I love these placemats and how into the activity my kids were. It’s a simple craft and very kid directed. Give them the materials and see what happens. My daughter wanted glitter so we found a way to do it without having to wait for the final product or make a huge mess. Notice I didn’t say no mess. I can’t decide if my favorite thing about these fall placemats is that they make setting the table ( a kid chore at our house ) even more fun or that they get the kids outside exploring the changing seasons hands on.
- Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, crayons, leaves, and contact paper. If you want to get fancy and add glitter to the leaves like my daughter did you will also need some glitter, double stick tape and Ziploc bags.
- Start by having your child gather the leaves they want to use for the placemat. If they are wet you will want to let them dry before creating.
- Next choose a color of construction paper and start drawing. My son was into this step. My daughter did it as fast as she could to get to the good stuff also known as glitter.
- If you are glittering the leaves start by adding double stick tape to the leaves. I can’t stress enough how they must be dry. Next pop some glitter in a bag and add the leaf. Shake! This extra step for her made it so she and her brother were done at the same time since he took so much time and care with his design.
- Tape the leaves down onto the construction paper. My son added more designs after.
- Sandwich the paper with leaves between two sheets of contact paper. I find it easier to lay the contact paper sticky side up and flip the placemats face down to avoid bubbles. I also suggest not having a 3 year old try to help you with this step unless you want a lot of wasted contact paper covered in grass. Trust me on that one.
Books About Leaves
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert was the inspiration for this craft and will leave you trying to find all sorts of things like butterflies, chickens and fish in leaf piles. The book is about a leaf man who blows away in the wind and the reader is taken past all sorts of animals like chickens and ducks, past rivers filled with fish and butterflies in the air. All the illustrations are leaves pieced together to make these awesome images , some are obvious, some take concentration to see the animal among the leaves. Wonderful creative book to welcome the changing seasons.
Lucky Leaf by Kevin O’Malley is a funny book about a boy kicked outside and off his video game by a parent and his quest for a lucky leaf. He waits and waits for the last leaf from a tree to fall, even after his friends give up and go home. The story is cute and my son thought it was funny. I liked the comic book format of the illustrations and the little boy’s dog has some pretty funny facial expressions throughout.
Leaves by David Ezra Stein is such a sweet book about a young bear who doesn’t understand what is happening when he sees leaves falling from the trees. He even tries to put them back on but it doesn’t work. Eventually, he lays down for a nap and hibernates until Spring when he happily notices that there are new tiny leaves budding on the trees. Both my kids loved this book. I got it out of the library for my toddler who loved it and while reading it to her I had to start over so her almost 6-year-old brother could listen from the start. We each took our own things from it, my daughter has been noticing the changes of Fall for the first time just like the bear in the story. My son took the chance to tell me all about hibernation and everything he knows about it. I thought it was bittersweet and related to how quickly the years seem to pass and how quickly my little bears are changing too. A really lovely book!This post contains affiliate links.