Sweet and Simple Leaf Art for Kids

One of the easiest ways to get involved with Autumn themed crafts is to make this sweet and simple leaf art with your kids.

This activity couldn’t be easier to set up – and there’s also a few different ways to set up the activity which we’ll explore during this blog post.

These simple leaf art activities are ideal for children aged 4 and over. It’s great to go out on a nature walk first then bring back a pile full of Autumnal nature treasures to create art when you get home.


the image shows a 6 year old girl making a drawing of a girl with leaves. This simple leaf art can be transient or glued down


Why do this simple leaf art activity?

Incorporating simple leaf art into your child’s activities not only provides a fun and creative outlet but also offers numerous educational and developmental benefits. It’s a wonderful way to bond with your child while nurturing their artistic talents and appreciation for the natural world.

Nature Appreciation: Creating leaf art encourages kids to explore the outdoors and connect with nature. They learn to appreciate the different shapes, sizes, and colors of leaves, fostering a sense of wonder about the natural world around them.


Fine Motor Skills: Picking up, arranging, and gluing down leaves requires precise hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. This simple leaf art activity helps children develop dexterity, which is crucial for tasks like writing and drawing.

Creativity and Imagination: Leaf art allows children to unleash their creativity and imagination. They can experiment with different arrangements, patterns, and combinations, giving them the freedom to express themselves artistically.

Patience and Focus: Assembling a leaf art project requires patience and concentration. Kids need to pay attention to details, decide on their design, and carefully place each leaf. This helps improve their ability to focus on tasks, a valuable skill for school and daily life.

Environmental Awareness: Through leaf art, children learn about the environment and the importance of preserving it. You can take the opportunity to discuss topics like trees, seasons, and the role of leaves in the ecosystem, fostering a sense of environmental responsibility.


Suggested Materials for this Simple Leaf Art Activity

  • leaves
  • petals
  • pinecones
  • conkers
  • feathers
  • daisies
  • dandelions
  • marker pen
  • glue
  • paper

A young girl collects red and gold leaves for a simple leaf art activity


How to set up the activity

This simple leaf art activity is not only a fantastic way to bond with your child but also an opportunity to explore nature, encourage creativity, and develop fine motor skills. Plus, the finished artwork can serve as a wonderful keepsake of your time together.

  1. Nature Hunt: Begin by going on a nature hunt with your child. Explore a park, garden, or even your backyard to collect leaves, pinecones, and feathers. Encourage your child to choose items that capture their imagination. Discuss the different colors, shapes, and textures of the natural materials you find.
  2. Inspiration: If you have pictures or illustrations of animals, objects, or scenes you’d like to create, use them as inspiration. Show these images to your child and discuss the elements you both want to include in your leaf art.
  3. Design Planning: Before diving into the artwork, have a brief discussion about the design. Decide on the central theme or picture you want to create using the collected materials. This step encourages creative thinking and planning.
  4. Art Creation: Lay out your white paper or cardboard as a canvas. Begin placing the leaves, pinecones, and feathers on the paper to form your chosen design. Experiment with different arrangements until you’re satisfied with the look. Your child can even sketch a rough outline with a pencil if they’d like.
  5. Gluing: Once you’re happy with the arrangement, start gluing the natural materials onto the paper. Apply glue to the back of each leaf, pinecone, or feather, and then gently press it down onto the paper. Hold it in place for a few moments to ensure it sticks.
  6. Detail Work: After the main components are in place, use marker pens or colored pencils to add details or embellishments to your artwork. This can include eyes, mouths, patterns, or any other creative touches.
  7. Drying Time: Allow the artwork to dry completely. This might take some time, depending on the amount of glue used.
  8. Display and Share: Once the artwork is dry, display it proudly in your home. Encourage your child to share their creation with family and friends, fostering a sense of accomplishment and boosting their confidence.
  9. Cleanup: Don’t forget to clean up together! Collect any remaining leaves, feathers, or pinecones, and properly dispose of any glue or other materials used.

If you would prefer not to make your simple leaf art permanent with glue, you can also try making a transient creation — as shown in the photograph below: 

Autumn leaf art ideas, a butterfly has been made out of various nature treasures including leaves, dandelions and petals

What is transient art?

Transient art is a creative and engaging activity that encourages children (and adults) to explore their artistic talents using a wide variety of temporary materials. As shown in the photo above, your simple leaf art can be transient – you can even do it on location when you’re on a nature walk, instead of bringing all of the materials home.

Unlike traditional art, which often relies on fixed mediums like paper and paint, transient art is all about using ephemeral materials like leaves, twigs, sand, pebbles, or even food items like cereal and pasta to create beautiful, imaginative artworks.

It’s an excellent way for kids to develop their fine motor skills, boost their problem-solving abilities, and express themselves artistically without the fear of making permanent mistakes. Plus, it’s a mess-free way to let their creativity run wild since these creations are meant to be taken apart and redone. Transient art fosters resourcefulness, creativity, and a sense of wonder in your child as they experiment, build, and play with the ever-changing canvas of their imagination.

But this activity isn’t reserved for young children, you only have to look at the work of James Brunt to realise than transient art with nature is a fantastic creative outlet for adults too.

At Home Autumn Art & Sensory Camp

If you enjoyed this post and wanted to find more fun Autumn themed activities, check out the At Home Autumn Art & Sensory Camp in my membership group. If you would like to access the content, you can check it out here. 

This image shows a timetable for an Autumn art & sensory camp. The pumpkin hammer art is one of the activities included


Autumn Blog posts to read next:

If you loved this simple leaf art, you might also enjoy some of our other Autumn posts. Most are suitable for both toddlers and preschoolers:

Autumn Art Ideas for Preschoolers

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Mask

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt story basket

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt pre-writing skills  activity 

21 Autumn Ideas for the Entire Family

Autumn Activities for Kids: 25 Playful Prompts

Autumn Loose Parts Play

Autumn Preschool Leaf Cutting Tray

Apple Playdough Activity

Farm Playdough Ideas

Sunflower Sensory Play Activity 

Pumpkin Hammer Art 

Pumpkin Gloop 

Simple Autumn Sensory: Pumpkin soup

You can also search the keyword ‘Autumn’ in the blog search bar for the most up-to-date Autumn blog post listing.


Interested in learning more?

If you enjoyed this simple leaf art activity and want to learn more about sensory play and the importance of play in the early years, you might just like my exclusive membership, ‘How I drink my Coffee Hot’ too. The membership costs just $5 per month and you get access to 10 mini courses on a range of topics including sensory play, play spaces and starting school. Here are some membership posts that you might enjoy:

Sensory Play Mini Course

Starting School Mini Course 

Play Space 101 Mini Course

Toys 101 Mini Course

Sian Thomas
an image of This Playful Home founder, Sian Thomas. The photo includes a photo of her daughter when she was around 18 months old

I’m Siân (rhymes with yarn), a play advocate, proud parent to three, and former teacher. My mission is to infuse more joy and less overwhelm into the lives of parents. Discover play-based activities with me that not only make learning FUN but also forge deep connections with your young learners, creating memories to cherish forever.