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Sunday 9 August 2015

Autumn Leaves

Autumn is another great theme in Art. There are so many fantastic natural resources right outside the classroom window!


Bright, colourful autumn leaves can be preserved in beeswax.

Simply collect the leaves, place in a flower press (or big heavy book) for a few days to flatten.

Heat up the beeswax on a low heat and dip the leaves in.

Hanging leaf decorations can then be created!

Preserving some summer Beech tree leaves.

Fabric and Fibre:

Using the book "Leaf Man" as a stimulus, children can collect leaves and seeds and create their own "Leaf Man"!

"Googly eyes" can be added- but I like the way this book uses the acorns!

The children can also create their own idea using the autumn leaves. 

Paint and Colour:

A simple idea is to let the children paint the leaves. 
It's a good lesson to discuss how art doesn't always need to happen on the white piece of paper!

Some Reggio Emilia inspired lessons also suggest painting a branch. It can be a team effort and the class can do it together.

The branch may be used to decorate the class after. I like the idea of creating a "Gratitude Tree" with it. The children can write down anything they are grateful for on leaf shaped paper and hand on the tree. This is a great way of introducing the mindfulness technique of gratitude into your class.


Autumn leaves are great for print! Basic print can begin with placing a leaf under the paper and let the children colour on top with a crayon. Paper can also be placed on the bark of a tree.

You will need acetate- found in any stationary shop. Check in your school office for C.V. covers- especially after the summer holidays- the plastic on the front is all you need. 
Print rollers are normally stored in the school's art resource room.

1. Put some printing ink on a tray- roll out with a roller.
2. Roll the ink on to the acetate.
3. Place a leaf on the painted acetate.
4. Place a lean sheet of paper on top.
5. Roll with a clean roller.
6. Peel off!

Foam printing:
Foam sheets are a safer way of creating prints similar to lino printing.

I purchase mine from Cork Art Supplies.

The child can draw around the leaves/ picture inspired by leaves on the foam.
The printing ink is rolled on (Acrylic Paint can be used also) and printed on to paper.

The leaves and seeds can also be pressed onto the foam.


Clay slabs can be used wet or a day old. 

Older classes may be able to prepare their own slabs. Roll out a slab of clay, leave in newspaper for 1 day. It will be leather like in texture and less sticky to work with.

Remember if sticking clay together to use the scour and slip method to stick it.

Younger children can use wet clay rolled out.

Leaves and seeds can be pressed on the clay. Some children may want to leave seeds and leaves in the clay. They will shrink and discolour as they are natural. 
The beeswax method will preserve the leaves a bit more- but this is all a good lesson in itself!

PVA glue can be used to coat and protect the clay. It will look milky when first applied, but will dry clear. 

Leaves and seeds in wet clay.

Tree bark.

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