The leaves have just started turning their beautiful fall colors (most are still green, as evidenced by the below picture of Oliver) but there are enough fallen leaves on the sidewalks to notice. I figure in about a week or two, it will be spectacular.
Earlier this week, we went for an after-dinner walk and I took along a little plastic bag to collect some of the prettier leaves we encountered. Oliver was very into the collecting, and tried to find leaves that were not too crunchy and nice and flat, just as his mama said! We had a serious goal in mind, you see!
Not only did he collect lots of pretty leaves, he also found some grass that had gone to seed, some berries, and some pebbles to use for our project! It was too dark by the time we got home that evening to complete our task, so we set aside the leaves for the next day… (and an important tip: if you try this at home, try to gather the leaves the same day you plan on doing this project, as many of ours had dried and wrinkled and curled up too much to use for this activity). But no worry. We collected more the next day while walking home from preschool:
I had come across this cool craft while browsing Martha Stewart’s website (and of course, she came up with a solution to the curling leaf problem: press the leaves in a book first- duh). Anyway, I decided to try it, as Oliver loves every art project he has ever set eyes on, and Milo is way into building and constructing things. They loved it! Here’s what we did.
Collect a bunch of leaves of varying shapes, sizes, and colors. If you are planning to use them later, make sure to press them in a heavy book for a few days to keep them extra flat. We used them the same day, so we chose leaves that were still rather malleable.
Using pre-cut card stock (anything thinner will curl up and distort once you apply glue), arrange your leaves any way you imagine. We decided to make alphabet creatures. Once you decide on your design, glue or modpodge the back of the leaf down to the card stock, then cover the front with a thin layer of glue (we used our fingers) to protect the leaf’s surface and preserve the colors. Allow to dry for several hours.
Milo was super creative: his letter was “P” and he made a person holding a popsicle! Do you see it?
His lucky person somehow ended up with TWO popsicles– the color doesn’t show well, but that leaf is bright purple, so he ended up with a purple person and two popsicles. I give up. He wins the alphabet game.
Oliver helped create this turtle. When I asked him what it was, he said, “It’s an alligator snapping turtle, Mom!” And you know what? There is such a thing- we’ve seen it at the zoo, and this really looks like one! He’s such a bright little guy!
And while we were nowhere near attempting a card for every letter of the alphabet, I know I will be pressing some of the unused leaves for a rainy day. It was a great activity for kids of all ages!