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Autumn is well underway here and our yard is abundantly colorful this year. Our backyard is full of sugar maples which produce vibrant colors in the fall. Taking advantage of the leaves this time of year is one of our favorite things to do. Here are five ways you can enjoy the falling leaves with your family.
Do a Fall Color Study with Leaves
Barb at The Handbook of Nature Study has several posts on fall color studies. One is in her newsletter this month (subscribe to the blog to receive her newsletters- yours truly has article features now and then with a few coming up!) and this pin shows more ideas on fall art color study with leaves.
Use Leaves to Do Leaf Rubbings & Try a Bark Rubbing Too
Grab pencils, colored pencils, or crayons and paper and gather leaves for rubbings. I love to watch the shapes and details take shape when you run the color over the paper on top of a leaf. You might choose to do a rubbing of the bark of the same tree so you can match them together and find the trees in the winter when the identifying mark of a leaf is not around.
Collect Leaves of All Kinds & Preserve Them by Pressing
Whether you choose to preserve leaves in a plant press or to iron them between wax paper, pressing leaves is a very satisfying activity. This year I used my laminator to press leaves and then hung them in a mobile. You can see the pin idea here and click here to follow my Autumn Pinterest Board.
Flower and plant presses can be used to press leaves as well. We like this press from Home Science Tools.
Use Ink & Paints to Do Leaf Printing
There are many ways you can do leaf printing from applying ink and stamping a leaf to pounding on the leaf itself to release pigments and leave an impression on the paper.
Nature Printing by Laura Donnelly Bethmann is delightful resource on using leaves and other natural items to make prints on various media. We tried this the other day and learned ways to treat the watercolor paper to take up the print from the paints well- without leaving paint drops. I think we need practice, but this turned out pretty well.
Use Various Art Media to Sketch Leaves
Of course Tricia and Nana have lots of ideas on how to use chalk pastels to “paint” leaves. Our fall chalked paintings adorn the walls of our home.
Watch this video on using watercolor crayons to draw a fall leaf from Barb at Harmony Fine Arts/Handbook of Nature Study. If you’ve never used watercolor crayons or pencils before, they are wonderful for creating detail in a drawing and still having that watercolor appearance in the end.
Trace a leaf and using watercolor crayons. I enjoyed this video from Barb at Harmony Art Mom and I wanted to share it with you here.
My Nature Studies Pinterest Board has many ideas for enjoying nature any time of year, but there are a lot of homeschoolers offering activities for autumn. Check it out and follow along.
Fall Chalk pastels is part of the Art for All Ages ebook package. You can get the original chalk pastels ebook along with Chalk Pastels through the Seasons which has more fall projects in it all for $24.99. They are easy to follow tutorials with a very forgiving medium.