Easy kid’s craft: leaf rubbings

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Claire and a friend got together one afternoon this week to pick some leaves in the garden and make some fun leaf rubbings. Together, the girls walked around the garden, choosing leaves of different shapes and sizes. My good friend Natasha Sweeney came over to photograph the fun.

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Once they had collected their leaves, we all sat down at the table to make some works of art. We love this craft because we always have the necessary materials on hand! They are quite simple – paper, crayons, a glue stick (which is optional, but will make the project easier for younger kids), and, of course, leaves!

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We put down a plain sheet of paper, then the kids started to glue various leaves on the sheet, filling in as much blank space as possible.

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Once they arranged and glued all of their leaves, they placed a second blank sheet of paper on top. (You can put a bit of glue to hold this paper in place as well, if you wish.)

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Now comes the real fun! The girls each chose their crayons and went to work. We have some three-sided crayons that worked great for this, but any crayon will do. First, you must peel the wrapper off the crayon (which is unnecessary in our house since Claire long ago peeled all the crayon wrappers off!). Then the kids held the crayons on their side, and rubbed the flat edge of the crayon back and forth across the paper. The image of the leaves shows through the more you color!

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The end result is really stunning, with almost NO help from grown-ups! I am always on the lookout for simple crafts that kids (even toddlers) can do themselves. The crafts you find online are often so intricate and require so much help from adults that you wonder who is actually doing the craft. Leaf rubbings are easy, cheap, and really quite beautiful!

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Let me know if you try this one at home. Where we come from in the US, leaf rubbings are traditionally an Autumn activity, but why can’t you do it year-round with live leaves in your garden?

(Photos by Natasha Sweeney for Mama Mgeni. Thanks again for capturing all the beautiful little moments!)

PS – In case you haven’t seen Claire’s Little Film, shot by Natasha, here it is just for fun. Claire wasn’t yet 2 years old when this was made, and she seems like a sweet little baby to me when I watch it. I love that this stage of her life has been captured, and that I can re-live it whenever I want! Enjoy…

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