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Leaf Art 3 Ways

The air is cooler, the wind is blowing, and the sky is much less sunny and much more gray. We see squirrels running around the yard collecting and hiding nuts and pretty soon we are going to be spending hours outside raking up leaves. Fall is officially here and with that comes a new collection of process art opportunities to dive into with your young children.

Today I have 3 process art leaf activities for you! If your kids are anything like mine, they will be collecting all sorts of leaves from the yard to add to their collection of nature "treasures." So why not use some of those to create and explore together. You can do all 3 of these activities in one sitting, or spread them over a few days. Totally your choice! So let's get started.

You'll need:

- Cardstock Paper

- Tempera Paint (I love fluorescent for these activities as it gives it a brighter feel!)

- Paint Brush

- Leaves

- Q-tips

1st up is Leaf Prints!

Leaf prints are always a good go to in the fall and so simple. Have your child gather some leaves of different sizes and shapes. Paint the leaf and then press it onto the paper to create a print. Discuss how you can see the shape of the leaf, the lines in the leaf, and even why some parts stayed white while other parts have color. They can use that same leaf again with more colors or get a new leaf and do it again. Let your child guide the activity and decide how they want to create!

And if your child's art ends up looking like a bunch of scribbled paint, remember that this is all about the process. This is not craft time and we are not gluing pieces together just so. While there is definitely a place for those types of projects, this is not one of them. This is a completely process art focused activity. There is no right or wrong end product. Let your child explore and get a bit messy. Let them use colors and discuss what you see and the process they use. Let your child be the leader in their art piece because from this comes confidence, positive self-esteem, and a sense of pride as well!!

Next up is Painting with Leaves.

You can reuse the leaves from the previous activity and glue them onto paper once they have dried, or if you're like me and have PLENTY of leaves in the yard, grab some more and start from scratch. Have your child pick some they like and glue them onto their paper. Then, let them paint the leaves and the paper. Maybe the leaves are all one color and the background is another color. Maybe they are sectioned off into multiple colors like this one. Let your child explore the process and enjoy painting on something other than just a piece of paper. This is always an exciting experience for kids and really is so simple for you moms to create and set up for them!

My last suggestion for you is Pointillism Leaf Art.

George Seurat was a French artist from the late 1800's who painted with a technique called Pointillism. That is a fun fancy art word for dot painting. Give your kids a page with leaves drawn on it. While I believe in you that you can draw a leaf, if you'd rather, just print off a coloring page of leaf templates. Then give your child a Q-tip but before you give them the paint, talk to them about Pointillism and practice the action of dotting their Q-tip on the paper. Say "We are going to paint with dots today, watch me as I dot my Q-tip on the paper. Now you try." I find making a silly noise as we do it helps with the process so we like to say "dot" as we do it but it can definitely get noisy that way so you've been warned!! After a couple of practices, give them the paint and let them give it a try. Now some kids will do a couple of dots and then move into lines and that is ok. We want to introduce techniques at this age, not force them through a miserable process if they don't enjoy it. Some kids will love the dots and continue it for awhile. You can see in the picture I had 2 little boys who each took one of those routes in their process! Again, we are exploring and creating, not looking for a picture perfect ending!

I hope these give you some fun ideas to try with your kids this fall! I know we need all the indoor ideas we can get as it starts to get cold and we spend less time outside.

Enjoy the process!


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