Updated May 26, 2021
Are you looking for a simple fall art activity for your toddler?
Today we are sharing an easy fall leaf stamping craft for toddlers.
After a long hot summer, we are looking forward to enjoying fall activities with our kids.
Being from New England, fall is by far our favorite season!
Sweaters, scarves, LL Bean boots, and an almost endless list of fun fall toddler activities.
The days are getting shorter, the leaves are changing colors, and there are so many opportunities for learning and exploring during the fall season.
So let’s jump into this fall toddler craft that is an excellent fine motor activity and allows your toddler to explore colors and seasons.
Fall Leaf Stamping Craft For Toddlers
Similar to our pumpkin seed finger painting supply list, this fun activity uses a couple of autumn paint colors and construction paper.
We used red, orange, and yellow paint for a great hit of fall color.
Some plastic leaf rings make for an inexpensive stamp option.
They provide a variety of leaves to use.
They also come in small sizes so your toddler can use them easily without help!
White construction paper and a paper plate for the paint round out the supply list, leaving us with a fun, inexpensive craft project for you and your toddler.
Look below for a simplified version of the supplies:
- Plastic leaf rings, preferably a few different shapes.
- Paint (fall colors – red, yellow, orange, green or brown)
- White construction paper, other colors work alright, especially brown.
- Paper plate
Pour a few drops of different color paint onto the plate.
Then, dip the plastic leaf ring into the paint and press onto the paper, stamping it.
Repeat this step several times, using different shaped leaf rings and different colors of paint.
Don’t be afraid to overlap or mix colors, it’s all for fun!
Press the leaves down the desired amount of time or until you’ve covered most of the paper.
There’s only one real limit to how many times you can stamp, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Just be careful not to stamp the same area a lot in a short period of time, as the paint can bleed through the paper.
Set the paper aside to dry.
Try not to tilt it when moving, as you don’t want the paint to run and ruin the stamp!
Once dry, you’re free to do whatever you like with it!
Frame it, laminate it as a placemat, or just hang it up on the fridge!
Pro-tip: We try to tie process art, invitations to play, or our sensory bins into literature.
You can never read your toddler too many books. You can never encourage your toddler or preschooler enough to enjoy reading.
There is a connection between a lifelong love of reading and learning and creativity.
Much of that begins in early childhood.
The fall is the perfect time to start a seasonal/holiday-themed reading basket.
You can add books about fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and that rolls up right into all the amazing winter Holidays.
Some of the Fall seasonal books we enjoy in our house include:
Tips for making fall arts and crafts enjoyable for your toddler:
- Play music
- Encourage movement
- Discuss their art with them. Write down the words they use to describe their art if they want you to.
- Allow them to do more than one art project. Get them more paint and paper if they ask.
- If the weather allows go outside and do art projects outside in nature.
- Laugh, sing, and smile.
- Take nature walks and collect items like leaves, feathers, flowers, and rocks to use in art projects
What is process art for toddlers?
Before I became a nurse I was a preschool teacher.
The childcare facilities I worked for focused on open-ended activities and lots of process art opportunities for the children.
I was also lucky to attend a college that had a NAEYC accredited childcare center.
We were taught to design early childhood activities that focused on providing choices, encouraging autonomy, and learning via open-ended play-based activities.
We allowed the child to focus on the process, not a pre-determined goal defined by us.
This was a very new concept to me having grown up attending Catholic school and being taught by nuns (let’s just say the product was all that mattered).
I often wonder if that is why I have no creative ability at all.
What does open-ended play mean?
It means that the play and the products are child-centered and child-directed.
There are no samples made, no directions given, and the child is allowed to create and explore all on their own.
What I like about fall leaf stamping is that it is open-ended and process-oriented.
There’s no end product in mind it’s all up to the child.
So as you set up this open-ended process art activity for your toddler keep that in mind that it’s not about the end result.
It’s not about what it looks like (though give your toddler an opportunity to describe their creation to you), it’s not about being good enough, it’s about exploration and creativity.
There is a time and place for directed activities for toddlers and preschoolers but as a parent and a teacher, I try to limit those, and I try to make sure that it’s not in the area of arts and crafts.
The creative process is so much more important than the end result.
Here are more fun fall crafts for toddlers:
We hope you found this fall leaf stamping craft inspirational and fun!
The fall season offers endless opportunities for toddler arts and craft ideas.
Fall is the perfect time to get your toddler outdoors and introduce them to the beautiful world around them before the bone-chilling winter cold and snow creeps in.
Taking your toddler on a nature walk to see the changing color of the fall leaves is a great segway into this leaf stamping craft!