Stained Glass Leaves

Here’s What You Need…

-A variety of colorful fall leaves

-Wax paper




-One-hold punch



What to Do…

1. Take your child on a walk to observe the changing leaves, collecting leaves along the way. Point out that not all trees have leaves that change colors. Are some leaves more colorful than others? Which leaves does she like the best?

2. At home, place a large sheet of wax paper on a heat-proof surface. Spread out the collected leaves and have your child place his favorites on the wax paper, leaving a 2″ perimeter around each leaf.

3. Place a second sheet of wax paper on top of the leaves and cover with a sheet of newspaper. Using an iron on a hot setting, iron the newspaper. Explain to your child how the heat of the iron will melt the wax paper, holding the leaves together.

4. When the ironed leaves cool, have your child use scissors to cut around the leaves, leaving 1 inch or more around each leaf.

5. Have your child punch a hole in the wax paper at the top of each leaf then thread string through the hole and tie it so that the leaf will hang

6. Let your child hang her leaves in windows in your home for a beautiful stained glass display!

This Helps Develop……….

Cognitive skills – the mental process of knowing by developing awareness, perception and reasoning.

Young children learn the concept of seasons while taking their nature walk and recognizing the attributes of autumn. This activity also provides opportunities to count leaves and notice their many different shapes, sizes and colors.

Fine motor skills – the use of small muscle movements in the hands that occur in coordination with the eyes.

When performing this activity there are so many opportunities to work on enhancing fine motor skills. Children have chances to use a hole punch, tie string and use scissors. Cutting with scissors can be a challenge because it requires the use of two hands independently of one another. The dominant hand opens and closes the scissors while guiding it along the object to be cut out, and the other hand holds the paper while aiding in the guiding process. During the leaf rubbings, young children have a recognizable (leaf) outcome from their scribbles. Encourage them to press down hard with the crayon and to anchor the paper with the hand not holding the crayon.

Language – the expressive ability to communicate ideas and needs, and the receptive ability to understand what is said or written.

This is a great way for young children to learn new vocabulary. Adults and older children can provide commentary on what they see, smell, feel and hear around them while on their fall nature walk. Once they get their leaves home, they can discuss which colors, shapes and sizes to use for their craft project.

Social emotional development – involves a child’s feelings of self worth and confidence.

This is a great activity to get children away from the TV or computer and outside into the cool fresh air. If children are introduced to nature at an early age they will hopefully continue to use inquisitive and curious minds to explore the wonders of the great outdoors. This can lead to a healthier lifestyle filled with outdoor activities that promote physical fitness.

Looking to experience Hand On Science activities right here in our own area? Visit, where you and your children can “Explore, Create, Inspire.” The Children’s Science Center (CSC) is committed to building a place where children can grow in their love of learning.


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