How it Plays
Tell your child that the two of you are going on a collecting walk, and that you'll be bringing home all the special things you find to use in an art project. Give your child a basket small enough to carry himself, and bring along a second one for yourself. (He won't want you putting your stuff in his basket; that would mean they weren't his special things.) As you walk, remind your child how Little Red Riding Hood always carried a basket of goodies to Grandma's house; you can even skip along together. Collect the prettiest fall leaves you can find, choosing a variety of shapes and textures. You can also gather pine needles and sprays of small berries, as long as they're not too squishy.
When you get home, place a leaf on a sheet of white drawing paper, then fold the paper over it so the leaf is between two layers of paper. Show your child how to rub the top sheet of paper gently with a crayon so the imprint of the leaf begins to show through. You can make the rubbings into greeting cards or frame them for your walls.
What You'll Need
Selection of spices and foods. Possibilities include:
Learning and Growing
Since your child collects his own leaves for this project, he gets a sense of planning and carrying out an activity from start to finish. And of course crayon rubbing develops his fine-motor coordination. But what your child will love most about this activity is way the leaf images appear, as if by magic.