Looking for new and fun ways for the kids to create and play with leaves this fall? Check out this collection our favourite Fall Leaf crafts and activities for kids ages 2-10!
When I was a kid, one of my favourite things to do in fall was to make leaf houses. My friends and I would rake up the leaves in the yard and make elaborate, multi-roomed houses with hallways and doorways, and we’d spend hours playing make-believe in them.
My daycare kids love to do the same, so we spend a ton of time in the yard in the fall, coming up with fun ways to play in the leaves, and of course, we do lots of fall leaf crafting as well.
I thought it would be fun to round up all of our favourite fall leaf crafts and activities and share them with you so your kids can enjoy some of the same fun this season.
Whether you have toddlers, preschoolers, or elementary aged children, you’ll find lots of ideas here to help your kids make the most of the fall season, AND the most of those beautiful leaves scattered around your yard.
Fall Leaf Crafts and Activities for Kids
To make it quick and easy to find a craft or activity that’s age-appropriate for your child, I’ve broken this collection into 3 parts:
- Fall Leaf Crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Fun Ways for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Play in the Leaves
- Fall Leaf Crafts for Kids Ages 5-10
Ok! Here we go!
Fall Leaf Crafts for Toddlers & Preschoolers:
Tissue Paper Fall Tree
One of my all time favourite fall leaf crafts for toddlers and preschoolers is this tissue paper fall tree. Obviously, there are no real leaves used here, but your kids will have fun choosing tissue paper in the colours they think best represent fall, and decorating their own fall tree with them. You can display your child’s tissue paper tree as the centrepiece for a fall family dinner.
Painting With Leaves
Leaf painting is a wonderful way for toddlers and preschoolers to explore the colours and textures of fall, and fun way to make art with non-traditional tools and materials.
Making a fall collage with finds from the garden and yard is a wonderful way for toddlers and preschoolers to explore fall leaves and flowers. Not to mention, it’s a lot of fun prepping for this fall art project because it starts with a nature walk. An activity like this can fill the better part of a fall morning – the walk, sorting your treasures, creating the backdrop for your collage (it’s a really fun paint process) and then gluing all of the items on to make gorgeous piece of autumn art.
Painted Leaf Prints
Making colourful prints with fall leaves is a fun way for kids to explore art and nature in one activity. These prints are really pretty, so do them on a dollar store canvas, and you’ll be able to display them in your home.
Paint Swatch Fall Tree Craft
If you’re a preschool teacher or daycare provider, you likely have paint samples on hand because they’re so fun for crafting with. If not, take the kids on an outing to the paint store or hardware store to collect a few in shades of orange, red, yellow and brown. Older kids will be able to make ornate fall trees with their paint samples, while toddlers and preschoolers can create abstract art like we did here with our paint chip fall trees.
Fall Popcorn Tree
One of the kids’ favourite fall art activities is making a popcorn tree. The way we colour our popcorn gets the kids jumping and shaking all over the place, which they love, and of course, we set aside a stash of uncoloured popcorn to snack on later. The textures of the popcorn and the twigs in this project are pleasing for little hands, and the colours and the aroma of the popcorn make this a wonderful sensory craft for fall.
Fall Leaf Handprint Tree Craft
Everybody loves a handprint craft, right? Toddlers and preschoolers can trace their hands and arms on textured paper to make tree trunks, and then decorate them with vibrant leaves made of crumpled tissue paper. No need to buy pricey scrapbook paper for the tree trunks. Click through to see our finished tissue tree handprint craft to find out what we use instead!
Fun Ways for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Play in the Leaves:
We have a number of large trees in our backyard, so a ton of leaves come down in the fall. Raking them into a pile and jumping in them is always fun, but we’ve come up with a few extra-creative ways to play in the fall leaves inner leaves for weeks:
You’ve likely made waterslides in summer and snow-slides in winter, but have you made a leaf slide in Autumn? Not only do the hooligans have a blast sliding into a pile of crunchy leaves, I always get a good work out, raking the yard and keeping the leaves all piled up at the bottom of the slide.
Another fun thing I love to do for my toddlers is make a leaf labyrinth with with the leaves in our yard. It never fails to “a-MAZE” me how much fun the little ones have following the paths that I make for them. As long as the wind doesn’t pick up too much, our leaf mazes can last for days.
Roadway Leaf Maze
Similar to our leaf labyrinth, these roadways in the leaves, keep the kids occupied for days. I make them wide enough so the kids can drive their push-toys through, and they have a great time following all the twists and turns that I rake for them.
Fall Sensory Table
For this activity, you can use real fall leaves or artificial leaves. It’s a fall sensory table laden with all kinds of fall goodies. I keep a table like this set up for weeks here in my daycare, and the children love examining and exploring all of the items on it. There are so many wonderful colours and textures for them to discover in fall – think pine cones, acorns, chestnuts, silver dollars, milkweed, and of course, many varieties of leaves.
Fall Leaf Crafts for Kids ages 5-10:
Older kids will love these creative ideas, but they can be simplified so younger children can enjoy them too.
Glittered Fall Leaf Ornaments
This is one of my favourite fall crafts to do with the tweens here in my daycare.. The big kids made this batch of glittered fall leaf ornaments last year, and they turned out beautifully. We poked holes in the leaves before baking so we could hang them from small branches and display them in a vase. They’ve held up well, and we’ll be displaying them again this fall.
Leaf Scratch Art
My hooligans love making scratch art, so they were thrilled when I suggested this fall leaf scratch art project. It’s a great way for kids to experiment with drawing leaf shapes. It would make a great art activity to accompany a lesson on tree species/varieties.
Fall Leaf Silhouette Art
Making silhouette art with Fall leaves is another fun way for kids to examine and become familiar with the distinct shapes of the trees that grow in your neighbourhood.
Fall Leaf Sun Catcher
For our Fall leaf sun catcher, you’ll need an opaque container like a milk or vinegar jug, some Sharpies, and some black paint. It’s a fun and easy process that older kids will love, and the results are really beautiful. The sun wasn’t shining when I took the photos for my post, but when it is, these leaves look brilliant. You could even give them a dusting of glitter to make them sparkle! See the instructions for our Leaf Sun Catchers here.
Fall Leaf Napkin Rings
Have your kids make a bunch of these fall leaf napkin rings for your family’s Thanksgiving dinner table. We used a really cool process called “scrape painting” to colour our leaves, and then it was just a matter of attaching them to strips cut from a paper towel tube. What a fun art process for older kids, and the results are really pretty.
Fall Leaf Mobile with Sharpies and Tin Foil
If your kids have never made art with Sharpies and aluminum foil before, they need to try this one. Colouring on foil with sharpies is really cool, and perfect for making the vibrant, shimmering leaves for this fall leaf mobile.
Paper Bag Fall Wreath with Artificial Flowers & Leaves
And lastly, our paper bag fall wreath. Hit up the dollar store for a few bunches of artificial flowers and leaves in fall colours. With a low-heat glue gun, your kids can transform a paper bag into a gorgeous fall wreath for your front door!
I hope you enjoyed our collection of fall leaf crafts and activities! Let us know if you try them. And if you’ve made something creative with fall leaves, or if your kids have thought up a creative way to play in the leaves, drop us a line! We’d love to hear your ideas.
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.