Autumn Leaves Scrapbook

Age: Preschool and up
Time: An afternoon
Type of activity: Nature Arts and Crafts

Spend a fall afternoon outside getting fresh air and leaves for this project!

Materials needed:
· Several sheets of 9 x 12 colored construction paper
· Hole punch
· Colored yarn
· Clear contact paper or laminating sheets
· Leaves and fall flowers
· Phone book
· Paper clip

What to do:

Step One: While you're out on a nice fall day, ask your child to pick out colorful leaves and flowers that she'd want to put in her book. You may want to do this over time, or during one afternoon. If you visit several parks, make notes of which leaves were found where.

Step Two: The first thing you want to do after you collect your leaves is to dry them to preserve their color. To do this, separate each leaf or blossom. Place each one separately between the pages of the phone book, spacing them well apart from each other.

Step Three: Place the phone book in a cool, dry place for a week to ten days. Your leaves will then be totally dry and ready for use. Set the leaves aside.

Step Four: When your leaves are ready, help your child think about how she wants to arrange her scrapbook. Will she put one leaf on a page, or several? Will she mix leaves and flowers? Give her suggestions, but let her to choose what to do, allowing her to practice creative decision-making.

Step Five: Gather several sheets of construction paper so that you have enough for a front and back cover and each page of leaves and flowers you want.

Step Six: Arrange the leaves and flowers on the construction paper. Your child can decorate the book's pages with writing or drawings. She may like you to help her write about the fall colors and leaves. Or she could draw pictures of the park where she collected the leaves. Make sure she decorates one page for the book's cover, adding a title of the project.

Step Seven: For each page of your book, cut a piece of contact paper, approximately 9" x 12".

Step Eight: When each page is ready, peel the backing off the piece of contact paper. Carefully cover the construction paper with the contact paper. Do this step slowly and carefully to avoid getting wrinkles on the page. Repeat this step for each page of the book.

Step Nine: When each page has been covered, put the book pages in the order you want them, beginning with the front cover.

Step Ten: Line up the left sides of the pages and hold them together with a paper clip.

Step Eleven: Using the hole punch, make three holes down the left margin of the construction paper. Make sure the holes are spaced evenly for each page so all the pages line up.

Step Twelve: Thread a piece of yarn through each hole, and tie the ends together so the pages are held tightly in place.

Your scrapbook is ready -- now you can enjoy the colors of fall all year long!

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