We started a new Craft & Play Storytime this past month (a shorter storytime with a bit more process oriented craft and then a playtime at the end) and it’s gotten a really good response so far. I knew that I wanted to do leaf printing for the first one, so I chose the books to relate to the craft.

I went out with Ken the day before to collect lots of different leaves at the park near our house. Being a plant guy, he got really into it, making sure to identify all of the leaves for me and that I got a good variety of types and sizes! It was a lot of fun walking the dogs and collecting leaves with him that day.

I wasn’t sure how many to expect for the first program because our attendance can be so up and down, so when I had 13, I was pretty thrilled! We had a great time, too – first we sang The More We Get Together (I really need to think about a new opening song!) and then we sang the Alphabet Song because I’ve been trying to fit in more alphabetic knowledge activities. And then I read

And then I read Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber. This is a great little book about autumn leaves that uses the story to identify different types of leaves by their shapes and colors. It went really well with all of the information I had from Ken. I especially love the illustrations (by Leslie Evans) in this one.

Leaf Jumpers By Carole Gerber

I also did a flannelboard rhyme called 5 Little Leaves that I found in our collection:

Five little leaves on the tree next door
One fell off and then there were four
Four little leaves up in the tree
One fell off and then there were three
Three little leaves, when the wind blew
One fell off and then there were two
Two little leaves sitting in the sun
One fell off and then there was one
One little leaf in the tree all alone
The wind blew and blew now there are none!

I wish I had a photo of it to show because the leaves were cute, but I forgot! Whoops!

After the flannelboard rhyme, we sang a song called The Leaves Are Falling Down (to the tune of The Farmer In the Dell):

The leaves are falling down,

The leaves are falling down,

Red and Yellow, Green and Brown,

The leaves are falling down.

We sang this a couple of times to give the kids a chance to get the hang of it. And then we were ready for the main event! I explained that we would be printing leaves by using rollers to put paint onto the leaf on top of one sheet of paper and then pressing them paint-side down onto another sheet of paper. This way, they got an outline of the leaves and a print of the leaf shape, too. With older kids, I would have explained the difference between positive and negative space, but these were littles who were just getting the hang of working the roller to get the paint on the leaves.

The whole process went really well and everyone had a great time! One grandmother told me how much she had enjoyed doing activities like this one with her daughter and how glad she was to have a chance to do them now with her grand-daughter – that really made my day! I can’t wait for the next one!