I’m pretty sure I felt a tiny chill in the air the other day in Denver and if I didn’t feel it, maybe I imagined it, which is still good enough for me. After enduring weeks of high temperatures, that tiny chill has filled my mind with thoughts of fall, cooler weather, and falling leaves. Although it isn’t fall quite yet, maybe it’s time for a fall-inspired craft! And let’s be honest, August is that time when we start running out of things to do with the kiddos.
I’m not very crafty, but fortunately I have a very creative mother-in-law that introduced a lovely craft to me that is sure to provide at least a couple of hours of fun for everyone. It only requires a book, some time outside, and a few simple supplies.
Step 1 –
Check with your local library or book store for the book The Leaf Man by Lois Elhert. Also make sure to have the following craft supplies on hand:
- Tape (in case the glue won’t work for some of the items)
Tip: If you didn’t already know, Denver Public Libraries make it very easy to search for a book on their website and place it on hold at the library branch most convenient for you.
Step 2 –
Read this beautifully illustrated book with your kids. The leaves and other nature take on a life of their own by transforming into all kinds of creatures. Give the children time to find the “hidden” images on each page. The pictures in the book will provide inspiration for how nature can be used to create art.
Step 3 –
Go on a nature hunt! Every child should get their own bag to collect leaves, bark, flowers, grass, pine needles, etc. Encourage them to grab anything that could potentially be glued or taped to paper to make their very own leaf man, leaf woman, leaf person, leaf animal, leaf fish – you get the picture. This does not need to be a hike or long walk in the woods – it can happen in your back yard or nearby park.
Step 4 –
Help your kids use the collected nature items to create their own masterpieces.
Step 5 –
Display your masterpieces!
The great thing about this activity is that it can be done anytime of year and the craft can represent the current season. Perhaps consider doing a “Leaf Man” craft for each season of the year to then compare the differences with your child. If you want to better preserve the art, they can be pressed between the pages of a heavy book.