Yesterday we learned about ways to grow language skills during a Fall Nature Walk. If you missed the post be sure to check out my free nature walk scavenger hunt printable! Today we continue to learn about leaves with the book When The Leaf Blew In by Steve Metzger and a fun craft!
When the Leaf Blew in is a simple, adorable book with bright illustrations. In the beginning of the book, an orange leaf blows into a barn and causes a cow to sneeze. The cow’s sneeze creates a whole chain of events with all of the animals in the barn. Children will get a kick out of the different animals and the non-stop silly events that occur because of one leaf. My favorite part of the book is the illustrations of red, orange and yellow fall foliage in the background. I also love the expressions on the animals faces as they leap, hop, fly and run. This is a fantastic book to teach children new action words.
As you probably already know, I love pairing a great children’s book with a craft project. I first stumbled upon this Fall Fingerprint Tree while searching on Pinterest for leaf projects. I modified the project just a bit to make it more practical for displaying year after year.
Blank canvas (super cheap at a craft store!)
Paint (brown, green, red, and yellow)
1. Prepare for messiness by covering your table with newspaper. Prepare child by removing any clothes that will be in the way. I think this was my children’s favorite step to this craft!
2. With brown paint, paint your child’s forearm and hand. Press painted forearm and hand onto canvas, forming the tree trunk and branches.
3. Allow trunk to dry and while the trunk is drying read the story When the Leaf Blew In or give your child a piece of paper to paint on.
4. Once trunk is dry, help your child make leaves with his thumb or index finger. Use different colors to represent fall foliage.
5. Once the branches are filled in with as many leaves as your child desires, paint grass on the bottom. Allow project to dry before displaying on your wall!
I used Natural Earth Paint for this project, as well as for the Pumpkin Letter Recognition Pocket Craft. Natural Earth Paint was founded by Leah Mebane, a professional oil painter. When Leah became pregnant with her first child, she was forced to discard her large supply of toxic, synthetic paints and jugs of turpentine. She then resupplied her art studio with natural clay pigments and walnut oil. When she found an unfilled niche in the market for natural, non-toxic children’s paints, she began her own business. Now she creates earth-based paints that are healthy for herself, the environment, and especially her baby boy.
Earth Paints are created from clay pigments that are collected from the ground, and then crushed, sifted, and sieved into a very fine powder. The paints can be used on rocks, paper, fabric, wood, shells and more. They have a creamy, tempera-like consistency that is easy for toddlers to use. Unlike many other children’s paints on the market that are transparent or dull because of added fillers, preservatives and low quality pigment, these are very high quality, opaque and are enjoyed by older children and adults as well.
The natural, muted earth tones of these paints were perfect for this project, as the colors of the tree and leaves appear more true to real life. More importantly, I felt at ease while my children played with these paints. In addition to these paints being non-toxic, they easily wash away with a little bit of soap and water.
The paint does come in powder form, but is simple to mix. Here is a quick review demonstrating the ease of mixing the paint and my overall impressions of the paint.
Sorry for the yellow tint in the video. The lightening in my kitchen is not video friendly but a working mom has to fit in video time when the kids are in bed and the light is just not right.
Leah is generously offering all readers of Simply Stavish a $5.00 discount off any Natural Earth Paint kit.
To claim your discount use the code: earthart
In addition, I’m happy to bring you a Natural Earth Paint giveaway. One winner will receive 3 large packets of red, blue and yellow paint and a nature art activity booklet (value- $17). This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to all US Residents.