Creating Sunshine During the Cool of Autumn


When I write about the “endless” days of summer, I am referring to the infinite possibilities for fun that my children and I seem to be able to make. Why is it, then, that just a few weeks into the school year, we seem to have a collective brain-freeze when it comes to occupying ourselves during the myriad of school professional days, Columbus & Veterans Day holidays, and early dismissals of the Fall? Granted, in the East Coast where we live, we are already much more limited in our outdoor possibilities, but even the indoor creativity that thrived over the summer seems to be completely sapped!

If you find yourself in the same autumn rut, here is a warming craft idea that we made up last year when we were missing the sunny days of summer:

Sun Sticks

Summer may, indeed, be long gone, but we brought the sunshine indoors with this simple art project.  All you will need is:

  • A piece of construction paper (in any color)
  • Washable yellow paint
  • A paintbrush
  • Newspaper to protect your work surface
  • A handful of uncooked spaghetti noodles
  • Glue
  • Magic markers for drawing a face (optional)

Have your child paint a circle in the center of the sheet of construction paper.  Set the paper aside. Now for the messy (read: “fun”) part.  Over the newspaper, invite your child to paint each noodle with the yellow paint. If you have it lying around, use orange paint on a few noodles, to add extra flair. If some noodles break during the process, that’s okay! Keep them.

When all of the noodles have dried, have your child spread small lines of glue all around the circle on the construction paper, then arrange the painted noodles all around it, like rays of the sun. Noodles of varying lengths and colors make for a decorative and interesting sunshine that can be displayed anywhere to bring warmth to a room, despite the autumn chill outdoors.

By Signe Whitson, LSW.  Signe writes for many popular sites like Psychology Today.  Her co-authored book about passive aggressive relationships is full of great advice for moms, co-workers, and even family members.  She has worked as a child therapist for over 10 years and shares all her experiences.  She writes for one of our partners, My Baby Clothes Boutique.  Check them out next time you need a cute newborn hat or a picture-perfect flowered headband, they have it all.
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