Maker Monday: It’s easy to make beautiful ‘coffee filter leaves’
This week’s Maker Monday project combines outdoor learning and art. As the weather cools, it’s a great time to wander through your favorite park or your neighborhood to find a variety of leaves in different shapes and colors. These leaves will help inspire the “coffee filter leaves” your kids will create through this Maker Monday project.
Here’s some science learning you can add along the way: When you find interesting leaves, look up and try to find the trees from which they came. Are there nuts — like acorns or buckeyes — among the branches? Or fruit, such as apples? How might you describe the bark? How wide or tall does the tree appear? Are the branches reaching to the sky or bent willy-nilly?
It’s a great chance to learn together: Talk with kids about what you both see, then use a printable chart to identify the tree by its leaves. When you get home, make these bright, beautiful Maker Monday leaves together. Here’s how:
A note to kid makers: Please work with a parent or caregiver on Maker Monday projects and always be careful when using tools of any kind, including scissors.
Maker Monday materials:
- paper coffee filters
- a spray bottle with water in it
- scissors (safety scissors are great for younger kids to use, if you have them)
Step 1: Smooth out a coffee filter, then place a leaf on top. Slowly trace the leaf with a marker.
Step 2: Color in the leaf, adding details like veins and different colors. You can choose colors found in nature or use more unusual colors. All of the white space within the leaf does not need to be filled in. The colors will blend once you move to the next step.
Step 3: Once you’ve finished coloring your leaf, spritz the coffee filter with water. Watch the colors spread and mix, almost like a tie-dyed pattern. It might not look too pretty just now, but don’t worry. It will.
Step 4: Be patient. As the coffee filter dries, the colors will brighten. Once the filter is fully dry, cut out the leaf and admire your handiwork. Notice that the leaf shows its colors on both sides, so it can look beautiful hanging in a window.
Step 5: You can string up a line of your homemade leaves to hang as a decorative garland. Or attach your leaves to thin twigs and create a vase of fall colors.
Want more at-home fun creating cool stuff and making beautiful things? Check out more Maker Monday projects right here. Do you have an idea for a Maker Monday craft project? If so, please share it with Kidsburgh! Send your maker activity ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.