When it comes to kids crafts, I struggle to come up with creative and engaging ideas for our kids to participate in. The twins (age 5) are super creative on their own and are very good at coming up with their own fun, but I do have some guilt for not coordinating messy, colorful, and crafty kids projects!
BUT! Luckily, my mom is an art teacher. She and I are creative in VERY different ways… which is awesome! As a birthday gift for the twins, she sends them a new craft (including all supplies and instructions) each month. This is a brilliant idea. And the girls look forward to getting their package in the mail each month.
So, with her permission, I decided I’m going to start sharing these cute little craft ideas with you all each and every month! A bit of a ‘series’ if you will. Because I’m sure there are other moms out there that could use some inspiration for keeping their kids busy and creative.
Watercolor ‘Falling Leaves’ Kids Craft
- Variety of leaves from your yard
- Black acrylic paint
- Bottle of Elmer’s Glue (half used preferably)
- Watercolor paints
- Table salt
For this project, send your kids out into the yard to find 3-4 leaves in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Have them arrange the leaves on their paper the way they want them, then have them hold a leaf still with one hand while tracing around it with the other hand.
Then grab half-full bottle of Elmer’s glue and squirt in a glob of black acrylic paint. Shake well, and let them apply a thin line of glue to cover where they traced. You can even encourage them to add some ‘veins’ to the leaves!
This part with the glue might be difficult for some younger kids. My 5-year-olds did pretty good, but there were some places with some serious globbing. THAT’S OK! It’s just part of what makes it unique to them! I have to force myself to think of it as woodgrain with knots. It’s just part of the character.
After letting the glue dry completely, we got out the watercolors and had a little discussion about complimentary colors. I showed them the color wheel and explained how colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel ‘compliment’ each other and help make each other stand out! So they agreed that they wanted to do the leaves in red / orange / yellow color scheme. And save green / blue / purple for the background!
Once they finished their red / orange / yellow leaves, we let them dry before coming back in and doing the background. You’ll see why in a second!
While the background was still swirly and wet, the girls sprinkled on a light dusting of salt! You read that right… like table salt. It has such a cool effect on the way the watercolor paints dry, leaving this ‘sparkly texture’ as the girls call it. So fun!
The girls loooooved how their ‘Falling Leaves’ craft turned out, and I basically loved it too. So colorful and unique to each child!
The girls are constantly taping their drawings and paintings on the wall for all of us to enjoy throughout the house. And as darling as that is, I would rather have it in a frame in a designated place. I found this amazing ‘Kids Artwork Frame’ on Amazon. I loved that it had two openings (but there are also options for 1 or 3), and it’s soooo simple to just slide pictures in and out! They can be displayed vertically or horizontally too!
I also love that they can display ‘3D art’, and there’s lots of room behind to store previous drawings until you have a chance to sit down and go through the ones you want to keep (while they’re at school of course). When there’s just a single piece of paper in a slot, it’s a little loose, so I just fold a piece of bubble wrap in half and slide it behind the artwork so it pushes it to the front. Make sense?
If you’ve read this far into my post, chances are you have small children and might enjoy some of these other posts from our archives! Click on the image below to be directed to that post:
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