Real leaf crafts are a fantastic way to celebrate fall with preschoolers and older kids. Combine a nature walk with a craft session and you have the recipe to a great time spent with your little ones.
Real leaves can be successfully used in arts and crafts for kids. If you’re curious what exactly you can make with leaves, here is a list of all kind of ideas. I’m sure you will find more than one project you will be willing to give a try.
These fall leaf crafts all use real leaves but you can also get artificial leaves from craft stores.
Real leaf crafts
Bring the fall colors inside your house with this handprint fall tree craft! All you need is paper and a handful of leaves. Very easy to make with kids as young as toddlers as long as an adult does the handprint cutting.
This turkey uses not only one nature element, but two. It combines a squash with a leaf tail to make a beautiful decoration for Thanksgiving. Your table centerpiece will attract smiles from your guests.
Small branches that still leaves on are great for crafting too. Hand the branch and paint to your kids and let them enjoy painting those leaves. Once they are done, add a paper head and turn it into a turkey puppet or any other kind of puppet.
This hedgehog is such an easy craft to try with young kids. They can color first the hedgehog template and only then add leaves. Use plastic leaves if you don’t have any real ones at hand.
Make leaf luminaries during the day and enjoy them at night. Now it gets dark so quickly that kids don’t have to wait for too long to properly enjoy their luminaries.
I love a good recycled craft and this luminary makes use of an old jar. You can even paint the jar a light color before gluing leaves to it. This would be a nice night light for kids and they would feel so proud to have it in their room.
Leaf lanterns are spectacular but make sure to only use battery operated tea light candles. Never real candles. Place them outside for a nice fall decoration.
A leaf suncatcher is another beautiful fall decoration kids can easily make on their own. They can place the leaves randomly or make a mandala design. Hang it by the kitchen window or in your kid’s room.
Real leaf trees are so fun! Play around and make kids group the leaves by color: yellow, red and brown and create a tree for each color. Or slide in some math and turn it into a counting game: ask your kid to use a certain number of leaves for their tree.
Real leaf garlands are a beautiful way to decorate your house for fall. Kids can paint the leaves or leave them as they are. Make a pattern by combining leaves of different colors or sizes.
If your kids like collecting leaves, chances are they like rocks too. Why not combine the two and paint leaves on rocks? If you use a sealer, you can place those painted rocks back in nature. You will make the day of other kids who go on nature walks.
Colorful leaf bowls – you can never have enough of them! Spread them around the house to brighten up your day.
Leaf people are cute but it doesn’t have to be people necessarily. It can be monsters or animals or anything your kids want to. Hand your kids a bunch of leaves, paint and markers and let them use their imagination.
Sticks and leaves can come together in many crafts and we have here a leaf butterfly. You can even use it as a teachable moment and talk about symmetry or not…
A paper plate suncatcher is nice but a whole door or window leaf sun catcher is even better! Arrange the leaves by color, going from red to orange, yellow and green or just place them randomly.
I love these leaf people for so many reasons, it’s a recycled craft that uses several nature elements: leaves, rocks and sticks! I would also add some smile.
Here is another way of making a clay leaf bowl and it’s equally beautiful. I like the bigger round size that makes it great as a key or ring holder.
Learn leaf printing and make your own mandala designs. Use colorful backgrounds and combine different colors for the leaves.
Stick and leaf butterflies can be turned into puppets for a fairy pretend play or simply beautiful fall decorations.
A super simple leaf luminary can be made for any fall day or for Thanksgiving.
Yes to creative ways of teaching young kids how to spell their names. And in this case using leaves to write down their name. The leaf names aren’t only helpful but they also look amazing!
Leaf printing with markers? Why not! Not as messy as paint leaf printing can become and kids will love handling the rolling pin. I know my kids do!
Nature leaf prints can keep kids busy and having fun after a nature walk. It is an art project that will look appealing to both kids and adults.
Leaf sewing can be a great first time sewing experience for young kids. Perfect fine motor skills activity.
Hand kids a bunch of leaves and ask what leaf animals they can come up with. Butterfly is an easy option but I’m curious what else they would create.
Next time you make a leaf tree craft why not turning it into a sun catcher?
Leaf painting can make beautiful art to display. Or you can cut out the painted leaves and incorporate them into other new crafts.
Now this is a creative way to use leaves for an animal. That squirrel tail was made to be created with red leaves.
Sometimes all you need is a colorful background and brown leaves will look so beautiful! These pressed leaf artworks are great to make and display in the classroom.
Use watercolors for this leaf printing project and the results will be simply stunning!
Wax resist leaf painting combines leaf rubbing with leaf painting – you have to give it a try!
Leaf threading is a fine motor activity that requires only nature elements and twine.