At the Art Table: Leaves + Watercolors
Fall is beautiful. I have dreadful allergies and when living in the Midwest I dreaded the approach of Winter, but Fall is beautiful. The crisp air. Football games. The brilliant colors falling all around. As much as I love Summer, if it has to go away Fall is a lovely substitute. This is my favorite time of year to hike and collecting leaves is a natural by-product. We have used our leaves for many things like these leaf hangings and today I thought I'd share another fun leaf exploration.
Cover your table. We use an old curtain for this purpose, which provides solid table protection and a nice neutral background.
Put your collected leaves in a basket.
Arrange a piece of paper, a paint brush, and cups for paint and water for each child.
Invite your child over to paint some leaves or wait for them to discover the materials.
Allow them to explore the paints and the leaves. As with all great open-ended art projects there is no wrong answer here. Our children loved the difference between painting on the leaves and painting on the paper. If you want paint to cling to the leaves more tempera paint works better. We enjoyed this however as an exploration in absorbency.
While they work, the toddler is working on:
*labeling the colors of the paint and the leaves
*fine motor skills needed to control their paintbrush
*expressing themselves creatively
*explore how different materials interact
Put your leaves and paper somewhere out of reach or in a designated drying space.
Send little ones to the bathroom to wash their brushes, cups, and hands. Yes, this might get a little messy but nothing a few wash cloths can't repair and cleaning their materials is a great self help skill.
Toss the table cover in the washing machine and clear the rest of the art area.
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