Make Leaf Rubbing Animals Activity

3.1 based on 21 ratings
Updated on Oct 12, 2012

Fall means cooler weather, sweaters, and, of course, falling leaves. Try this simple craft to celebrate the season of transition with your preschooler. When the neighborhood is carpeted with fallen leaves, gather a few on an afternoon walk and use them to create a simple crayon rubbing, in the shape of her favorite animal.

What You Need:

  • Found fall leaves in different shapes and sizes
  • Lightweight white paper (printer paper is fine)
  • Crayons
  • 1 sheet of cardboard about the same size as your paper (try reusing the front of a cereal or cracker box)
  • Scissors
  • Clear-drying, non-toxic glue
  • Printable leaf rubbing frames (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to choose an animal, then help her choose leaves to form the animal's body. Trim leaves to size with scissors if necessary.
  2. Have her arrange the leaves on the cardboard in the shape of her animal.
  3. Gently lift each leaf and glue it to the cardboard. Set it aside to dry.
  4. Have your child pick a crayon from the box, then remove the paper wrapping. Place the white paper over the leaf animal and help her rub the crayon over the paper sideways (like a rolling pin).
  5. Watch as your leaf animal appears! Once the leaf is fully transferred, have your child add finishing details to her animal such as eyes, ears, and mouth.

Try making a rubbing in the shape of a turkey for a sweet homemade Thanksgiving decoration.

Erica Loop has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

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