Leaf rubbing is fun and easy, particularly for the younger children. Help your children find a variety of leaves from your yard or during a nature walk. Lay them flat underneath a blank sheet of light-colored construction paper (underside of leaf facing up). Assist your children, if necessary, in removing the paper around a handful of crayons. Next, have your children use the sides of the crayons to make a rubbing of the leaves, using long strokes across the paper. This is a great way to help children discover the designs of the veins and different shapes of fall leaves and make artwork to hang on the refrigerator for others to admire.
Leaf prints are fun to create using paint. Have your children collect different kinds of fresh leaves. A variety of shapes work best. Using a brush, have your children carefully paint the underside of the leaves, where the veins of the leaves are the most noticeable. Do this, by using a small amount of acrylic or poster paint. Place the leaves on the paper where your children want the leaf designs. Cover the leaves with a clean, dry paper towel and then very gently use a rolling pin to roll over top. Next, remove the paper towel and carefully lift the leaves. Your children can make art to hang on the wall, cards or even gift-wrap. Leaf prints can also be done outdoors, to observe the vein designs of leaves. To create water leaf prints, have your children paint leaves they’ve collected with water, using paintbrushes. Press the leaves onto cement to see the intricate vein patterns.
Another fun fall leaf project to do with your children is to press leaves. Use fresh leaves (and ferns if you’d like) and put them between wax paper sheets, leaving plenty of space to trim and preserve the “seal’. Iron the wax paper to create a seal between the wax paper and the leaves. It may work better if you put a thin towel over the wax paper before ironing. Trim the wax paper and you’ve got pressed leaves. It’s that simple! Another option is to put the leaves inside a book and weigh it down with something heavy such as a rock. You want to leave them for at least 2-3 weeks until dry. Now, the leaves that you and your children collected will stay colorful well into winter and spring!