This week we bring you a guest post from our very own Art Specialist, Ms. Alissa! She loves making art with her daughter and would like to share with you a simple harvest craft that you can do with your children at home. This project also connects to some popular picture books that you may already have as part of your collection.
Now, without further ado, Leaf Creatures!
Autumn is in full swing and the most readily available materials are the vast amounts of colorful leaves all around us. I love to use the season as a starting point for arts and crafts projects with my daughter, Josie, who is approaching five-years-old. Both marking time and acknowledging the world around us starts the conversation. First, taking a nature walk to collect leaves is fun and a great way to get some fresh air and expend high energy levels. Josie and I collect leaves all the time–walking to the park, at the park, on the way to school, and just about any other time and anywhere we walk–we pick up leaves! Just try to remember to always carry a bag with you. 😉
This project is super easy to do. It costs nothing and the results are fantastic!
- An assortment of colorful leaves
- Drawing utensil
- Elmer’s glue
- Child-sized scissors
- Googly eyes (if you don have any, you can use white paint, hole punch cut outs, or white-out and draw a black dot in the middle. Works just fine!)
Start by spreading out a variety of leaves to look at and discuss their shape, color, size, the type of tree they came from, etc. Hold them up to a window, a lamp, or a flashlight and observe their veins, illuminated colors, imperfections. Leaves really are so beautiful!
I started by making a simple line drawing of different animals and fairies (because Josie is all about fairies right now!) on sheets of paper as inspiration for her leaf creatures. Don’t sweat it if you can’t draw–make a snake, a butterfly, a bird–keep it simple. Trust me, the line drawing will disappear very soon.
Let your child cut up some of the leaves with scissors (or just rip them up if they aren’t using scissors yet) and leave some of the leaves whole.
Next, have your child squeeze the glue within the drawing. Nothing like a squeeze bottle to get a kid excited about art making! Have a few q-tips around if they need to distribute the glue around the drawing.
Have your child place and press the leaves whole and/or cut up to create their creature. Add eyes and let it dry flat.
Lastly, hang it up! Kids love to see their work displayed around the house–they beam with pride!
- Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
- Look What I Did with a Leaf by Morteza E. Sohi
- Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
- We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger and illustrated by Miki Sakamoto
- Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert