Leaf art is a wonderful all-natural-materials open-ended nature art activity for kids. It pairs beautifully with Lois Ehlert’s book, Leaf Man.
Some links on this site are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Click on the images and blue text to be taken to links. Thank you! Learn more.
Open-ended Nature Art for Kids Inspired by Leaf Man
In Lois Ehlert’s book Leaf Man, the author imagines a leaf’s journey, creating possible sightings along the way with leaves. The art is incredibly creative and fun for children and adults alike. After reading the book together since it was this week’s pick for the Virtual Book Club for Kids, we collected a basket of leaves and created some open-ended nature art of our own. Making the designs on our light table really made them pop!
We were lucky enough to receive this light table as a blog review item a few years ago. They can be quite expensive, but you can make your own using an underbed storage bin and LED battery operated lights. This Crayola tracing pad makes a lovely small light table; you can also buy larger professional tracing tables for less than you would pay for a child’s light table. Be aware that that professional tracing tables may have glass tops and therefore require gentle play; the children’s tables are virtually indestructible and that is where the higher price comes in.
I had expected my kids to make people or animals as they had seen in the book, but they took this project in their own direction. The image at the top of this post is a sun made out of leaves. You can see the center of the sun quite clearly, and differently colored leaves create the rays. Can you see the sun, grassy bank, tree, and leaves floating away down a river in this second photo?
More Leaf-Themed Activities
Alphabet Learning Leaf Themed Activities
- Learning About Letters with Leaves & Falling Leaves Song from Kori at Home
- Beginning Sounds Activity: Leaf Sticker Tree from Growing Book by Book
- Letter Recognition Game with Free Leaf Printable from JDaniel4’s Mom
Name Learning Leaf Themed Activities
- Leaf Name Sticky Wall from Inspiration Laboratories
- Learn to Write Your Name with ‘Letter Man’ from Chickadee Lit
- Write Your Name In Leaves from Adventures of Adam
Numbers Learning Leaf Themed Activities
- Learning Fun With Leaves from Clare’s Little Tots
Sensory Learning Leaf Themed Activities
- Fall Loose Parts Sensory Invitation from My Storytime Corner
- Autumn Leaf Auditory Processing Activities from Sugar Aunts
- Make 3D Leaf People from Mama Smiles
Science Learning Leaf Themed Activities
- Preschool Leaf Science Experiment from Preschool Powol Packets
- Simple Preschool Science: Leaf Matching Activity from School Time Snippets
- How to Easily Begin Nature Study with Your Children from Homeschooling in Progress
Colors Learning Leaf Themed Activities
- Giant Colorful Watercolor Fall Leaves for Kids from Toddler Approved
- Basic Math with Fall Leaves for Preschoolers from Views from a Stepstool
Pre-Writing Leaf Themed Activities
- Leaf Art ~ Prewriting Patterns for Fall from Rainy Day Mum
- Leaf Tracing Pre-Writing Activity from Books and Giggles
- Make Leaf Puppets from Messy Little Monster
Movement Leaf Themed Activities
- Number Leaf Scavenger Hunt from The Educators’ Spin On It
Shapes Learning Leaf Themed Activities
- Exploring Leaf Shapes – Nature Walk Activity from To Be a Kid Again
- Leaf Shapes Fingerprint Activity from Artsy Momma
The 2016-17 Virtual Book Club for Kids
Click on the image above to see all of the themes, books, and activities for this year’s 2016-17 Virtual Book Club for Kids! I’ll update the page as new posts go live.