Watercolor Fall Leaf Craft

Estimated read time 3 min read

I love how the Let’s Read and Find Out Books are engaging and story like but deliver loads of information to kids  throughout the pages. Why do Leaves Change Color is the perfect choice for fall and perfectly sets the stage for many crafts and activities. This activity is part science, part art and all fun.

Toddlers and preschoolers alike will enjoy the fun hands on aspect without even noticing that they are learning and practicing fine motor skills like drawing, cutting, and using a dropper to color their very own “leaves”. This Watercolor Fall Leaf Craft activity is easy and inexpensive, all you need is a handful of coffee filters and a few other craft supplies.

Watercolor Fall Leaf Craft

For this activity you will need:

  • Coffee filters
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Food coloring (or watercolors)
  • water


I like to read the book, answering questions along the way, then do our activity, leaving the book handy for reference while we work and discuss the topic.

Trace or draw leaves freehand onto coffee filters with a sharpie marker.

Cut out the leaf shapes, help your child as needed, making sure they have the correct grip on their scissors but let them do as much on their own as they can. Encourage independence and problem solving skills while they create.

Supply your child with bowls of water mixed with food coloring in fall colors- brown ( you can add a little brown acrylic paint to the water), orange, yellow, and red.  Add droppers or  small paint brushes to color the leaves with. You could also just set out a strip of watercolors but we wanted to experiment with changing the intensity of our colors.

Draw the veins of the leaf with a white crayon for a color resist pattern.

Demonstrate how to add color to the coffee filter leaf  with brushes or droppers and watch as the color spreads and is drawn throughout the paper. Make each leaf a different color or mix them up, try making ombre colored leaves, etc…

You could also place your leaf in the bowl and watch as the color climbs up.

Lay your “leaves” out and allow them to dry thoroughly, Then you can use your watercolor leaf craft as decoration around the house- press between waxed paper with an iron like you would with real leaves, hang on a string to make a leaf swag, or scatter them across the table top.


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