Incorporating Leaves into Lessons

Incorporating Leaves into Lessons

It is that time of year again when the leaves start to fall off the trees. Autumn can be a very colourful season, especially for children as the outdoors can become a big adventure. Outdoor crafts have been proven to be very beneficial to children as they have a chance to improve skills that are important in development like creativity, confidence, and imagination. One way to help children explore the outdoors in autumn is to use leaves in their art projects. Leaves in Autumn are all different colours, sizes and textures which makes them an excellent material to make art with. And collecting them can be a lot of fun as you can go anywhere to collect your leaves for art like a forest, where you will find all different coloured leaves.

Here are a few activities that children can do with leaves.

Painting with autumn leaves
Why not make a beautiful masterpiece by using leaves as stencils? Lay a few leaves out on a piece of paper or card and hold them in place with blue tac. Then get the children to choose a range of coloured paint which they can use to paint around the leaves using them as a stencil. Any media can be used to create different designs and textures like a sponge or a paintbrush. Or you could just get the children to paint the leaves and decorate them, so you have some coloured leaves that can be used as artwork. The important thing is that the children get the freedom to be able to make artwork so that they have a chance to practice their creative skills.

Crafting an autumn leaf suncatcher
Another idea is to make an autumn leaf suncatcher for windows so that the children can use their creativity while making it but also be proud to show off on the window. You’ll need tissue paper in colours like yellow, orange, red and brown as well as some sticky back plastic and some leaves to decorate the front of the window catcher. Cut the plastic into any kind of leaf shape the children want, and whilst doing that get the children to cut or tear up the tissue paper and stick to the sticky side of the plastic to create a collage. When they’ve covered the surface, get a second sheet of sticky back plastic to stick over the tissue paper. They may like to make a border for the leaves, which can be made out of any paper or card you have laying around. Finally, stick the leaves in the window and watch the lovely autumn sunlight come shining through.

Leaf Rubbing
When collecting leaves you will see many different shapes, sizes, colours, and textures. One way to see the textures is to do leaf rubbing where a child would put a leaf under a piece of paper and rub a crayon on top of the paper that the leaf is under. And if the children fancy it, they could make multiple rubbing and make a collage with them. This could be done underneath a school canopy as they are still able to incorporate the outdoors in their work whilst being sheltered from the weather.

Leaf Art
Whilst collecting the leaves the children could make pictures by arranging the leaves into shapes and patterns like making a fish or a balloon, even a favourite toy or book or film character of theirs. They could then take a picture of their super autumn creation, so they are able to show off their creations.

Symmetrical Leaf Art
Another activity is that if you cut the leave in half and stick it on a piece of plain white paper they can try and draw the other side of the leaf that has been cut off and practice their symmetry skills.

Any of these craft ideas don’t have to be done perfectly, that is all part of the fun as the messier the better! The main thing is to give children a chance to do something fun and creative while also incorporating the outdoors into their learning.

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