Sunday, September 27, 2015

Super Easy Fall Leaf Art Activity

I love Fall.  Here in Arizona, Autumn holds the promise of temperatures under 100 degrees!  Cooler mornings, a few changing leaves, and the ability to wear something other than shorts and t-shirts is a real treat for us.

Because we have more cactus than trees, we don't usually get to enjoy the rich colors of fall.  That said, I do love to introduce the children to this season through a variety picture books.

"With illustrations made from actual fall leaves and die-cut pages on every spread that reveal gorgeous landscape vistas, here is a playful, whimsical, and evocative book that celebrates the natural world and the rich imaginative life of children"  (Amazon)

"As the leaves fall from his favorite tree, Fletcher worries that something is terribly wrong. But then winter comes, and with it a wonderful surprise.
Do you know what it is? Join Fletcher and find out. . . ."  (Amazon)

"There are lots of beautiful fall leaves to find! Three friends have a big adventure hiking over a mountain and through a forest to collect leaves of all kinds and colors. What will they do with all their leaves at the end of the story? Jump and play in them, of course!  With easy rhyming text and fun sound effects, children will delight in this rollicking autumn story."  (Amazon)

These books are a perfect introduction to the beautiful colors of Autumn leaves.   An Autumn Leaves Art Project is a perfect follow up.  I've got a no fail, easy to create project that uses materials you've already got in your classroom.  No extra expense!

What I like most about this project is that each child's leaf is unique and beautiful.  I also appreciate the small motor skill development practiced in this project.  Younger children can NEVER have too much practice with tracing and cutting.  It's also amazing how many little ones have to practice before they get the spray bottle to work. 

Supplies needed:
  • Water-based markers (brown, green, yellow, red, orange) 
  • Old file folders (I got mine from an office that was happy to get rid of them)
  • A spray bottle filled with water
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Leaf templates 
Pre-Activity Notes:
  • Cover the work space with newspaper.  
  • Copy leaf patterns onto heavy scrapbook paper or file folder sheets.  Cut out and laminate.  These will be the patterns the children will trace.  

Step 1:  Cut the files folders in half (diagonally).  Give each child a file folder page.

Step 2:  Have the children fill the front of the page with the variety of colors.  Discourage the children from layering the colors.  Model filling up page with the colors side-by-side.

Step 3:  Once the page is covered with the colors, allow the children to lightly spray the page with water.  Have them carefully pick up the paper and shake it slightly (until the colors run).

Step 4:  Wait for the paper to dry.  Have the children fold the paper in half and trace a leaf pattern.    This is a great time to talk about symmetry.

Step 5:  Cut out the leaves.  Using a  black marker have the children draw in the veins.  Hang them around the room or use them with the writing prompt.  Remember, for the VERY little ones, you can always take dictation when using the writing prompt.

Pick up the complete file with directions and patterns by clicking here. (It's a FREEBIE)  


  1. I love this! I haven't heard of those books and the leaf art looks so fun.
    We're well into fall up north here. We went for a forest walk last week and admired all the pretty orange and red leaves! Here's hoping you have many days under 100 :)

  2. Great way to reuse and up-cycle!