Movies are a great date night activity with your kid — yes, Frozen is fine, even the 17th time, because you have wine — but if you're feeling a bit more ambitious, look to your pantry for help. Not only is the pantry a toolbox for feeding ourselves and our families, but it can also be a treasure trove of craft inspiration for the cool fall nights and rainy days of October.
Here are five family-friendly craft projects for fall nights that rely on staples from the kitchen. Bonus: Many of them can be turned into gifts to give for the holidays. In other words, by doing these projects, you're basically getting a really, really early start on Christmas.
1. Milk Art
Milk art (pictured above) is a fabulous way to make abstract paintings. You'll need milk (non-dairy works, too), food coloring, dish soap, and paper for this craft. You can turn these stylish sheets into framed art to gift grandparents (or aunts and uncles!) later in the season, or turn them into holiday cards or chic gift tags.
Play dough is ridiculously easy (and cheap) to make at home — you only need flour, salt, and water. But you can add food coloring and spices to enhance the dough, and no fall list is complete without something pumpkin spice.
Last year we made this play dough on Thanksgiving for our kids to play with while they waited to eat.
I don't remember the noodle necklaces of my childhood being quite so cool, but as an aunt and now a mother, noodle necklaces have been some of my favorite jewelry to receive and wear. Also, noodle necklaces are a great use of partial bags of pasta.
Say no to messy peanut butter-covered pinecones! Look at this citrus twist on a kid-made, biodegradable bird feeder (which also makes for a sweet gift for your neighbors). First, make lemonade with the lemons, limes, and orange; then turn the shells into bird feeders. You can use kitchen twine to tie them up.
This DIY requires only two ingredients and takes less than a minute to make. Yup, that's right — less than a minute. Add a drop of food coloring if you want or leave it Plain Jane, but note that it will smell like your dish soap, so use your favorite scented dish soap for this one. Pack it in last year's plastic easter egg for a great gift for your kids' school friends.