Collect the beautiful leaves falling from the trees and create a leafy masterpiece! Inspired by Leaf Man, this is a fun way to connect nature and art!
Fall is my favorite time of the year. Not only do Ry and I both have birthdays, the weather in California is always at it’s best! Even though we love the beach all times of the year, the autumn colors make our daily walks to the park a little more exciting. As always, Aaliyah comes home with pockets full of nature treasures she finds along the way. And while they make great additions to our small part play, I wanted to find a new way to use them.
I’ve been seeing Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert all over my Instagram feed since the start of autumn. It looked like such a beautiful book and I knew we would love to create our own little leaf man. I couldn’t wait for our library hold to go through. The only thing I love more than nature art is nature art that creates connections to books!
As soon as I opened Leaf Man I understood why so many accounts had been sharing this beautiful book! The illustrations are beautiful. The way Lois Ehlert used leaves to create the scenes on each page is incredible. We loved reading about where Leaf Man drifted away to and picking out what she used to create the ducks, trees, and leaf people.
While every page and leaf creation was incredible, Aaliyah loved the little person wearing the leaf skirt on the last page. We decided that we would create our own leaf masterpiece using her photo as the inspiration.
- thick paper- we used watercolor
- hot glue
*Aaliyah is extremely careful and experienced with using a hot glue gun. We are very cautious and I supervise her constantly when she is handling the glue gun. Please use your own discretion, if you are not comfortable with your child using hot glue, you can use Elmer’s glue instead!
By the time we read Leaf Man we had already gathered a leaf collection. To find the best leaves for this project look for leaves in diverse sizes, shapes, and colors. We went to a few parks to find leaves from different trees.
Once home, let your leaves dry. If you are planning to keep your leaf person, I recommend leaving them under a heavy object to dry overnight. This will flatten the leaves and make them much easier to glue down to the paper!
Creating a Leaf Man
Aaliyah was so excited to start this project. Every time we went outside she would say “Mama look! This is the perfect leaf for my leaf person.” We have actually made this project a few times because she has found the perfect leaves for butterflies, and bunny ears, and glasses, and just about everything you can imagine!
Creating our leaf girl was super simple. I propped the book up in front of her workspace so that she could see the illustration. She sorted through her leaves to find similar leaves and carefully glued them in place. After she placed the leaf where she wanted it I did press down a little harder to make sure it stayed but didn’t burn her fingers. For the small pieces, like the eyes, she used Elmers glue.
Didn’t her little leaf girl turn out so cute?! Once she had made one similar to the book she wanted to add her own special touches. She cut small pieces to create cheeks and a fairy crown!
What are your favorite autumn crafts?