Inside: Toddlers love making this fall leaf sun catcher, and it’s a great way to strengthen fine motor skills. They add so much color to the window, too!
Fall is so colorful, so I always want to add more of it to our classroom.
We are lucky to have huge windows and I love being able to display the children’s artwork in them.
Especially colorful art work, like a fall leaf sun catcher.
This activity is not only easy and fun, but it’s also a great way to work on those fine motor skills, getting the hands and fingers ready for future writing.
👉 I’ve included a leaf template below to make this activity even simpler to assemble!
How to Make a Colorful Leaf Sun Catcher with Toddlers
Watch the video:
What we used:
Leaf template (available below)
Preparing this fall leaf sun catcher:
Cut a leaf shape from the construction paper. I used an X-acto knife so that I didn’t have to cut from the side of the paper to get to the leaf shape. You could also poke a hole with scissors to get the shape started and then cut the leaf out.
I then cut a piece of Contact paper a bit larger than the size of the leaf and placed it sticky side down on one side of the construction paper, completely covering the leaf shape.
Introducing the activity:
During circle time I read One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me! (This is a fun book that takes you through the seasons and the counting is a great way to work on simple math skills.)
I then invited the children to join me at the art table.
I had the sticky leaf paper ready to go as well as shallow containers of colorful tissue paper squares.
Just like when we made our rainbow sun catchers, I showed the children how to feel what part was sticky, and to then press the tissue paper onto it.
I showed them how to take one tissue paper square at a time, as some of the children wanted to put a handful on top.
This leaf sun catcher activity was a fun color recognition idea as well.
I would ask who had orange, who had blue, who had purple?
I encouraged the children to cover all of the sticky parts, but some chose to only put a few squares on.
It’s their artwork, so I let it be.
Once the children were finished, I took another piece of Contact paper and covered the tissue paper squares.
I then trimmed around the leaf, leaving a bit of construction paper as a trim.
We have 2 windows in our classroom, so I used a hole punch at the top of the leaf so I could hang them on suction cups with hooks. (I love these hooks for displaying art work in our window all year long!)
I also created a banner by hanging a rope across one of the windows and securing the leaves using clothespins.
I just love how the color shines through these leaves!
Free leaf template! Can also be used as a color sheet at your writing center:
More leaf activities: