Ask most children what changes the woods go through in autumn and they most likely will tell you about the colorful leaves.
The trees reward us with a bright array of colors during the months of September, October and November. Once the leaf reaches the ground, it begins to decay and enrich the soil and becomes a haven for growing mushrooms, toadstools, countless insects and small woodland creatures. One large oak tree can give off more than 250,000 leaves in a season.
Leaf rubbings are an activity children can do during this season. They will enjoy gathering leaves for this project.
Here’s what you need:
- paint (water based)
- paint brush
- small disposal bowl or tray (used meat trays work well)
- flat area to work
- paper — plain newsprint or copier paper works well
- leaves, bark and other textured items
Start out by rubbing one leaf. Kids can try rubbing pieces of bark and other bits of textured plant matter as well.
Cover your work surface with a protective layer of newspaper. Pour a few spoonfuls of paint into bowl or tray.
Place a leaf on the newspaper face side down and paint the back of the leaf. Then lay the leaf on your paper, paint side down and cover with another piece of paper; press down firmly making sure to press every area of the leaf into the paper below.
Lift the top piece of paper and the leaf and allow to dry. Now you have a perfect leaf rubbing.
Bobbi Dawn Rightmyer is the co-author of “Images of America: Harrodsburg” and her work can be seen in “The Journal of Kentucky Studies,” “Kentucky Monthly Magazine” and “Mrs. Greenhands,” a column for Examiner.com. She lives in Harrodsburg and is the married mother of three daughters, two granddaughters and one grandson.