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Jessi Loerch | jloerch@heraldnet.com
Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A simple outdoorsy craft for kids -- or grownups

  • Use paint and leaves to keep your kids entertained.

    Use paint and leaves to keep your kids entertained.

  • Paint and leaves are a lot of fun for kids and adults.

    Paint and leaves are a lot of fun for kids and adults.

Here's a fun little outdoorsy craft for those with kids.

One of my favorite things is painting with leaves. We go outside for a walk and gather leaves. Sometimes "walk" means front yard. Whatever works.

Anyways. Get some leaves. Bring them inside and if they're sopping wet, pat them dry.

Lay out some construction paper or – even better – a large piece of butcher paper or the like. Give your kids paint. Whatever you have works. We usually use poster paint or watercolors. Let them slather paint on the leaves and then slap them on the paper.

My daughter loves this. It will keep her occupied for an hour, easy. And that's saying something for a 3-year-old. (By then end of the hour, I have to watch closely or she'll start doing things like painting the floor and her face. But that's to be expected.)

I just discovered an excellent twist to this craft. Find a plant with wooly leaves – something like lamb's ear. I think that's what I have in my garden, although I'm not 100 percent certain. It's been there since I moved in. Anyways, find a plant with wooly leaves and bring a few leaves inside.

Paint the leaf liberally with watercolor on just one side. Then press that side into the paper. It makes a very satisfying stamp, and you can use it several times before it needs to be refreshed. My daughter is into rainbows right now, so I made some rainbows and stamped them on our paper.

I'm rather pleased with the result. I think I may try it again with more rainbows. Maybe I have our next wall art. Or at the very least, it would make some lovely homemade wrapping paper. And you get to entertain your kid at the same time. Win.

A while back I wrote about winter fun with kids. Find more ways to maintain your sanity here.

Story tags » ParentingCraftingOutdoors

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