Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Preserving Leaves and Leaf Activities


We are lucky to have some really beautiful trees in our neighborhood.  Like most kids my 2 love to rake the leaves into big piles and jump in!  We've also taken walks trying to find the prettiest and biggest leaves.   Most of the time though the leaves we bring home dry up and that's that, goodbye leaves.  I wanted to try and preserve some of these beauties and here's what we have tried.

  • Glycerin and water - learn how to preserve leaves this way by visiting Home Science Tools
  • Ironing the leaves between wax paper - learn how to preserve leaves this way by visiting Home Science Tools
  • Melting wax - learn how to preserve leaves this way by visiting How Wee Learn
So far my favorite and the easiest was melting an old candle and dipping the leaves into the wax.  So easy and quick to dry.  They turn out soft and smell pretty from the candle too!  

Glycerin and water is also easy but I'm impatient and preserving leaves this way takes about 3 days or more. But if you have the patience to do it this way they really turn out soft!

The ironing and wax paper method, for me, was my least favorite as the leaves still seemed to dry up rather quickly.

Once your leaves are preserved, have some fun!  Here are a few leaf activities we enjoyed.

Leaf Turkey - This craft is super simple and the turkey looks adorable!  Their's something about turning leaves into creatures that puts a smile on my face, they're just so darn adorable.  We also made leaf creatures a few months back and I smiled every time I looked at them!

Here's what you'll need to make a Leaf Turkey:
  • 2 Maple leaves
  • Construction paper
  • Googly eyes
  • Foam triangle for nose
  • Red foam piece for wattle
We have the foam that self sticks which I love so no glue other than for the googly eyes was needed.  We are just hanging our Leaf Turkey on our fridge but this could also make a cute Thanksgiving card for a friend or family member.  


Here's another way we played with our preserved leaves:

Leaf Tracing - We have a forsythia bush in our backyard and let me tell ya these leaves are so pretty. They go from green to brownish burgundy to bright yellow.  My 4 year old spent almost an hour picking and sorting through these pretties!  I thought up this next activity to keep my 4 year old busy as I was preparing dinner.  I took some of the leaves that we dipped in the candle wax and I traced them onto a piece of paper.  I then gave my daughter a pile of leaves and asked her if she could match the correct leaf to the tracing.  She really took to this activity and after she matched the first few she asked for more.  Then she asked if she could trace like Mommy.  This turned out to be a really fun activity and  the bonus is that it worked on fine motor skills too!



We haven't done it yet but since we have so many different kinds of leaves, shapes, sizes and colors we are  also going to try sorting them.  

We've paired our leaf activities with these fun books:




I would love to hear how you and your children enjoy the beautiful fall leaves!  Leave a comment below or visit us on Facebook!










18 comments:

  1. You know what? I have never tried to preserve leaves, never knew how easy it was to do. On my to do list!

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  2. We've tried the leave-them-under-heavy-books method and that takes a week or more (and we're not patient! lol) I love your cute leaf turkey! #FrugalFamily

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    1. Emma, I know about the patience!! Dipping the leaves in the wax was SO easy and the leaves are still soft!! Glad you like our leaf turkey!

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  3. Visiting you from the Mommy Needs a Time Out Linky! I love two things about your post: you've included books and you're preserving leaves! WE live in Florida, so this would be perfect for fall trips up north, to bring a little autumn home with us. I miss fall so much! Following you across my social networks!

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    1. Thank you for visiting us and following! I'm following along as well. Love your site and can't get enough children's books so your blog is perfect for me!!

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  4. I love leaf activities. Unfortunately all of our leaves are covered with snow. Onto the winter season I guess!

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop!

    Wishing you a lovely evening.
    xoxo

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    1. Snow and I have a love hate relationship. Glad we don't have any..,...yet. We are happily still enjoying lots of leaves in our neck of the woods. Take care Jennifer!

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  5. This is adorable. I love nature crafts. So cute.

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    1. We had fun with it!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. awesome and so timely! the granddaughter was just asking about using some leaves to make a fairy rug! Thanks for sharing with Snickerdoodle!

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    1. A fairy rug, cool!!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Great ideas for fall crafts with leaves! Pinning! Thanks so much for sharing them with us at On Display Thursday! We look forward to seeing you again this Wednesday night at 9 pm CST! http://www.thedomesticheart.com

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    1. Shelly, Thank you for commenting! Glad you like our leaf activities.

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  8. i have never thought of preserve them! They look so good! Thank you for sharing it with us #pintorials

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    1. We've never tried preserving until this year Eileen and so glad we did!

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  9. I bet my kids would love this. We have a ton of leaves in our yard. I just love looking at all of the pretty colors. Thanks for sharing with us over at Mommy needs a time out Thursday.

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    1. Samantha, we loved preserving the leaves especially with the wax and now weeks later the leaves are STILL soft!!

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