Children’s books are a passion of mine and I love to pull from them and create art and activities to make the story really come alive for my kids. Reading alone is a powerful experience for your child but if you add some hands on fun and learning you can take it to the next level. Combine books with fall, a fun craft or activity, and I am in my element!
The last few fall seasons the kids and I enjoyed flipping through and reading Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. We really enjoy the beautiful real leaf illustrations and the simple language that tells the story of Leaf Man who moves as the wind blows and the colorful leaf creatures he passes . For this activity we created our own leaf creatures using an invitation to play and explore setup.
First, take your little explorers/artists outdoors on a nature walk to gather leaves of various colors and sizes, small sticks, acorns, and other bits of nature for your tray. Pinecones, acorns, small sticks, and even fall flowers are great add ins.
Next, You can put your items in any kind of container that you like but my favorite is a simple small relish tray that can be picked up at Dollar Tree. They are just the right size and the compartments are a fun way to display whatever you have.
While I love to keep the simple and real elements of nature adding a bit of whimsy is fun too. Add google eyes, pipe cleaners, and markers to help your child create their leaf creature. Also, in Florida even in thick of fall we lack the beautiful colors that are falling from the trees farther north so I add in some silk leaves to give them the variety.
Provide your child with thick cardstock paper and glue to hold their creations down once they are happy with it.
We have a silly face…
A couple of woolly mammoths…
A flying pig..
And a beautiful fall butterfly…
When they are done you can pin their creations to a length of twine to create a fall banner or hot glue them to a magnet to decorate the fridge ( silk leaves are sturdier for these projects).
What unusual animals can you and your child come up with?