There’s nothing like a good nature walk in the fall — the beautiful colors, the crisp blue sky, and the smell of autumn in the air. Believe it or not, there are so many creative projects, games, and activities using fall leaves, that you’ll want to collect as many as you can. It’s always fun to collect leaves of various sizes and shapes, but what do you do with them after finding them?
EASY LEAF PRESSING
If you’re looking for an easy way to preserve autumn leaves, try this basic leaf pressing idea! This is the simplest way to collect and press fall leaves without using an iron. You’ll need clear contact paper (you can find it in the kitchen section of most home stores), some scissors, and a little imagination. Arrange your leaves on the sticky side of the contact paper and place another sheet on top of it (sticky side down). Trim it to the size you like and hang it in a window to let the sun shine through! For a full walkthrough tutorial of this project, check out my original Easy Leaf Pressing post here.
You can teach kids basic sorting skills using colorful fall leaves! Have them sort their leaves into piles based on size, shape, or color. Ask your child to sort the leaves into their own categories, too. Maybe they want to make a pile of their favorite leaves, or the pointiest leaves, or maybe even the ugliest leaves! Sorting is an important skill and helps children identify sets, classify items, recognize patterns, and compare attributes. Why not practice this necessary skill with fall leaves?
When we were outside playing with colored chalk, I looked over at my son, and he was using the chalk to decorate leaves. He colored each one a different color and arranged them in a rainbow. The best part about coloring leaves is that the chalk is non-toxic, and the colors easily wash away, so you can create your own fall leaves no matter what season it is or where you live! You can extend your natural creations by coloring rocks, sticks, logs, or even the bark of trees.
Did you know that fall leaves make wonderful mosaic art? Grab a large sheet of white construction paper and have your child trace leaves of various sizes and shapes. Overlap them and trace them all around them with a pencil, then outline with black crayon or permanent maker. Color your design with crayons, colored pencils, or markers, and hang them on a wall to celebrate autumn!
LOVELY LEAF PETS
Kids can even turn fall leaves into friends! Use Elmer’s glue or a hot glue gun (hot glue guns work best) and some sturdy leaves to create different characters. Glue a leaf to a walnut, a rock, or a small stick. Add googly eyes and some pipe cleaners, and you’ve got yourself a miniature nature friend. You can also use plastic decorative leaves for this craft if you want them to last longer. Create additional fall friends with acorns and pinecones, too! It’s easy to add some googly eyes on to make them come alive.
And let’s not forget the best fall activity of all: raking! Rake those leaves into huge piles and jump in! Fall won’t last forever, so take advantage of nature’s beauty while you can. And if you’re looking for more fall fun, check out this list of autumn games from Darcy Zalewski.