Soon the nights will be crisp, and the leaves will start their glorious display of fiery reds, oranges, yellows, and browns.
Fall tree crafts are always popular, but what about crafting with real leaves?
I’ve created a collection of the best leaf crafts for kids and leaf activities for you to enjoy with the kids this autumn.
With their brilliant hues of reds, yellows, and orange, the autumn leaves are already works of art all on their own.
It just makes sense to use them in a few crafts with real leaves.
Don’t worry. Even if you don’t have leaves changing where you live, you can do many of these using (affiliate link) cloth leaves.
Leaf Crafts for Kids
Leaf Rubbings — This has been a fall favorite for generations. Using crayons to create leaf rubbings in perfect for helping little ones strengthen hand muscles and fine motor skills.
Falling Leaf Art — I love the mix of science and art in this super simple and beautiful activity.
Leaf Creatures — Once the kids have collected a few fallen leaves, use them to create a variety of animals, fairies, and other creatures. Your child’s imagination will soar in this simple and fun activity.
Easy Fall Wreath — Young children will love turning those beautiful autumn leaves into a colorful wreath to display in this leaf craft for toddlers.
Ladybug Craft — Turn those fallen leaves into adorable spotted ladybugs.
Leafy Fox — Turn a maple leaf into a cut fox with this kids craft.
Leaf Resist Painting — Have you tried tape-resist painting with the kids? You will love this fall-inspired twist to it, using leaves.
Leaf Crown — I adore this craft! It has such a beautiful touch of whimsy to it. Just imagine the pretend play that will occur once your child has their very own leaf crown. Are they a nature fairy? The prince trying to fight dragons? Create your own leaf crowns this fall and unlock the magic.
Leaf Luminaries — Turn a recycled plastic jug into a beautiful luminary to display in your window or use as a centerpiece this fall.
Leaf Lanterns — This is a similar idea, with no plastic jug needed. These craft with real leaves would be beautiful centerpiece.
Marbled Fall Leaf — Your child will delight in painting real leaves using this fun and colorful technique.
Fall Leaf Turkey — Turn colorful autumn leaves become a colorful turkey tail in this craft.
Why stop at crafts?
Brightly colored autumn leaves are perfect for sensory exploration. They can also be used in many different hands-on learning activities.
Fall Nature Sensory Bin — Use those colorful leaves, acorns, and more to create your own fall nature bin for the kids to explore.
Autumn Sensory Bottle — Use those fall leaves and acorns to create your own fall sensory bottle.
Alphabet Leaves — Discover how you can use those leaves to help your child work on identifying letters in the alphabet.
Leaf Maze — Corn mazes are big around here in the fall. This year head outdoors and create a life-sized maze using all those fallen leaves.
Scissor Skills — Developing scissor skills needed for school doesn’t have to be boring. Instead of just cutting paper, toddlers and preschoolers can have fun cutting leaves. And, as a bonus, each snip releases a bit of leaf fragrance — a sensory experience they are sure to love.
Lacing Skills — Thicker, sturdier leaves provide a unique lacing opportunity. Once your child has threaded them with colorful yarn, the leaves can be tied together to make a hanging bunting decoration.
Sewing Skills — Another take on the idea of lacing with leaves. Learn how to prepare your leaf and make a simple “needle” for your child to use while sewing leaves. This would be a perfect quiet time activity for preschoolers.
Sorting Skills — Toddlers and preschoolers can use those fall leaves to work on sorting skills. The bigger your collection of leaves, the more ways you can find to sort them.
Fall Leaf Science Experiment — Help kids better understand why the leaves change color. Use chromatography to extract fall colors from green leaves. Then find out how you can use the experiment for a bigger lesson, too.
How to Preserve Fall Leaves for Crafts
Want those beautiful colors to last longer?
Preserve your fall leaves and keep them looking fresh for all your leaf crafts and activities.
- Preserve Those Fall Leaves — Wondering just how to keep those beautiful colors? Learn the best ways to keep those autumn leaves looking fresh for all your crafting needs.
- Press and Preserve Leaves — Here is one more way to preserve those beautiful fall leaves.
As the leaves begin their beautiful display of color, be sure to collect some for leaf crafts for kids and leaf activities.
More crafts & activities perfect for fall:
Originally published September 11, 2016.