With fall in full swing, we’re exploring new uses for our free printable leaf activity kit this week! To compliment our leaf-themed art projects (check out our autumn magic paper leaf wands and funny face paper leaf stick puppets) we thought we’d try an upcycled leaf learning activity. So we turned a scrap of cardboard and one page our leaf activity kit into a fall leaf flipbook matching game – perfect for shape recognition practice and fine motor-skill building!
In addition to being a fab way to recycle the side of a cardboard box, this graphic visual comprehension-builder is a way for little ones to explore positive and negative space.
For your own DIY leaf-matching flipbook you’ll need:
Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*
- Watercolors or other coloring supplies
DIY Fall Leaf Flipbook Instructions:
- Print our free leaf-match templates or draw your own leaves
Download our free leaf activity kit, and print the leaf-halves template page. Cut apart, then you can color as we did (and let dry if necessary) or use it as is.
We used watercolors to create pretty washed leaves in bright fall colors, but you can color yours any way you’d like. Using black in the negative space would be a great variation!
Tip: Don’t have a printer handy? Draw or trace leaves onto watercolor paper and follow the same steps!
- Cut out your leaf templates and begin building faces
Use a hole punch to make holes at the top of each leaf half-page.
Center your holes in the middle of the pages, about a half-inch from the top.
- Use a glue gun to affix to 2 thin strips of cardstock to the cardboard
We used a one-eighths-inch hole punch, so our paper strips were just a little thinner in width than that.
For proper placement, lay a matching set of your hole-punched leaf pages onto the cardboard – centered and lined up next to each other. Make small dots on the cardboard with a pencil, in the middle of each hole punch. Glue one end of each paper strip onto the corresponding pencil marks.
- Thread your leaf pages on the thin strips and glue the open ends down
Thread your leaf pages onto the strips. You can thread them so they stack in order, or mix up the half pages. Just make sure all the silhouetted halves are on one side, and the dotted outlines are on the other.
Once all your half pages have been threaded on to the strips, use a glue gun to glue down the open ends to the cardboard. This creates rings that will allow you to flip your pages again and again.
Et voila! A clever little flipbook your kiddos can use at home or at school for some matching halves practice!
Love this download? Try 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.
*A note about Amazon affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!