Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year; the temperatures are cooler and the trees explode in a kaleidoscope of color. Fall is a time for long walks with your children, discovering the beauty of the seasons, and spending time together. What better way to capitalize on this time than creating fall leaf crafts with your kids? Your children will learn about the changing seasons and you’ll bring some of that beautiful color indoors.
Preserving Fall Leaves
Collect colorful fall leaves; use only those leaves that are still flexible and have no brown spots. Place leaves between two pieces of wax paper, but make sure they don’t touch. Cover the wax paper with a cloth and gently iron it; do not use steam. The wax paper will melt and seal the leaves inside. Once the paper has cooled, have your children cut the leaves out, leaving about 1/4 inch of wax paper around the leaf. These leaves are beautiful hung on a window or glued to a piece of construction paper as a collage.
Even your smallest child will enjoy this craft. Place a supple leaf under a sheet of typing paper, ridged-side-up. Using the sides of crayons that have lost their paper, let the child rub color over the paper. The image of the leaf will appear. Experiment with colors and different sizes and shapes of leaves.
Stained Glass Leaves
This activity is for older children or younger children with adult help. Cut a piece of black construction paper in the shape of a leaf. Cut out the middle, so you have a 1/2- to 1-inch frame. Tear up pieces of fall-colored tissue paper and arrange them on a sheet of clear contact paper. Once you have all the tissue paper in place, peel back the sticky side of the contact paper and fold it over the tissue paper. Press out any air bubbles. Place your construction paper leaf frame over the contact paper and trim away any excess. Glue it in place and hang it from a window for a brilliant stained-glass look.
This creative and messy project, described in detail at crafts.kaboose.com, is sure to delight younger children. With brown paint, paint your child’s hand and part of her forearm brown and press it to a sheet of white construction paper; this will create the trunk and branches of your tree. After you wash the paint off your child, pour fall-colored paint into small containers and let the children dip their fingertips into the paint to give the tree leaves. Mount this autumn art on a large piece of orange construction paper for a beautiful display and a keepsake for years to come.