Kids love to be part of household routines. Even if they are too small to rake leaves outdoors (or if you don’t have any leaves to rake), they can have fun with this festive fall activity.
This is what you’ll need:
- Strong glue (like wood glue or Colorations® Tacky Glue) or a hot glue gun (if an adult will be doing the gluing)
- 9 large or jumbo wood craft sticks
- Paint (Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera works well)
- Paint brush (Colorations® Best Value Plastic Handle Brushes)
- Tissue paper
- Newspaper, wax paper, Kraft paper, or butcher roll paper to protect your surface while painting
Step 1 – Make the Rake:
Parents can complete this step ahead of time, or older kids can do it themselves. If using wood glue, leave the rake to dry overnight before painting it. Glue two craft sticks into a “T” shape. The vertical piece will be the handle of the rake, and the tines of the rake will be glued to the horizontal stick. Glue six craft sticks to the horizontal stick, with the longer part of each stick pointing in the opposite direction from the handle. These are the tines of the rake. Once secure, glue another craft stick horizontally across the tines to secure them.
*Tips for parents: Introduce kids to the words “parallel” and “perpendicular” if you choose to do this step with them.
Step 2 – Personalize the Rake:
Raking is a lot more fun when kids are using a colorful tool they helped design. Let your child paint the rake as she pleases.
*Tips for parents: You can use this time to explore color mixing, talk about your child’s favorite colors, or even investigate sensory creativity by using fingers to paint.
Step 3 – Break out the Leaves:
Have kids tear up a variety of colors of tissue paper; these will be the leaves. You can use realistic leaf colors, such as green, orange, red, yellow, and brown, or you can get creative.
*Tips for parents: Active kids usually love this step. Give kids containers in which to collect their leaves. Let them dig their hands into the bowls full of leaves and allow them to crumple the leaves between their fingers. You can also talk about how leaves change from green to other colors in the fall. Show your child how to stand tall like a tree and drop the tissue paper to the ground, as a tree does with its leaves.
Step 4 – Rake those Leaves:
Kids can use their homemade rakes to sweep the leaves into piles.
*Tips for parents: After collecting the leaves into piles, help your child sort them by color. Let your child dump out the leaves and rake them over and over again! This is a great indoor activity for a rainy day.
Product Recommendations from Discount School Supply®:Colorations® Tacky Glue - 4 oz bottle (GLUEIT) Jumbo Wood Craft Sticks - 500 pieces (NJUMBO) Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera - 16 oz bottle (WST) Colorations® Best Value Plastic Handle Brushes - set of 30 (LOTCHB) Colorations® Premium Colorfast Tissue Paper - 50 sheets (REGTIS) Colorations® Blunt Tip Craft Scissors (CBS)