This was so much fun! Its open ended so there is no real plan for where this activity will take you and your children. Get as creative as you can. It also is an activity that will start by getting you outdoors. First thing you will need to do is head out and pick out your favorite colored leaves. Try to avoid the really crunchy ones, they don’t make very good punching leaves. Or maybe just grab a giant pile?
This activity is easily enjoyed by the 3+ age, with very little assistance from an adult. Your child needs the dexterity to slide a bumpy leaf into the small slot of the punch and then have the strength to push out the shape. You might find you want to punch out a few first to get your child excited about the process.
The leaf punching is a little harder on a younger child. If you wanted to be very involved you could let your child choose the leaf and punch and help them place the leaf in and apply the pressure. If you are willing to do this a 2 year old could also enjoy this.
What you need:
- You’ll need leaves
- Glue, we love mod podge and a paint brush
- Paper Punches
- Scissors- fun addition to keep the activity going if it starts to wane
First I helped my children pick out a leaf or two. Then we picked out a punch we wanted to use. I ended up punching a few for my for year old and a lot for the 2 year olds.
We had our cousin over and he was so happy to join in our fall fun. My nephew was happy to pick out his favorite shapes and glue them on his picture. My little girl wanted to glue the leaves onto the paper plate we were using for the glue. I had only given each child a small amount of glue so I was fine with her taking the activity in a new way…like she usually does. Either way the little punch outs and the paint brush holding were a great way for the children to strengthen their fine motor skills.
The children discovered the leaf that was used to punch out a shape was also very pretty and we used it in our art as well. This activity presents so many different things to talk about. Color, shape , texture, size. Ask a lot of questions.
- What color are you using?
- Which leaf is bigger?
- Can you glue that piece on this one?
Questions like this add to what your child is learning so much. Almost any time you can push a playful or artful activity into an educational experience simply by asking questions or challenging your child to try something.
This activity can get a bit busy and messy but for us it was worth the chaos. It kept the group entertained for 25+ minutes. My oldest daughter took multiple pieces of colored paper and glued then together and made a pattern with the different leaves. My 2 year old mostly enjoyed gluing red leaves to her paper plate. My nephew loved gluing down the shapes to his paper and when he stayed to hey bored we added the scissors and some markers to the activity and it captured his attention again. A lot of good conversations and art and discoveries took place. Plus who doesn’t love an excuse to play with those beautiful fall leaves?
Remember don’t get frustrated if the activity takes a strange path. I had envisioned the children punching and gluing, but in the end half of their punch outs and scissor cuts simply littered the table. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t capture their attention, keep them busy, teach them something, help them strengthen a skill and make this mama’s heart happy.
Want more leaf activities? Check out Leaf Art!