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Outdoor Art: Autumn Leaf Collage

I like to incorporate a variety of activities in our outdoor play, including art. This activity includes many areas of learning actually – nature, sensory, fine motor, color recognition, and many more, I’m sure, depending on how it’s presented. That day, our leaves were starting to fall and beautiful! While outside, I set up our large easel and covered it with Con-Tact paper by taping down the edges with packing tape. Check out Outdoor Art: Autumn Leaf Collage, an easy fall activity for toddlers and preschoolers.

Outdoor Art: Autumn Leaf Collage

Encouraging Participation

With the easel prepared, I encouraged the little ones in my group to venture out and gather leaves from the ground. At first, a couple of them timidly began, but it didn’t take long for the enthusiasm to spread. Soon, every child was an eager participant in the creation of our leaf collage.

fall collage on the easel - Outdoor Art: Autumn Leaf Collage

Adding a Challenge

To make the activity even more exciting and educational, I introduced a few challenges. I asked the children to find specific types of leaves, like a vibrant red leaf or a small and delicate one. This encouraged them to pay attention to the details of the leaves they were collecting. We also ventured beyond just tree leaves, incorporating flower and shrub leaves, which added an element of exploration and discovery to the activity.

The Result: A Masterpiece for the Window

What resulted from this simple creative endeavor was nothing short of spectacular. The collage we had collectively crafted was a tapestry of autumn’s colors, shapes, and textures. To preserve our autumn leaf collage and make it easy to display, I placed another piece of Con-Tact paper over the top of the leaves and carefully sealed it. After trimming the edges to the desired size, I taped it on the window for everyone to admire for a few weeks.

Long-lasting Memories

Weeks have passed since that beautiful autumn day, and our leaf collages continue to bring joy to our play space. The Con-Tact paper protects and leaves so they look like the day we collected them. The simplicity of the activity has allowed us to appreciate and preserve the captivating colors of fall. We’ve referred to it many times over snacks and talked about our favorite leaves while playing “I Spy.”

Leaf Collage Art on the window
Outdoor Art: Autumn Leaf Collage

Future Adventures with the Collages

Our collage was a group project, but you can also create individual works that children can eventually take home, and they can serve as cherished mementos. You can store them safely and display them again next year to relive the beauty of autumn. Alternatively, you might consider trimming down each leaf and adding them to your fall nature collection bin, creating a tangible connection to the changing seasons.

Our Autumn Leaf Collages was not just an art project; it was a journey of exploration, creativity, and learning. It’s a way for children to connect with nature, appreciate its wonders, and celebrate fall.

Outdoor Art: Autumn Leaf Collage

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Terri Thompson (@Creativefamfun)

Tuesday 26th of November 2013

We did this recently too! It's a great way to preserve some of those pretty autumn leaves my girls love to collect!