Artsy Leaf Rubbing: Nature Art for Kids

leaf rubbings

The kids and I tried our hands at leaf rubbings today!  Oma and Grandad visited us this week on their way home from a multi-state trip and Oma brought L&L several different types of leaves they had collected.  The leaves were already starting to become brittle, so this was a perfect way to get a little more “life” out of them and permanently preserve their beauty!

autumn leaf rubbing art with crayons

leaf rubbing

Lilah (3) and Luke (4) both had some trouble getting their leaf rubbings to “turn out” so I started demonstrating for them and before I knew it, I had filled three pages!!  This is definitely an activity all ages can enjoy!  L&L even got a lot of enjoyment out of just watching me model the technique.

Leaf Rubbing

All you have to do is put a leaf under your paper and rub a crayon on top.

leaf rubbing

After watching me for awhile and with a little help from Dad, L&L did start to get the hang of it.

leaf rubbing

We all thought it was pretty to overlap crayon colors on the rubbings.

leaf rubbing


leaf rubbing

I attempted to create a leaf person…

leaf rubbing

…and a flower.

leaf rubbing

You can see the veins of the leaves really well in the rubbings, so this is a perfect activity addition to a bigger thematic unit on leaves or trees!

leaf rubbing

Luke (4) also enjoyed just trying to draw what the leaf looked like freehand on his paper.


leaf rubbing

This is a really fun activity for Fall and it has the added bonus of being nearly FREE…all you need are crayons or pencils, paper, and leaves!  We will definitely be doing this activity again so L&L can get some more practice with rubbings and learn more about leaves!

leaf rubbing

More Leaf Rubbing Ideas and Extensions:

* Plan a special nature walk to collect leaves before doing your rubbings.
* Do leaf rubbings as a play date activity or as a family.
* Try to collect leaves from different trees.  Identify them using a tree guide book.  Make rubbings and label what types of trees they came from.  Create your own leaf ID book.
* Teach your child the parts of a leaf.  Label them on your rubbing.
* Create leaf rubbing designs.
* Make lots of leaf rubbings.  Cut out the textured parts and create a collage.
* Use your leaf rubbings to create greeting cards for Fall.

leaf rubbings

Have you tried leaf rubbing?  What are you waiting for?

Originally published on Oct 11, 2012

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • MamaSophia says:

    This is so fun and simple. I love your blog! My children are also 2 and 4. How do you stay so organized? I have been trying to schedule and plan crafts and learning time. I find it hard to sometimes balance everything all at once and would like more time to craft and teach my kids without my house becoming a mess! 🙂 Any tips??

  • Amy AmyR says:

    I love this idea leaves are starting to be my number one craft item! They are free and in plentiful supply at the moment. Found that we get funny looks though when going to the park to collect them 🙂

  • Susan Cooper says:

    This looks like a great deal of fun. It has been a very long time since I have done this. I think it’s time to have some fun again. Thanks for the share.

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