Here, we invite you to make leaf prints, which doubles as both an art activity and a science activity as children enhance their botany skills while making the prints!
A big part of many holidays is the act of giving gifts. While actually wrapping presents can be kind of difficult and take a lot of practice (even for adults!), children can help you to make beautiful, nature-inspired wrapping paper or gift bags.
Set up Time: 10 minutes
- Gather together recycled brown paper bags or a roll of brown paper. If using paper bags, cut them so you have a large piece of blank paper.
- Go outside and forage for leaves, and any other materials that might make a nice print (acorn cap stamps, berries, flowers, or other materials).
- Place plates of paint and paintbrushes out for children to paint the leaves on the printed side. You can show them, or let them figure it out through trial-and–error, using the open-ended question: “I wonder how we can make a leaf print?”They will likely get messy as they explore, so keep wet rags nearby! We also used berries to dip and made circles with acorn caps.
- Let your paper dry and then use it to wrap presents.
- Paint brushes
- Recycled brown paper bags
- Natural collected materials (leaves, sticks, pinecones, grass, flowers, etc)
Learning Through Play
Cognitive: Connections – Turn this into a science activity by drawing children’s attention to the lines on the leaves. What are they for? Are all the leaves the same? Do they know what trees the leaves came from? What trees or plants do the leaves belong to? This is a great way to learn about your local flora!
Social-Emotional: Bonding– Many parents know the money that goes into decorating and getting ready for holidays, which can then turn into a big pile of trash at the end of the holiday. This is a way to slow down and personalize things a bit and show children that some of the most valuable gifts can actually come from the heart as they think of their loved ones while they are foraging, stamping, wrapping, and showing their design to the person opening the present.
School Readiness: Patterns – In Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983, 1993), he highlights that the naturalist intelligence is the ability to see subtle patterns in the natural world, which then translates to closer attention being paid to other patterns throughout life. So, take time to slow down and pay attention to the details you see in nature, as this can actually help children throughout life to pay attention to other patterns in math, science, literature and history.
See this activity in the Rayz Kidz app along with the other fun movement activities. Rayz Kidz is your trusted source for play-based activities featuring over 100 themes and 500+ hands-on activities and clear descriptions of the beautiful learning that is happening through play.