On the tray, include some inspirational picture books, such as Leaf Man (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards)) or Look What I Did with a Leaf! (Naturecraft). Then, add a basket with scissors, glue and paper. Top the tray off with an array of autumn leaves in different shapes, sizes and colors, and your young artists will be good to go. They can begin creating beautiful seasonal art.
Of course, if you have children who are not well-regulated and might get crazy with glue or scissors, you might want to protect your picture books by sharing the stories during a read aloud, but not including them on the art tray. I actually removed our books just in case once the kids were fully engaged in their art.
And, if you think ahead, instead of just putting the activity together on request to follow your children’s interests – as was the case in our home – you might consider making your tray and working area even more Montessori-inspired than ours was. For example, you could set out child-size scissors instead of grown-up ones, and you might want to provide stack of trays or cloths to define individual work spaces for each artist to create their masterpieces upon.
|Leaf Art by Nina (with Mommy's Help upon Request)|
|Leaf Art by Luke|
|Leaf Art by Nina and Mommy|
|Leaf Art by Nina|
|Leaf Art by Luke|
Whatever way you choose to set up a picture book-inspired leaf art tray, it is sure to activate imaginations and smiles. Enjoy!
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