This activity is suitable for a wide range of ages, helping to promote hand-eye coordination and encouraging kids to think creatively. Youngsters can enjoy finding leaves of different shapes and sizes and thinking about what designs they might make with them.
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Try to use leaves that are not too dry (collecting in early autumn is best), as crisp leaves can be difficult to paint and handle without crumbling. Leaves with an interesting shape or strong vein lines make some of the more interesting prints.
- Paint brush / sponge
- Water (for washing brush)
- Plain or coloured paper
Take a walk around your garden or local park and collect a selection of leaves of different sizes and shapes.
Prepare the painting station by setting out old newspaper and covering a painting tray with a layer of paint (alternatively, you can fill pots or dishes with paint). Then dip your leaf directly into the paint, or for a more even distribution, use a paintbrush or sponge.
Press the leaf firmly onto a piece of paper paint-side down and apply pressure to the back. Lift or peel the leaf away, leaving behind a print. Make patterns by placing prints end-to-end or overlapping one another. You could use a different colour for each leaf, or mix colours on one single leaf.
Move the papers with wet prints onto a separate table to dry, or hang them up on a line. What cool leaf paintings will you create?