Leaf Man Literacy Craft & Nature Walk

In this currently high-tech world of overstimulation, the art of outdoor play is increasingly getting lost in the shuffle. As a parent and teacher I am constantly in search of new ways to get kids outdoors. Not only is playing outdoors excellent exercise, but the sights, smells and sounds of nature provide kids with a rich sensory input that is simply not available inside.

This Leaf Man activity is a great way to get kids outdoors, build early literacy skills and foster creativity. I have used this with my students many times, and it has always been a hit!

3 fish made out of fallen leaves glued to a blue paper background

Activity Materials:

  • Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Leaves, sticks, acorns and other items from nature
  • Construction paper
  • Tacky Glue

Activity Steps:

Begin by reading the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. While reading ask:

  • What do you see in the picture?
  • Where do you think Leaf Man will go?
  • Why does the wind know where Leaf Man will go?

After reading, venture outdoors for a leisurely nature walk.

  • While walking, discuss all of the sights, sounds and smells around you.
  • Use your plastic grocery bag to collect various nature items (leaves, sticks, acorns etc.).

Take your collected items indoors to create your own leaf man and leaf critters.

  • Use 1 sheet of construction paper for each creation.
  • Due to the how bulky the items are, Tacky Glue works much better than school glue or glue sticks for this activity.
  • Be creative. See how many different types of animals you can create out of the items you collected.

Display your artwork and enjoy it!

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