"Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create."
- Maria Montessori
The weather is beginning to cool, the leaves are starting to turn, and there's no better way for us to celebrate the first official day of autumn than with some leaf painting. This morning, we headed out to the park to gather leaves for our fall art project.
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Autumn Leaf Painting Preparation
We spend a lot of time outside and since our daughter has recently said goodbye to diapers, we tend to go out in 1-2 hour increments, so as not to impede her independence in that area.
As a result, our stroller has become an invaluable part of our outdoor exploration, allowing us to maximize the time spent doing what we love. As you can see below, our daughter likes practicing how to put on the harness.
We headed out to the park and had just enough time to stretch our legs and collect some leaves, before heading back home.
This is an excellent time to talk about the colors of the leaves and their shapes. Also, children will be interested to know which trees produce their favorite leaves.
Once home, we placed the leaves on the back porch to allow the morning dew to evaporate while we carried on with our day.
After lunch, my daughter grabbed the leaves from the porch and we set up her workstation.
Autumn Leaf Painting Activity for Preschool
Check out below to see how our daughter made her fall leaf painting. A similar, paintbrush-free version of this activity can also be found in Preschool Art: It's the Process, Not the Product!, titled "Fingerpaint Leaves."
Don't miss this halloween process art activity, also excellent for preschool learners.
We taped some craft paper to her work table and my daughter put on her art smock.
Next, we poured red, yellow, and green paint into some paint cups. Then, we mixed some red and yellow paint into a fourth cup to create our fall orange color.
This is a great introduction to another art activity: color mixing. Our daughter shows a lot of interest in colors and appeared excited to see the orange form in the cup as she mixed.
I helped her hold the first leaf while she painted and she took it from there, turning the leaf over and smacking it onto the paper with her hand.
After she did the first few, I noticed she was still maintaining the separation of colors by placing the paintbrushes into the cup with the matching color lid. I did not expect that. Once she filled the craft paper with the leaf art, we set it aside to dry.
She enjoyed playing with the leaves and mixing colors on each of them to see what would happen next. Finally, we cleaned up and waited for her artwork to dry.
Once her masterpiece was dry, she accessorized it by applying some last-minute stamps he was using in her coloring book. She grabbed a magnet to hang it in her favorite spot on the fridge.
Additional Leaf Activities
If your child enjoys this leaf painting activity, you can extend the learning with additional activities about leaves and trees.
This Mirus Toys Double-Sided Leaf Puzzle will help kids explore leaves and their changing appearance throughout the year. It will also help them connect leaves to trees using the appearance of the leaf in different seasons. Kids can compare their leaf paintings to the leaf puzzle pieces as an extension to work.
Free Leaf Identification 3-Part Cards
Learn more about trees and leaves with these free leaf identification 3-part cards. These 3-part cards are designed to be used with a collection of leaves, with the Mirus Toys double-sided leaf puzzle, or with your favorite books.
Match leaves found in nature or the double-sided leaf puzzle pieces to the picture cards for object-to-picture matching.
With 14 different species to explore, there's plenty of opportunity to get creative. Leaves include oak, poplar, maple, walnut, aspen, pine, alder, ash, olive, eucalyptus, willow, cypress, acacia, and horse chestnut.
To use these leaf identification cards as 3-part cards, print 2 copies and cut the labels off one of the copies. The youngest of kids can match the picture cards. As kids are mastering letter recognition and letter sounds, they can practice matching the label as well.
Also, this Botany book collection contains excellent resources for kids who are interested in learning more about leaves, trees, and other aspects of nature. There are many opportunities to combine several subjects using the books in this collection. A few of our favorite books for exploring leaves include:
Conclusion for Autumn Leaf Painting
This is an excellent activity for preschoolers. It promotes fine-motor strength by exercising hand muscles in preparation for writing, both with the paintbrushes and the wooden handle stamp set.
Preschoolers and up can enjoy additional leaf activities and books to extend their learning.
This also provides an opportunity for children to connect with nature and celebrate the change of season.
Free Preschool & Kindergarten Homeschool Course
Would you like to learn more about how to homeschool your preschooler or kindergartener the Montessori way?
This 8-week course will provide parents and caregivers with a no-nonsense approach to homeschooling. You will learn how to homeschool using hands-on, child-centered, and diverse learning experiences.
This course covers ALL the relevant subjects. You'll receive information and insight that will help you identify what is best for your child. You'll also be introduced to plenty of free resources along the way.
Most importantly, you will walk away with the tools and resources you need to confidently begin your own homeschooling journey.
More Seasonal Homeschool
- How to Make a Hanging Heart Pillow
- How to Honor Native Americans
- Planning Your Homeschool Year
- Daily Rhythm
- Winter Bucket List
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- Tape some craft paper to your work surface.
- Put on the apron, with assistance as needed.
- Pour red, yellow, and green paint into the paint cups.
- Mixed some red and yellow paint into a fourth cup to create the fall orange color for the leaves. You can use this opportunity to explore more colors as the child shows interest.
- Paint each leaf and carefully press them onto the paper.
- The stamp set can be used as additional decoration and as a hand-strengthening exercise.
- Set the paper aside to dry.
- Encourage children to hang their work up when it's dry.
- As an extension, children can work with the Mirus Toys Double-Sided Leaf Puzzle to explore, colors, shapes, leaf identification, and seasonal changes to leaves.
- The leaf and botany books will further nurture interest in nature and autumn leaves, while combining various subjects.
Full lesson info and pictures can be found at: https://happyhomeschooladventures.com/preschool-fall-leaf-painting/