This activity is great for school age children who want to get creative with fall leaves! You will learn how to use different sizes and shapes of leaves and turn them into whatever animals you can think of! You can also have fun finding most of the supplies (the different leaves) all over the ground during the fall season. Making leaf animals is a fun activity that turns fallen leaves into animals that you can place around your home or share with your friends!
• Various leaves found outside (can be any shape or size)
• Heavy books
• Newspapers or scrap papers
• Markers (any color)
• Liquid glue
• Blank papers (any color)
Step 1: The first thing you will need to do is take a walk outside and collect some leaves! Have fun finding a variety of leaves outside that have fallen to the ground! If you find leaves that are different sizes and shapes that you really enjoy, then you can get creative and turn them into animals yourself!
For the animals I did for this activity, you will need about 10 yellow-orange oval leaves for the lion, one red oval leaf for the ladybug, one narrow oval leaf, two smaller oval leaves, and one small heart-shaped leaf for the fish (any colors), one bigger oval yellow leaf and one smaller oval yellow leaf for the bird, and one bigger oval leaf, one smaller oval leaf and two smaller round leaves (any colors) for the mouse.
Step 2: Place the leaves under heavy books so they get nice and flat. It’s a lot easier to use leaves that are flat! I would suggest leaving them under the books for one day.
Step 3: Once your leaves have sat under the heavy books for a day or so, check them to make sure they are flat enough to work with. If they need more time, leave them under the books for a couple more hours and check them again to see if they are flat enough to glue together. Lay out the leaves you want to use on a big, clean table with newspapers or several scrap papers laid flat underneath. Put the markers and glue to one side of the table.
Step 4: If you look at the leaves carefully, do you notice they kind of look like animals or parts of animals? What animals could you make out of the leaves you have? Maybe a lion, a bird, a ladybug, a fish, or a mouse? These are the animals I did, but you can definitely use your imagination and see what else you can come up with!
Step 5: Now that you have decided on your animals, it’s time to get started! I find it easiest to glue the leaves right on to a piece of blank paper.
If you are making a lion, try to find about 10 oval-shaped, large, yellow-orange leaves. Place these on the paper in a circle shape, with the stem ends pointing in. Add more leaves if needed, and when you have the right amount to complete the circle, put liquid glue on the back of each leaf and press down firmly to make the mane. Then, using a marker, draw the lion’s face in the middle: two small, round ears on top, two eyes, a triangle nose, two hooks coming out of the bottom of the nose to make the mouth, and three dots above each side of the mouth for the whiskers. You can make it look happy or angry, depending on how you draw the face.
If you are making a bird, you can find a larger oval-shaped leaf and a smaller oval-shaped leaf, and glue the smaller leaf on top of the larger leaf, with the point facing down for both, as the wing. Then you can have the stem as the beak and draw a small dot near the stem for the eye. Next, draw two stick legs below the body with a marker.
If you are making a ladybug, try to find a red leaf that is oval-shaped and glue it onto a piece of paper. With the stem facing the top and the point facing down, draw small black dots on the leaf “body”, and 3 small black legs on each side of the leaf. Then, draw two antennae at the wide end with a small dot at each end with a marker. Right below the antennae, draw a wide curve from one side of the body to the other and colour it in black for the head. You can outline the leaf with black to make it stand out more too!
If you’re making a fish, you can use an oval-shaped leaf, two smaller oval shaped leaves, and one small heart-shaped leaf that’s even smaller. Take the biggest leaf and turn it sideways so the stem is on the left, and the point is on the right. Pull off the stem. Then, put liquid glue on the stem end of the two smaller oval-shaped leaves and place one on the top and one on the bottom of the biggest leaf, with the pointed ends facing the left (these are the fins). Next, put liquid glue on the pointed end of the small heart-shaped leaf, place it under the pointed end of the biggest leaf, and push down firmly for the tail. Finally, you can draw an eyeball on the biggest leaf, close to the right side, with a marker.
If you’re making a mouse, you can use one oval-shaped leaf, a smaller oval shaped leaf, and two tiny oval-shaped leaves. The biggest oval-shaped leaf will be the body, so with the pointed end facing down, draw a tail with a marker on the paper coming out of the pointed end (or use the stem as the tail). Then, take the smaller oval-shaped leaf and remove the stem. With the pointed end facing to the left, put some liquid glue under the wider end and glue it onto the pointy end of the biggest leaf for the head. Next, put liquid glue on the stem ends of the two tiny leaves and place them under the top of the head to attach them as ears. Finally, you can use your marker to draw two eyes on the head, a smiley mouth, and a nose on the pointy end of the leaf “head”.
Step 6: Next, you can place these leaf animals to the side so the glue can dry and your animals can stay in one piece!
Step 7: When the glue is dry, you can cut them out and hang them up with tape around your house as decorations on their own. If you are going to tape them up, you can use Scotch tape or masking tape. Pull out a piece of tape about 3 fingers long, and roll it up into a log so it becomes double-sided tape. Then place this tape under the leaf art and stick it to wherever you want to put it in your house!
Step 8: You can also keep them on the blank piece of paper and draw a fun scene in the background! If you are going to do this, start with drawing something like green grass on the bottom, a pond for the fish to swim in, a tree with leaves falling, clouds in the sky, and anything else you can think of! When the glue is dry on the leaves, you can hang this paper up somewhere in your house with tape like I mentioned in Step 7, or give it to a friend as a gift!
*Tip: Instead of making an animal scene on paper, you can make a collage of a bunch of animals all stuck together on one page.
Step 9: Recycle any newspapers or scrap papers you put on the table during this craft. Also, be sure to wash your hands to remove any sticky glue from your hands!
~Made by Emma F.