Fingerpaint Leaf Prints
a wide assortment of leaves
Children will observe the different shapes, sizes, and vein patterns of leaves as they make fingerpaint leaf prints.
Take a walk outside with the children to collect leaves that have recently fallen. Upon returning to your classroom, talk about how they look and feel. Invite children to compare the leaves and sort them by size, shape, and color.
1. Ask each child to find the bumpy side of a leaf -- the side with the raised veins.
2. Show the children how they can use their fingers to spread a thin layer of fingerpaint on the bumpy side of their leaves. Talk about how this side of the leaf feels.
3. Ask children to put their leaves, paint-side down, on white paper, place newspaper pages over them, and press to make prints. Children can then remove the newspaper, peel off the leaves (with clean fingers), and marvel at their colorful leaf prints. Compare the physical characteristics of the children’s leaf prints.
4. Place the prints on a large piece of craft paper to make a fall class mural.
Fingerpainting is an exciting sensory experience. Before the children make their prints, they might enjoy an extended period of time to freely explore the slippery texture of fingerpaint.
More to do:
If possible, take a neighborhood walk or look outside your window to watch leaves falling from the trees. Notice how they glide, spin, or quickly drop down. Then put on some soft music and invite children to pretend that they're the falling leaves. Point out all the different kinds of "falling leaf" dances children are doing.
In this activity, children will learn about some of the different colors flowers can be.
colored construction paper
books containing pictures of various flowers
1. Ask children to name the different flowers that they know. Then ask them to tell what colors those flowers can be. (Point out that flowers can come in many different colors. A rose, for example, could be red, pink, or white.) On a board, record the names of flowers and the colors they can be.
2. Tell children that they are going to make a paper flower garden on the board. The goal will be to include as many different colors of flowers as they can. Explain that the flowers they make have to be a color that real flowers can be (for instance, a red rose, a blue morning glory, a white daisy, an orange tiger lily, a purple pansy, or a yellow marigold).
3. Distribute the books containing pictures of flowers and have children search through the books to find different colored flowers. Add new flowers to the list you started earlier. Then help children draw and cut out construction-paper flowers for the board.
More to do:
1. Cut out and mount (on the board) the stems and leaves for the flowers yourself. This way, children can focus on the flowers.
2. Have children group the flowers in the garden according to color. Encourage them to continue to search for flowers to add to each group.
3. Discuss with children the things that a flower needs to grow: soil (nutrients), water, light, and warmth. Make a list of these necessities to post alongside the paper garden.