LEARNING WITH LEAVES

Levi told me he was ready to do an art project.  Hmmm!  I didn’t have anything in mind that day.  So I suggested we go on a walk outside and see if we came up with a good idea.  He loves to walk down to the  wooden bridge that covers a small creek on the road to our house.  It’s a perfect place for a little boy.  And he has loved it since he was able to walk.

We found the beginnings of fall laying on that bridge.  Leaves beginning to turn, acorns, sticks, a great rock that rolls.  He put it all into his bag.  We came back to the house and poured it out on the paper.  Then we began to touch and explore them.  UH! OH!  We discovered that some of the ones he picked up were crackly and dry.  They fell to pieces in his hand.  He said that’s because all the juice had gone out of them.  Which is a pretty good way to explain it I think.  Some were a little crinkly around the edges and some were nice and supple.

 

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I unrolled a nice piece of clear contact paper, and took the backing off.  ( You can find the clear contact paper at Michaels or HL and even Wal Mart).  We took the leaves and laid them face down on the sticky paper.  He worked carefully arranging the leaves to his liking.  Even though he was so certain he could add the rock into the design, it jut wouldn’t hold it.  He ended up making 3 collages.  One for his tree here, one for his tree at home, and one for his Mia and Papa.

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We added another sheet of the sticky paper to the top and then he commenced to rolling them as flat as he could. We used a hard rubber brayer, but a rolling pin would work, as well.Also, be sure you leave a large enough margin around the leaves that you can get a good sealed edge when you add the top layer.  It’s necessary to seal those edges well…just rub top and bottom margins  together with some force. There will be some space that won’t stick around the leaves.  That’s OK.  As the leaves dry, the paper will flatten out.   Then we punched a hole at the top…he had to tell me which was the top…and then he chose cord to make a hanger.

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How nice they look!  They would also look pretty just hanging in the window!  Depending on how you cut the contact paper…you can make lots of shapes.  They make great book or Bible markers.  You can always add in some words or a Bible verse.  Or write on it with a Sharpie.

Levi and I did this same project a few weeks ago…before the leaves started turning.  We hung them in the window in the studio and watched them as the color in the leaves faded day by day.  These all started out green…with one white flower.  This is about 2 weeks later.

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What is so neat is that now he can really see how the veins in the leaves give it its shape.  We call these leaf skeletons.

 

 

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A little later on we’ll talk about that big word ‘chlorophyl’.  [Another Lulu/Levi project]

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