Collect leaves. Using watercolors, paint one side of the leaf. Press onto white paper. This leaves a beautiful print. I then paste onto colored paper for a “frame” .
Children pick as many leaves as they can. Laminate them, paint a tall cardboard tube brown, and attach the laminated leaves with some cotton, and they have their own autumn tree. Make sure that the tube is glued to a flat piece of card, and glue unlaminated leaves at the bottom of the tree on the card.
Collect leaves on a nature walk. Take watercolors and have children paint leaves. Press painted leaves on white paper. This makes a beautiful leaf print. I paste the white paper onto colored paper!
Have the children trace their hands onto construction paper. Make sure that the paper is the color of leaves such as red, orange, brown, green, etc. After they do that, cut them out and write their names in big, black letters on the hand-prints. Take several pieces of brown construction paper and create part of a tree. Then staple the hand-prints to the top of the brown construction paper as if they were leaves. At the bottom of the tree, create a big basket in which other leaves are.
I have been doing this activity since the fall of 1988, and it has always proven to be a big hit. The children bring in a new, white sweatshirt (usually purchased from a craft store at a nominal price) We collect different shapes and sizes of leaves that are still fresh (no crisp leaves) The children paint a leaf of their choice vein side up, with fabric paint in fall colors (orange, red, yellow and brown) They place the leaf on their sweatshirt, put an absorbent piece of paper on top of the leaf, and using a craft roller, roll the paper. When everything is removed, there is a perfect leaf print. It is an amazing sight to see the whole class in these sweatshirts on a field trip!!!