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Quick and crafty fall outdoor activities

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By Heather Mann

Fall is such a great time to get outside and enjoy nature with your kids -- and you don't have to spend one penny or devote an entire day to do it. Just power down, leave your phone at home and enjoy an hour of crafty fall outdoor activities together.

Outdoor Treasure Hunt
Go on a nature walk and collect materials for various projects. Give each person a paper bag and have them pick up any treasures they find: rocks, leaves, acorns, pinecones and so on. When you get home, spread out your treasures on a square of sidewalk to share with each other. Keep them in a special "treasure" box and use them for the following outdoor activities:

1. Back to Nature Tic-tac-toe
Collect two sets of like items, such as acorns, pine cones, rocks (at least five of each per set) to use as game pieces for an outdoor version of tic-tac-toe. Play by drawing a game board on the ground with sidewalk chalk.

2. Funny Fall Faces
Draw a circle on the ground with chalk and create a funny face using your natural treasures. Rocks become eyes, leaves become hair, etc. You can vote on the best one or take photos to hang on the fridge.

3. DIY Fall Decorations
Create wreaths, garlands and swags with objects you find in nature. Tie branch clippings together into a round or square wreath formation with extra twine or yarn from your junk drawer. Embellish with brightly colored leaves or fall flowers secured with twist ties or floral wire. Hang your fall family craft projects outside on your fence or front door.  Compost them later in the year, when they start looking shabby.

You don't need much to have a great time together outside this fall. Just grab a sweater and go!

Heather Mann is the mother of three little boys and a daily blogger at DollarStoreCrafts.com, where she shares hip craft ideas using frugal materials.

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