This fall leaves craft for kids is two engaging activities in one! Screen-free and full of creativity, part one of this activity is to go on a nature walk, find fall leaves on the ground, and take them home. The second part is crafting a unique fall decoration (age-appropriate for toddlers to big kids – details on how to modify the craft to ability, below). Fall leaves are great decorations for windows, cork boards, classrooms, and tables.

You can make this craft using materials easily found in your home or classroom.

Materials you will need:

  • Leaves (use ones which have already dropped to the ground). You can modify this step by using leaf images found on the web. (Search: leaf stencil printable)
  • White computer paper (8.5 x 11)
  • Craft scissors
  • Washable watercolour or craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Cup with water (to clean paint brush)
  • Pencil
  • Yellow or white crayon (optional)
  • Marker
  • Art mat or newspaper (to protect table while you paint).

Instructions:

  1. Go on a nature walk and find some leaves! You can find leaves in your backyard, schoolyard, neighbourhood, or local park.  If time or mobility is limited, you can use printable leaf stencils (see above). Switch up the kind of leaves as you wish: maple, oak, birch.
  2. Place leaves on a piece of white paper and trace the outline of the leaf using a pencil. Depending on the size of your leaves, you can trace one, two, or three leaves per sheet of paper.
  3. Using scissors, cut the leaf tracing. You can modify this step by having an older sibling or adult cut the leaf traces. You could also quicken the craft time by pre-cutting the leaves for the child/children so they only have to decorate them.
  4. Once the leaves are cut individually, place them on an art mat or newspaper.
  5. Optional: have the child write a one word message, in white or yellow crayon, on the leaf pertaining to Autumn. Think: FALL, THANKS, FAMILY, GRATEFUL, AUTUMN., etc…it will magically appear when the water colour paint is brushed on. If you use craft paint…this step will not work as craft paint is thicker than water colour.
  6. Using water colours brush over leaf. The child can use one colour or mix n’ match Autumn colours (red, orange, green, yellow).
  7. Allow paint to dry (5-10 minutes for water colour paint, 20-30 minutes for craft paint).
  8. Once dry, write over the one word message in a black marker. It will make the message appear bolder.
  9. Place your fall leaf as a decoration in your home, classroom, or office.

Modifications:

  • Nature walk or not
  • Use real leaves or printable stencils
  • Child cuts stencils or adult pre-cuts them
  • Crayon for secret message or not

This craft encourages creativity, decision-making, and hands-on fun. Plus, it’s a gender-neutral craft which inspires children to explore the world around them. Seasonal changes to colours and plants are a wonder for children and it’s a great opportunity for them to investigate their environments. Plus, this Fall Leaves Craft for Kids is a great activity to keep kids busy and decorate for Fall and Thanksgiving.


Caroline Fernandez shares family friendly activities and tips on her site Parent Club. This Mom, to three children, is the author of two best selling kids booksBoredom Busters (Cico Books, 2014 – Silver Birch Non-Fiction Honour Book Award) and More Boredom Busters (Cico Books 2015). Follow her @ParentClub on  Twitter and Instagram.