Tag Archives: Arts and Crafts

Fingerplay for the five and under set: Five Little Leaves

Leaf coloouring activities for Kids

Colouring activities for Kids

Hello Parents and caregivers of children under five…

Here is a fun fingerplay that you can enjoy again and again with your child and children as you adjust to the cooler weather, spend more time inside and celebrate the fall season together!

Fingerplays support your child’s development in so many ways. They encourage your child to listen and to speak, to co-ordinate hand and finger movements that accompany the words, to use their imagination, to practice counting and to hear the musical quality of spoken words. They play an important part of your children’s fine motor skills development which is the precurser to learning to draw, write and work with their hands.

You don’t need props to do this fingerplay, but the rhyme can easily be extended into a fun and simple craft activity, if you like. All you need are construction paper, tape, pictures of leaves (many can be found in Google Images, or here at 321coloringpages) and crayons or markers or pastels or paints…

When you have found leaf images you like, encourage your child to colour them, then help with cutting them out. Set the leaves aside, then cut out five strips of construction paper, just long enough to wrap around your fingers, like rings. Tape the ends together.

Cut strips of paper long enough to wrap around each finger

Now you can attach the leaves to the rings using paper clips. Put the leaf rings on your fingers and then you are ready to recite this simple rhyme that the little ones adore. With each repetition you can easily remove one leaf at a time by sliding off the paper clip. The leaf cut outs can be used to help your child understand number concepts such as counting and subtracting in a creative way.

Leaf finger Puppets

Leaf finger Puppets


Be prepared to say this rhyme over, and over and over again:

Five little leaves went out to play (hold up five fingers)

They danced upon a tree one day (wave hand back and forth)
The wind came blowing through the town
And one little leaf came blowing down (wave one finger back and forth in a downward direction)

Repeat this rhyme, subtracting one leaf each time until no little leaves remain.

For more information on the importance of art in children’s education, or for educators, parents and care providers who are looking for creative ideas to share with young children, please feel welcome to participate in helping to create a community of teachers and learners who enrich the lives of young children through the arts at the Early Childhood Arts Connection.

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Fun time activities for kids in the Fall

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year.

Watching leaves change from green to gold, red, orange and brown seems so magical to young children.  The different colours and the shapes of the leaves can easily inspire creative art activities to enjoy with your child. Leaf rubbings are simple, and always fun to do for toddlers and preschoolers. They can be a lovely follow-up to an afternoon of looking at and playing in the leaves.

Go for a walk in the park. Bring along a paper bag and collect a variety of leaves – maple, oak, basswood, ash.  When you’re ready for some creative art, place a few leaves under a piece of newsprint. Then hold fall colour crayons on their sides and rub them over the top of the paper to reveal the textures and patterns on the leaves.  Children strengthen the small muscles in their fingers as they grasp and control the crayons.  They also learn the names of different colours and relate these to the seasonal changes they are observing.

If you want to connect your art activity to a wonderful reading experience, go to the library and sign out Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.  Her beautiful, fall colour illustrations use leaves of different shapes to create familiar creatures like chickens, pumpkins, fish and butterflies.  You and your child will really love identifying these shapes and following Leaf Man on his adventure.  Use the leaves you collected to imitate the patterns in the book or to invent your own!

Until the next activity, enjoy autumn with your child and the imaginative places that your shared activities can take you.

Arts and Crafts: How to make coffee filter flowers

dancing the breeze, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad.

Hello Dad!

At last, spring is finally here and what a great time to enjoy everything about it – the warmth, the sound of birds singing, and buds appearing on the trees. It won’t be long before you see the colours of flowers appearing in your neighbours’ gardens or before you begin to plant your own. Until then, here is an activity for dads to enjoy with your children. A chance to fill your home with the colours and aromas of flowers, and to welcome spring as you spend time together engaging in creative play!

Coffee Filter Flowers

For this activity you will need:

  • Coffee filters
  • Assorted colours of fruit flavoured gelatin*
  • Containers (e.g., small bowls)
  • Clothes pegs
  • Pipe cleaners

*This activity can also be done using regular food colouring, if you have some. The filters could also be coloured using scented markers!

How to do the Activity:
Prepare three or four small bowls of “dye” by dissolving a heaping spoonful of gelatin powder in hot water. The colours available are quite bright and produce good results. The gelatin also smells really yummy! Talk about which colour is your favourite, and why. Encourage your child to guess the smell of each different gelatin. Is it strawberry? Grape? Lemon? Children learn important concepts using their senses.

Next help your child to fold the coffee filter in half three times, until it resembles a small cone. Clip a clothes peg to it, to make dipping the filter into the dissolved gelatin easier and a little less messy. Dip the filter into the different colours until you have covered as much of it as possible. This part of the activity helps your child to practice using the small muscles in the hands and fingers and to co-ordinate movements.

Carefully open up the filter to reveal the “tie dyed” flower that you have created. Allow the filter to dry. When it is ready, pinch the centre of the filter, and wrap a pipe cleaner around this, to create a stem. Repeat this process with many filters to create a beautiful spring bouquet. Invite your child to select a container for the flowers and to make a display for the dinner table! This will build your child’s pride in his or her creation.

To extend the activity, go to the library and sign out of a copy of the book Dancing the Breeze by George Shannon. This is a beautiful book about a father and daughter dancing together in the garden by the light of the moon. You can explore the different names of flowers, while enjoying the author’s poetry. If you feel inspired to do this, put on your favourite music, wave colourful scarves and invent your own flower dance!