Leaves (cont.)

Arts & Crafts

Fall Leave Mats

You'll need:

• assorted colorful leaves (whatever is available in your region) • scissors (ADULT USE ONLY) • waxed paper • newspapers • iron (ADULT USE ONLY)

What to do:

Take a short walk together and collect some fall leaves. Cut 2 sheets of waxed paper about 9" to 10" long. Help your child place one sheet on a folded newspaper. Let her arrange the leaves on the waxed paper. If the stems are thick, trim them with scissors. Help her cover the leaves with a second sheet of waxed paper. Place another sheet of newspaper on top. Press over the newspaper with a warm iron, sealing the leaves between the sheets. Check for a good seal and press again, if needed.

How to use:

The leaf sheet can be used as a placemat or hung in a window.

Leaf Collages

Cut out different leaf shapes out of fall colors and have the children glue the shapes onto another piece of paper.

Leaf Rubbings

Have the child place a leaf under a piece of paper, and rub the paper with crayon, and the leaf shape will appear. This works much better with green leaves.

Leaf Hands

Trace your child's hand onto a fall color of construction paper, and cut it out to make it look like a maple leaf.

Leaf Tree

Use brown construction paper for the trunk of the tree, and tape up fall leaves to the wall to make a huge fall tree in your classroom.

Leaf Painting

Have the children paint, using leaves as paint brushes.

Leaf Glitter

Find some old brown leaves. Have the children crumble them up and use them as glitter. You could even paint them before you crumble them to make different colored glitter.

Leaf People

Have the children glue a leaf on a piece of paper, and draw legs, arms, and a head to create a person.

Leaf Mobile

Have the children attach leaves to a hanger with different lengths of string to create a mobile. Hang around the classroom.

Torn Paper Tree

Have the children make a torn paper tree with brown paper for the trunk, and red, orange and yellow paper for the leaves. The children should be supplied with the paper and glue. they should tear the pieces of paper into the shape they want it to be.


Supply each child with a piece of white paper and instruct them to paint it using red and yellow paint. they may mix the paints to create orange. Allow the papers to dry, then flip the papers over and draw leaf shapes on the back for the children to cut out. Have them cut out the leaves. You may then:

- Have them make a leaf mobile
- Have them glue them onto a piece of paper for a leaf collage
- Hang them from the ceiling
- Have them glue them onto a piece of paper with a trunk to make a tree
- Put them up on a bulletin board
- Hang them from a classroom size tree.

Aluminum Foil Leaves

Pieces of aluminum foil, leaves, glue, construction paper

Set out pieces of aluminum foil and a variety of fall leaves. Let each child select a leaf, place it under a piece of foil, and gently press and rub the foil with his or her hand to get a leaf print. Then have the children glue their leaf prints to the construction paper. This is a wonderful art project, but it also can be a science project. The children can see the veins and stems, and this can start a really great discussion.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Leaf Rake

Take a paper plate and cut itin half. Put the two halves together and staple aroung the curved edge, leaving a gap at the top. Straight side remains open. Insert a paper towel or wrapping paper tube into the gap at the top of the curved edge and staple at each side of the tube. I used hot glue to ensure it's placement. Draw a line across the plate about 2 inches from the bottom. Have the children snip from the straight edge to the line. Add color to the rake if desired and add constuction paper leaves as an added touch.

~Submitted by Linda in New York

Pretty Fall Wreath

First i have the children go for a walk, we all have our own small lunch bags, we pick up leaves, twigs, acorns, etc..., then we take paper plates with the center cut out,(older children may cut out centers themselves)and let them paint the plate, brown/orange/yellow/ i like to give them a choice, after paint dries, let them glue on the objects they found while walking, it makes a very pretty fall wreath.

~Submitted by Sandy in Florida

Leaf Mobiles (my dcks loved these)

Cut a 1" strip from a cereal box (we used posterboard). Tape it into a circle. Punch 6 holes in the strip. Have the children collect colorful fall leaves on a nature walk. After they have been collected, press them between pieces of wax paper. punch a hole in the wax paper leaves and tie them with yarn of different lengths to the circular strip.

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Leaf Bookmark

Cut construction paper into strips 3" wide and 6" to 8" long. Have the children collect leaves on a nature walk. Place contact paper on the table sticky side up. Have the children arrange the leaves on the contact paper. Have them choose a strip of construction paper to lay over the leaves. Cut around the edges of the construction paper.

I found it easier to have them put the leaves on the construction paper and then put contact paper on top.

Could also use same idea to make placemats.

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Preserving Leaves

Press and dry: Place leaves between the pages of an old phone book. Or put them between half-inch thicknesses of newspapers. Set bricks or weights atop the papers. Allow the leaves to dry for several days.

~Submitted by Betheny

Leaf Dip

In a shallow pan, mix one pint of water with 13 ounces of glycerin (available in drugstores). Place up to 30 leaves in the pan, make sure each leaf is completely coated with the solution. Allow the leaves to soak overnight. The next day, remove the leaves and dry them between newspaper layers. Let the leaves dry for several days. Leftover solution may be reused.

~Submitted by Betheny

Dried Leaf Art

Collect a variety of colors of fall leaves. Bring the leaves inside and let them dry. Crumble up the dry leaves and place them in bowls. Set out the bowls of leaves, small bowls of glue and brushes or cotton swabs. Give each child a piece of construction paper. Let the children use the brushes or swabs to spread glue all over their papers. Then have them sprinkle small amounts of the dried leaves on top of the glue. Help them shake the excess leaves off.

Leaf Rubbings

To make a leaf rubbing, ask your child to place a leaf under a piece of paper. Using a crayon, help your child gently rub on top of the paper until the leaf print shows through.


Press them between sheets of clear contact paper. Another thing we like to do is arrange fresh colorful leaves on a large piece of colorful construction paper and "laminate" both sides with clear contact paper. We then use pinking scissors and cut all around the edges for really beautiful placemats. The leaves stay nice for a long time.

Leaf Art

Tape or glue freshly fallen fall leaves to construction paper. Draw a picture around each leaf. Some ideas are people, an umbrella, a duck, a fish, etc. These are really cute. Best for ages 4 and up.

Pressed Leaf Collage

Arrange your collection of leaves (collect bunches of colorful fall leaves) on a sheet of waxed paper. Scrape crayon shavings onto the paper so that they fall onto the leaves. If desired, sprinkle glitter on the leaves also. Cover collage with another sheet of waxed paper. Iron over this collage with a medium iron. A construction paper frame can be cut to serve as a mat for this collage.

Leaf Rubbings

Collect leaves, paper and crayons and show the children how to place several leaves under a sheet of paper. Using the flat edge of the crayon rub over paper. The image of the leaves will appear.

~Submitted by Barbie

Leaf Prints

You will need: Leaves, Paint ("fall" colors), Black Construction Paper, and Newspaper
Put down lots of newspaper! Paint one side of each leaf (not too thick). Carefully arrange leaves in one layer, paint side up, on clean newspaper. Place a piece of black construction paper over the top of the leaves and press gently! A little messy, but very fun.

~Submitted by Barbie

Leaf Splatter Painting

Use a lid from a box that is approximately 9 by 12 inches. Cut a rectangle from top of lid leaving a 1 1/2 inch border. Invert the lid and place a wire screen over the opening. Tape the screen to the border. Arrange the leaves on a sheet of paper. Place the lid over the arrangement. Dip a toothbrush into thin tempera paint and brush across the screen. When the tempera dries, remove the leaves.

~Submitted by Barbie

Gold Leaf Necklace

Supplies: Real leaves, gold spray paint, newspaper or other type of surface protector, yarn, hole punch, laminator and laminating film or clear contact paper.

Take a leaf hunting walk and have each of the children choose one very special leaf from their gathering. Press them between book pages for a couple of days to flatten, then spray paint them over newspaper, using gold spray paint (spray outside while there are no dck around). An imaginative story can be told to the dck to explain how their special leaves may have turned to gold (or they can be used to create a lesson illustration). Laminate the gold leaves, punch a hole in the stem end of each and have the children thread yarn through them.

Variation 1: Instead of necklaces the laminated leaves can be glued to other objects. E.g. hair combs or barrettes, craft paper for wall art etc.

Variation 2: An equal number of a lot of leaves can be pressed, then either pictures of opposites or identical pictures can be glued for every two leaves to make opposite matching or memory games.

~Submitted by Jeanie in SK

Leaf Necklace

Supplies: Red, orange and yellow construction paper, markers, stickers or other flat objects to glue. Optional glue if using gluable objects, laminator and film or clear contact sheet vinyl, lengths of coloured yarn, hole punch, scissors.

Cut (or have older children cut) several construction paper leaves for each child, using all the fall colours. The children can decorate them with markers, stickers, etc. Laminate the leaves and punch a hole into the stem end of each leaf. Yarn is threaded through to make an autumn leaf necklace.

~Submitted by Jeanie in SK

Falling For Leaves

Have children create colorful fall foliage to hang in front of a sunny window. To make one leaf, fold a piece of red, yellow, brown or orange construction paper in half. Cut out one half of a simple, symmetrical leaf shape starting at the fold. Then cut out the center of this shape, leaving an outline about 1/2 inch wide. unfold the outline; then lay it on a slightly larger piece of waxed paper. Drizzle a generous amount of glue along the shape's outline and in the center of the waxed paper. Press tissue-paper squares onto the glue. When the glue is dry, peel the leaf off the waxed paper. Trim around the leaf's edges. use fishing line to hang the leaf from the ceiling in front of a window.

~Submitted by Betheny in NY

Theme Ideas

Floating Leaves

Heap up lots of leaves & place them in the middle of the sheet or parachute. Have the children gather around the edge of the sheet & have them lift the sheet slowly & then quickly to see how all the leaves "float." What fun! You can use this song with this activity:

LEAVES ARE TWIRLING - sung to "Frere Jacques"

Leaves are twirling
Leaves are twirling
All around, all around
They are falling softly
Very, very softly
To the ground, to the ground.

Add more verses that the children can create as you play, to make the leaves move faster, higher, etc.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Leaf observation

Collect leaves from a variety of trees. Place them and a magnifying glass on the science table for the children to explore. Encourage the children to touch them, smell them, count them, & sort them by size, color & shape.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Last year, with preschoolers, I cut out construction paper leaves in fall colors. On each leaf I would put either a capital or lowercase letter from the letters we had been working on. I laminated them and put magnet strip on the back. Then as a center, I would have students match the letters on the chalkboard.

~Submitted by Charlene from Ohio

Leaf Crunch

Collect leaves. Pour leaves into empty water table Allow children to scrunch up the leaves with their hands Children can also sprinkle the crunched leaves on a cardboard leaf shape with glue to make a leaf mosaic. Great sensory experience!

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Leaf Collecting

Take a nature walk with the children and encourage them to collect different colored leaves. Then use a warm iron to press the leaves between 2 sheets of waxed paper. To make a frame, put one inch strips of black construction paper around the inside of the waxed paper before pressing. To add color, put shavings of old crayons in the leaves before pressing.

~Submitted by Barbie

Leaf observation

Collect leaves from a variety of trees. Place them and a magnifying glass on the science table for the children to explore. Encourage the children to touch them, smell them, count them, & sort them by size, color & shape.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Leaf Bracelets

Wrap a piece of masking tape (sticky side out) around each child's wrist. Go on a nature walk and have children collect one leaf from each of several trees, sticking it on their leaf bracelet. When the class returns, sit in circle. Teacher holds up each leaf shape in turn and lets children identify similar leaf on their bracelets. Let children wear their bracelets home and check the types of leaves in their yards.

~Submitted by Barbie

Leaf Seriation

Mount leaves in several sizes on index cards. Have the children put the leaves in order from smallest to largest or largest to smallest.

~Submitted by Barbie

Leaf Lacing

Get leaves the bigger the better as they are changing colors. Lay them on contact paper both sides then you can punch holes around the edges for lacing or the kids can sort by color, size, shape or whatever.

~Submitted by Barbie


Preschool Leaves Theme - Everything Preschool
L is for Leaf - First School
Leaves - KidSparkz
Fall Leaves Theme - Preschool Plan It
Fun With Fall Leaves - Universal Preschool

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