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Leaf Printing Nature Craft

May 25, 2016
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Scarlet Paolicchi

leaf printing 

This leaf printing nature craft is fun for adults and children alike. It can be done with preschoolers, or can be refined to make classy wall art for adults and older children.

The first step is get out into nature and find some fun leaf specimens. You might want to take a walk around a local park, or if you have a big back yard you may find plenty to work there. Look for unusually shaped leaves that will be pretty, but also look for things that you have lots of for repetition. We have lots of honeysuckle so I didn't feel bad taking a whole sprig to use for my leaf printing. Flowers and buds can also be pretty. Look for windswept specimens first, but if you have an abundance of a plants or flowers feel free to pick a few.

Leaf Printing Supplies:

Leaves and/or flowers
Acrylic paints or finger paints
Paint brush or foam sponge brush
Paper (you can use something from your recycling bin)
Newspaper or cardboard to protect your working surface

leaf prints 

Collect your supplies and head outside if it is not too windy. I always like to do nature crafts outdoors when possible. To make cleanup easy, cover your workspace with newspaper or cardboard.

Next, lay out your supplies and envision your art. This is a great craft for learning art techniques and finding out how the quantity of paint affects the print. Experiment with colors and arrangements of leaves. Feel free to use the same leaves over and over for multiple prints, and feel free to mix your paint.

supplies 

Once dipped in the paint, press leaves and flowers firmly onto the paper. You may even want to lay a book on top for a minute to make sure it gets a nice even press.

Not only can kids and adults learn art techniques through this fun activity, but it’s also a great chance to learn about nature. Talk to your kids about the materials you are using. Notice how differently leaves can be shaped. Take note of what is similar and what is different about the leaves you are using. Speculate on what different shapes and textures the plant offers. It is great to get them thinking about how adaptations may serve the plants. For example, some leaves are waxy, and some leaves are sharp. It will be fun to see how many traits they can pick up on, or if they can think of how these traits may affect the plant's survival.

I hope you enjoy this fun leaf printing activity, from gathering the flowers to the discussion that surrounds it.

Have you ever done leaf prints before?

Photo courtesy of Scarlet Paolicchi.

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