Autumn is such a great time of year for kid's craft and using nature in play activities! This leaf printing activity was so simple to set up and worked brilliantly on our window to create a beautiful autumn display.
Leaf printing is a classic kid's activity that always goes down well! It can be enjoyed at any time of year but in Autumn there's the opportunity to talk about colours, the seasons, why trees lose their leaves and make beautiful, colourful art work!
Leaf printing can be combined with a nature walk to collect the leaves and even a bit of fine motor practice with a pair of scissors to cut them off the tree!
My kids love printing with leaves onto paper, but this year I thought it would be great to do something a bit different, so we did ours on a window instead. I knew regular paint would be too watery for this, so instead we used paint sticks and the results were amazing!
Printing with Paint Sticks
Paint Sticks are relatively new to the art and craft market and are one of my best product finds of recent times. They are used just like glue sticks and are a great low-mess alternative to painting. The colours are so vibrant and the paint dries in just a few minutes!
The thing I love most about Paint Sticks is their versatility. You can use them for printing, scraping, blending or watered down with a paintbrush to give a watercolour effect. You can also use them on a whole host of surfaces, including glass! Here are a couple of other ways we've used paint sticks recently.
Leaf Printing on Windows
Always choose freshly fallen green leaves or leaves directly off of the trees to print with. Leaves quickly become dry and crumbly and hard to print with, so the closer between picking and printing the better the results will be.
To print with leaves you paint on the under-side of the leaf where the veins are prominent. Generously cover them in paint using the paint sticks. You can combine several colours on one leaf to give a nice effect.
Before it dries (remember this is just a few minutes with paint sticks!) press the leaf onto the glass and hold it there for a few moments before peeling the leaf off slowly and carefully. This gives the best print.
All three of my children were keen to get involved in this activity. Paint sticks are so easy to use, even my 18 month had a go a painting and printing some leaves!
The girls built up a whole selection of leaf prints over our window using different leaves and combinations of autumnal colours. We found some leaves printed better than others, so it's worth experimenting to find your favourites.
We love our autumn window display so much that we've decided to keep it up for a while. It looks especially lovely when the sun shines through the window and could almost be mistaken for falling leaves!
In case you're wondering, I can confirm that with a bit of glass cleaner the paint does come off the windows easily! So if you need a reason to clean the windows, this is the activity for you!