This fall craft idea is also a simple creative invitation that doesn’t require a lot of fancy tools and won’t come with a big mess. If you’re new to the idea of creative invitations, this article has all the details you’ll need to get started.
Supplies for Fall Leaf Drawing
- Colored pencils or your favorite mark-making tool
My 4-year old and I took a bike ride and she chose this selection of leaves. We arranged them on the table and she added a crystal. Because, you know, it looks better that way.
We marveled at all the colors in the leaves and then I invited her to draw them. We used Lyra Ferby colored pencils (affiliate link) for the task. I love these crayon/pencils for little kids because they’re a bit fatter than standard colored pencils (with a 6.25 mm lead core), and they come with a triangle grip that makes them easy to hold.
My daughter still insists on holding her pencil with her pinky and seems quite comfortable with this grip. And I’m still working on helping her shift to a better grip! If this is something that your child struggles with, this post has some great tips in the comments.
The Fall Leaf Drawing Set-up
Set up a large sheet of drawing paper, scatter a few leaves around, and place freshly sharpened colored pencils on the table.
Invite your child to look closely at the leaves and notice the variety of colors and shapes, and then discuss what you see.
Some questions to ask:
- What colors do you notice?
- Do any of the colors surprise you?
- How many points does this leaf have? Let’s count them together.
- Which of these leaves could have come from the same tree?
- Do you have a favorite leaf in this collection? What makes it your favorite?
Experiments in Drawing Fall Leaves
I sat across the table from my daughter and we drew leaves together. I always encourage my kids to experiment, and one way to do that is by modeling. As I colored my leaves in I layered one color on top of another. I noted that the red blended into green on one of the leaves, and tried to replicate that in my sketch.
My 4-year old payed attention to that and then pushed it one step further as she colored one of her leaves blue and purple, and gave another blue veins…because she liked the way it looked. Rock on! If you child goes for the unexpected, encourage him or her to go for it. The goal is to use the leaves as a starting point, and then layer that with interpretation and imagination.
More Leaf Projects
Make adorable Leaf Critters by painting directly on leaves with acrylic paint.
Preserve your Fall leaves in glycerin
Make coffee filter suncatchers in leaf shapes
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I love drawing activities with young children. I teach Prep/1, and I often have guided drawing lessons with my students. I began doing this because I found that so many students hated handwriting practice. It is so miserable, especially for kids still developing and correcting pencil grips. But the motivation is through the roof when they are drawing something beautiful! It is also an amazing time to build their math brains. Noticing lines, proportion, shape, etc. And of course, as you say, color. I always require boxes of 64 color crayons so that we can explore shades and hues, as well as what you can do using different amounts of pressure when coloring. This type of activity is so rich! Thanks for sharing.
And thank YOU for your comment, Karen. I love how you touch on the idea of arts integration. Of course there’s a place for “art for art’s sake,” but how easy it is to integrate arts-based learning into math, handwriting, etc. Art is a wonderful way to bring other disciplines to life and make them more meaningful and enjoyable.
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