When I was little, one of our classic autumn family activities was gathering up leaves during hikes or walks to collect and admire. Sometimes we planned an adventure to find specific leaves, sometimes we collected them for rubbings or tracings, and most of the time it was just a matter of grabbing up an extra colorful bunch as my parents were raking – just to keep and show-off.
To this day, whenever I go for an autumn walk, I think of my dad pointing out specific trees and showing us how they could be identified by their leaves. Now that I’ve started teaching my own classes, I wanted to share that lesson in a way that would be just as fun for young artists as it would be for budding botanists or little leaf collectors – so I turned it into a little “kit” of printables I thought I’d share with all of you!
Our leaf activity kit is a 3-page black and white PDF kids can use to collect found leaves, color, decorate or embellish, use for games, or really so much more! Your imagination is the limit with this one!
For your own fall leaf activity kit you’ll need:
- A few sheets of paper, heavy cardstock or watercolor paper
- Our Leaf Activity Kit Free Printable
- Other art supplies like crayons, finger paint, pastels or markers for coloring, etc. (we used chalk pastels)
- Binding supplies (we used a hole punch + brass fastener/keyring to make ID books)
- Ribbon or string (we used grosgrain ribbon + a glue gun to make a garland)
LEAF ACTIVITY KIT IDEAS:
There are no hard and fast rules or important instructions for this printable – you can just print and go – but we do have some examples of ways WE used them…
We cut our labeled leaf sheet apart, used a hole punch to make a hole in the corner of each, then put a brass fastener through – voila – a lovely little book of leaves we plan on taking on nature walks and to the park!
We also used pastels on our sheet of large leaves to make a leaf art garland. I saved our chalk pastel garland to use as some lovely, kid-made Thanksgiving decor!
You can color directly on the leaves, but we turned our sheet over and covered the back in autumn colors.
Once we finished coloring the back, we sprayed it with an art fixative (you can use hairspray if you don’t have any – it keeps the pastels from smudging and getting all over) let dry for a minute, then flipped over and cut around the outlines.
Once we had cut out all of our leaves, we used a glue gun to attach our leaves to a piece of grosgrain ribbon and tacked it up – how cute is that!
Print two pages of the same sheet, cut into equal-sized cards, and use for a memory game as we did!
There are tons of ways you can use this kit and kids often think of the most creative things to do with them – but here are a few more ideas for you:
- Print out, decorate and use as place cards, name tags or an autumn wall decoration at school.
- Print and frame in one big frame or 9 individual ones! This is super cute decor for the little naturalist in your life. 😉
- Experiment with different painting and printmaking techniques, once you’re done, you can make a tree out of washi tape and decorate it with your artistic leaves (we even made a wall-sized tree)!
- Print them on transparency sheets, cut them out and use them on a light table
For more fun kids fall activities try making a simple and colorful DIY felt fall tree. Create a stunning fall leaf collage using a totally unique and unexpected process. Or break out the recyclables to make your own charming woodland toadstool gnome home (SO. CUTE!).
And if you love this download, you’ll adore our Nature Explorer Printable Pack! Filled with pages of outdoor observation and exploration prompts, it’s perfect for hours of self-led nature learning and play.
Want to go the extra mile and try out some ecofriendly home printing? Check out our list of green supplies here to find some options for greener printer inks and cardstocks.