Leaf-Collage

20 Fun And Creative Leaf Crafts To Try With Your Kids This Autumn!

It’s that time of year again. The temperature is getting a little cooler and the gorgeous colours of autumn are beginning to appear! A classic kids activity, using leaves to create games and art projects that are not only fun, but will keep them busy. Here are some super easy and fun ideas you can try with your kids this season! Whether the little ones enjoy artsy crafts or enjoy outdoors, there’s something for everyone. We’ve included the “What you’ll need” so you can find activities that include supplies you have, so you don’t have to go out and buy any additional bits.

1. Rubbing Plates

Leaf Rubbing

The gorgeous coulous of autumn are in the leaves! Only problem is that dry leaves can get extra dry and fragile, and if you’re doing activities with your toddler, this can get a little messy. This easy DIY will not only ensure the leaves are not crumbling away but also a reusable activity.

What you’ll need:

  • leaves
  • laminating paper
  • laminator
  • book ring (to keep them organized)
  • scissors
  • optional: label with sharpie and whole puncher for making the hole to put the book ring through

source and full instructions: 5 Orange Potatoes

2. Collage/Abstract Art

Leaf Collage

If you don’t mind a little bit of a mess, unlike the leaf preserving lamination above, then this one’s for you!

What you’ll need:

  • dropper
  • paint of your choice
  • paper
  • straws
  • glue
  • dry autumn leaves (if not dry, you can pop them in to the microwave for a bit)

source and full instructions: Full Circle

3. Lantern

Leaf Lantern

Before it gets too chilly to spend time in the garden, these lovely lanterns can add an autumn ambiance to those days when the sun begins to set too soon! Your kids can choose to decorate the lantern any way they like, and can get creative by making different patterns on it.

What you’ll need:

  • leaves
  • clear glass jar
  • Mod Podge (or any glue that will attach the leaves to the glass jar)
  • paintbrush
  • tea light

source and full instructions: Teaching Mama

4. Colour Sorting

Leaf Colour Sorting

A great educational activity for your toddler is leaf sorting by colour. As the leaves begin to turn, there can be different stages of changes, and deciding if a leaf is more orange than yellow will be a challenge! The leaves can be collected on a walk, or after the scavenger hunt.

What you’ll need:

  • leaves of different colours
  • construction paper in colours such as green, yellow, orange, brown and red

source and full instructions: Teaching Preschool

5. Identification Cards

Leaf Identification

Another great way to help your toddler learn about leaves is matching them to their corresponding leaf type. This blogger (Wildflower Ramblings) created some great printable identification cards you can print and either laminate or leave as they are. You can also bring them along on your leaf searching journey to try to find all your leaves on the printouts, or collect your leaves and see how many collected match your cards. You can always make your own cards by either scanning your leaves or finding leaf photos online and labeling the paper OR you can simply go on a little leaf hunt yourself, and glue them on to the papers and label them.

What you’ll need:

  • leaves from different types of trees
  • identification cards

source and full instructions: Wildflower Ramblings

6. Little Boats

Leaf Boats

A cheap and cheerful activity to enjoy this fall! Your kids can try making little boats from strong leaves and see if they float.

What you’ll need:

  • Broad, strong leaves
  • Rubber boots

source and full instructions: nwf.org

7. Stained Glass Windows

Stained Glass Windows

Let your child pick a window (or door) to decorate, this fun and easy autumn crafts activity can be saved for the following year for decorating again or to use as inspiration for the new season.

What you’ll need:

  • leaves
  • transparent contact paper (also called sticky back plastic)

source and full instructions: Artful Parent

8. Autumn Suncatcher

Autumn Suncatcher

Another contact paper craft! This gorgeous creation can be used tear after year and is a great activity for slightly older children, since it is a bit more “intricate”, but you may modify the idea and create a version that is achievable by younger kids too! You can use a pepr plate an cut out the center instead of using the wire frame. Your child can choose to make this suncatcher in whatever shape they like. Also, if you are using wax paper, you will need to use an iron (with a towel or cloth on top of the paper to seal the leaves).

What you’ll need:

  • leaves
  • transparent contact paper (also called sticky back plastic) OR Wax Paper
  • ribbon OR string
  • metal wire or an embroidery hoop (get creative!)

source and full instructions: NAMC

9. Clay Imprints

Leaf Imprints

Teach your kids about how fossils are formed with a day out hunting for the perfect leaves to fossilize! With leaves being readily available everywhere on the ground, there will be plenty to choose from! If you have your own recipe for the “fossil”, then use it!

What you’ll need:

  • leaves
  • wax paper
  • clay
  • rolling pin
  • straw
  • baking tray (such as one used for cookies)
  • oven

source and full instructions: Deceptively Educational

10. Chemistry of Autumn Colours

Science of Leaves

For all the little scientists out there, this is a fun little experiment to learn about leaves and their changing colours. This will be a lot of fun for older children, since it requires quite a few steps and following specific directions, but well worth it!

What you’ll need:

  • leaves at different stages of turning colours (10 of each color is best)
  • scissors
  • 3 – 4 drinking glasses
  • isopropyl alcohol
  • dooden spoon or another wooden utensil (for crushing leaves)
  • fork
  • 3-4 small bowls or tea-light holders
  • kitchen roll
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • toothpicks
  • 3 -4 tall glass jars
  • clothespins or large paper clips

source and full instructions: Scientific American

11. Leaf Animals

Leaf Animals

All you need is a little imagination for this craft. Your kids can not only create little creatures using leaves of different sizes, but also scenes, that can be framed and enjoyed!

What you’ll need:

  • leaves of different sizes and colours
  • glue
  • paper (can be colourful, whichever adds to the artwork)
  • Optional: crayons, markers, paints

source: Nest of Posies

12. Owl or Any Animal/Bird/Bug/etc.

Owl

If your kids are a bit younger, and/or need a bit more direction, than the above “creative” leaf project, this is a great alternative! You can either create this fabulous owl or find other simple stenciled birds/animals/bugs/etc. online, trace it on to some paper, and voila! Your child has a general guide to follow. They can layer on those leaves and add any details they like!

  • leaves of different sizes and colours
  • glue
  • paper (can be colourful, whichever adds to the artwork)
  • Optional: crayons, markers, paints

source and full instructions: Six Cherries on Top

13. Wax Dipped Leaves

Wax Dipped Leaves

Dipping the leaves in to wax preserves them, therefore your kids can create lots this season. You can make wreaths, bunting, ornaments and so much more!

What you’ll need:

  • Colourful leaves
  • Bleached beeswax
  • Double boiler
  • Monofilament or string
  • Clothespins

source and full instructions: Martha Stewart

 14. “Leaf” Garland

leaf garland

If you’re not too keen on hanging leaves around the house, a great way to combine some of the above crafts would be to do some leaf rubbings, cut them out and create a garland. Decorate that boring fireplace!

What you’ll need:

  • Printer and plain white paper
  • Scissors
  • Leaf templates (or use your leaf rubbings!)
  • Assorted patterned paper or plain colourful paper
  • Pencil
  • hole punch
  • Yarn
  • Painter’s tape or another type of tape to attach the garland to the fireplace

source and full instructions: All You

15. Maze

Maze

Getting the kids outside to play in the autumn can be difficult, but when you have all these leaves around, it can be fun! Create some mazes, and let your kids run around and enjoy themselves!

What you’ll need:

  • outdoor space
  • lots of leaves
  • warm clothing

source: Happy Hooligans

16. Autumn Snow Globe

Autumn Snow Globe

A little decorative item you can create with your children is this “snow globe”, though the kids will need help gluing the bits in the snow globe, they will have loads of fun playing with the finished product. May we suggest adding some glitter?

What you’ll need:

  • mason jar
  • small leaves (these can be plastic/foil type or small real leaves)
  • small tree branch
  • Water
  • glycerin (makes the leaves fall more slowly)
  • hot glue gun or glue that will hold after coming in contact with water for long periods of time

source and full instructions: Frugal Fun 4 Boys

17. Shaving Painted Leaves

Shaving Cream Paint

Shaving cream is loads of fun to work with! Let your kids create the fun designs for their leaves and you’ll have some great leaves. You can use these to create wreaths, garlands, and more!

What you’ll need:

  • large container (where the “paint” is mixed)
  • acrylic paint
  • white shaving cream
  • cardstock or other heavy paper
  • leaves or leaf print outs (to use as guides for the leaves to be painted)
  • something to wipe shaving cream off the leaves

source and full instructions: Little Wonders’ Days

18. Bean Leaf Craft

bean-leaf-craft

Beans come in some great colours, many of which represent autumn. This activity will take some time, but the end result is some lovely colourfully decorated leaves! You can also glue your leaves on to the thick paper and add the beans to accent the leaf colour.

What you’ll need:

  • Poster board or lightweight cardboard
  • White glue
  • Scissors
  • large leaves to use as templates (or printables ones)
  • Dry beans

source and full instructions: All Kids Network

19. Leaf Creatures

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another great activity to do after a long hike! Have your kids collect some interesting leaves, pine cones, sticks, acorns… and make these cool leaf men (or women or other)… Its also a great sensory activity, because once you get home and have all those cool finds, your little ones will have to sort through everything, organize it, and get ready to create!

What you’ll need:

  • leaves, pine cones, sticks, etc.
  • glue
  • optional: googley eyes

source and full instructions: Here Come the Girls

20. Leaf Lantern

Lantern

These gorgeous lanterns are another way to utilise the autumn supply of leaves.  The lanterns can be put outside and enjoyed for a while! You can take them on a walk, of course make sure your kids are safe against the flames (in this case maybe use a batter powered lighting supply inside, like a small flashlight or LED candle).

What you’ll need:

  • grease proof paper
  • leaves (smaller size is better)
  • glue
  • Optional: cheese box for structure, but can use cardboard
  • string
  • lighting (either tea light or something batter powered)

source and full instructions:  Red Ted Art

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