'Tis the season of falling leaves, which brings with it the perfect opportunity to enjoy the leaves with your little ones. Our personal favorite Fall activity is taking walks and hikes in the mountains, surrounded by golds, oranges, reds and greens. It's breathtaking and well worth the time to get outdoors and explore.
But, on days we can't get to the mountains, the kids love to pick leaves. Take a quick walk around the neighborhood (or in your backyard) and let your kids find their favorite leaves....big ones, small ones, one leaf or multi-leaf, red, green, or yellow. Then, head home and try some of these simple, but fun crafts.
Place the leaves in between the pages of some heavy books. Leave for a few days to flatten. Remove from book and glue to construction paper (approximately 2-1/2" by 8" in size). Use clear contact paper to line both sides, leaving 1/8 to1/4 inch around the border. Carefully smooth the contact paper over the leaves, pressing out bubbles as you go. For an even cooler look, lay the leaves directly onto the contact paper. Cover with another sheet of contact paper and then cut into the size and shape you want. Your bookmark will be slightly translucent.
These are perfect for cards, stationary, or just plain fun. Grab lots of crayons and your leaves. Lay the leaves on a flat surface and cover with a piece of paper. Use cardstock if making cards or just plain paper for stationary or art. Using the side of the crayon, rub over the leaf. The imprint of the leaf will appear on the paper.
Leaf Mobile or Window Hangings
Press the leaves between the pages of a heavy book for a day or two to flatten them.
For each leaf, cut two squares of clear contact paper an inch or two wider than your leaf. Peel the backing off of one piece and lay it sticky-side up. Place the leaf in the center, then peel the backing off the second piece and carefully place it on top. Punch a hole for hanging. Trim the edges of the contact paper, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Hang the leaves from a tree branch with thread. Place the branch in a heavy vase or suspend it from a curtain rod.
I liked this variation, but thought I'd take it a step further and hang the leaves in a window. They become translucent and are great fun for decorating. You can either buy suction cups and hang them from the suction cups or just use a small piece of clear tape.