While out on a walk, autumn leaves are great for kicking up as we walk through drifts, leaping into heaps and catching as they fall from the trees. Get your grandchildren to pick some up next time you’re out for a walk, because back at home, there are lots of ways to show them off.
Identifying the trees with the most colourful leaves also bumps up their nature knowledge.
Have fun with a hat
While you’re out on a walk together, poke the stalks of colourful leaves into a woolly hat (little ones will really enjoy decorating yours!) for a leafy headdress – it makes for fab photos to share with family and friends. Or wait until you’re indoors, and measure the child’s head, then get them to cut a paper headband of the same length, and stick on leaves along it, and sticky-tape the ends together to form a crown.
Find out how to make a foraged fairy
Take a tracing
Place an interestingly shaped leaf on coloured paper. (You can hold it still with doubled-over sticky tape, if necessary.) Draw around its outline, colour it in and cut it out. Kids can stick to the leaf’s original colour, or create something totally unnatural.
If you make lots of these paper leaves you can use them for all of the projects here.
Make a leaf rubbing
Using the same method as brass-rubbing, take a leaf with prominent veins, place it underneath a sheet of lightweight paper. Rub on top of the paper over the leaf with a crayon or soft coloured pencil, and watch the leaf appear. Build up a colourful collage.
Fit to frame
Glue a stunning leaf to a piece of paper, or inside a clip frame, then group several together on the wall for an eye-catching arrangement.
A selection of toning-coloured leaves make a great alternative to foliage in a vase with a bloom or two.
The spectrum of colours in autumn leaves includes purple, red, orange, yellow and green. If you arrange leaves of the same colour in an arch you can make a rainbow; or in a circle for a rainbow ring.
Children love to create on a large scale, so when they’ve picked up piles of leaves, let them peg them on a long length of string for instant bunting to hang indoors or out. The washing line makes a great outdoor display, too.
Find out how to make a dried orange garland
Make a leaf lantern
Glue golden leaves (lighter shades work best) to the outside of a clean jam jar. Drop in a tea light for a golden glow. (Keep matches out of reach of children. Never leave burning candles unattended.)