Mini Monets and Mommies: Fall Leaf Abstract Art for Kids

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Leaf Abstract Art for Kids

Ah, autumn! It’s sweater weather and the leaves are falling off of the trees. Now I’m not saying that mother nature hasn’t done a bang up job turning the leaves into eye-catching colors. But, recently I decided to paint a few leaves and make a Thanksgiving wreath. In the process I noticed that the paint spilling over the edges of the leaves turned into kind of interesting looking negative space prints.

Autumn art
When I pulled the painted leaf off of the paper (admittedly, I was only using the paper as a way to keep the artsy mess off of the table), the area under the leaf (i.e., negative space) was still blank. The area surrounding it was brightly-colored, leaving a leaf-shape behind. The more leaves that we painted, the more abstract the art became!

Try it with one leaf, two leaves or a whole handful. Before you get to the art-making, try a simple science activity and go for a nature walk. Bring a bag to collect the fallen leaves. As you take a look around, ask your child:

·        How do the leaves look different now that it’s not summer anymore?

·        Why do you think the leaves changed colors?

·        What colors do you see in the leaves?

·        Why do you think the leaves are falling off of the trees?

Grab a few different shapes and sizes of leaves to start the process!

Art for kids
Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        Fall leaves

·        Tempera paint

·        A paintbrush

·        White paper

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Place the first leaf on the paper.

2.     Brush a coat of paint over the leaf. This isn’t a time for your child to be neat. She’ll need to paint off of the leaf in order to create the negative space print. Let her get messy and paint over and around the leaf.

Fall art

Autumn crafts
3.     Lift the leaf off and put it to the side.

4.     Repeat the painting process with more leaves. Encourage your child to place them on different parts of the paper or in different directions. Use different colors of paint. Your child can use “fall” themed colors such as red, yellow, brown and orange or you can give her a rainbow of hues.

Paint art

Kids' art

fall art
leaf print
5.     Save the leaves to use for other art activities!

Are you looking for more fall activities? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Fall Activities for Kids on Pinterest.


  1. I am looking for simple art projects for Oaxcan preschoolers and the leaf project fits the bill. Would Finger Paint work as well as tempura ?

    Barbara, Baja, Mexico

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