage, but I just saw some mini battery operated tea lights that would work really well if you aren’t in the mood to bring out your Christmas boxes yet.
We rarely let our kids use permanent markers (which I am sure is the same for most parents!), so this craft was a special treat. We let the kids know before we handed them the marker that this was a special occasion and that they could use it since we were watching. And I definitely had my hawk-eye on my three-year-old, who tends to stamp her face when I am not looking. The kids had a blast drawing faces on the milk jugs. As much as I want to give them suggestions (it’s my personality), we let them go to town and be as creative as they wanted. My four-year-old added hair to his lantern, and my three-year-old did what she does best—scribbles and circles.
After we admired our creations, we went outside and strung the lights through the back of the jugs. I even brought out some pretend fall leaves to help set the mood. Once we plugged in the lights the kids were elated—their creations turned magical in an instant. They danced around and had so much fun welcoming fall to our tropical home in Florida!
About Kiwi Crate
Kiwi Crate delivers monthly projects for kids ages 3 to 7, all materials and inspiration included. All activities are reviewed by experts and tested by kids to make sure they encourage curiosity, exploration, and creativity! Learn more.