Fall is a beautiful time of year, when the leaves change color and fall from the trees. Besides sweeping them up and bagging them, consider putting the fallen leaves to good use. Allow your children to collect them and turn them into leaf art. The multi-colored leaves make beautiful craft projects, and the best part is that they're free.
There are several types of crafts you can do from leaves. The only limit is your imagination. Crafts that can be used on a daily basis, like place mats and mobiles are the most fun for kids, as they get to reap the benefits. Leaf art projects include autumn leaf prints, fall collage place mats, autumn leaf mobiles and fallen leaf bookmarks.
Autumn leaf prints are made using muslin material, a hammer, construction paper, glue and scissors. Have the children collect leaves from the ground that are still moist and in various shapes and colors. Lay the leaves on top of the muslin material and firmly pound them with a hammer until they leave a colored image. If any pieces of the leaf break off, or become stuck to the paper, allow them to dry, then lightly brush them off. Frame the print with the construction paper and allow your children to display it as desired.
Fall collage place mats are a favorite among young children, as they get to see their beautiful leaf art displayed where everyone can see it. In order to make this project, you will need laminating sheets or access to a print shop that has laminating services. Collect and glue autumn leaves to a piece of construction paper and have your children draw pictures on it or make a journal entry. You can also use a favorite printed photograph and frame it out with leaves. Laminate the place mat using the thickest lamination available, to increase its life span.
Autumn leaf mobiles are a fun form of leaf art for everyone involved. IN order to make this project you will, again, need laminating sheets or access to lamination services. Collect leaves in various, shapes, colors and sizes and cut the stems to about half an inch (1.3 cm) in length. Laminate the leaves and cut them out, leaving about a quarter inch (0.64 cm) border around the edge of the leaf to prevent separation. Punch holes in the top of the laminated leaves, run string through them and display them on a broken twig or clothes hanger in a prominent location.
Fallen leaf bookmarks are another form of leaf art that would be fun for older children. Making this craft project requires clear shelf liner and a pair of scissors. Find several small, multicolored leaves and press them until they are flat, using two heavy books. Cut the drawer liner in to two rectangles that measure 8 (20.3 cm) by 2 inches (5.1 cm). Remove the shelf liner backing, stick the flattened leaves to it and adhere the pieces together to form a bookmark.