Do you like to spend time outdoors exploring creation? It’s a perfect time to introduce this simple STEAM activity for preschoolers around the concept of Science. What is leaf rubbing? Leaf Rubbing Science & Art project can be for any age while you teach simple science concepts. We also have FREE leaf rubbing worksheets you can print!
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” –Genesis 1:1
Last week we spent three days in the woods on a vacation and had a blast doing these nature walks and leaf rubbing activities.
Leaf Rubbing Science & Art
Finding simple science activities for toddlers can really be easy once your mind gets going on all the possibilities within early childhood education learning. The kids LOVE the science experiments and in reality I love teaching them through our STEAM activities because it’s fun, engaging and they soak it all up. This leaf rubbing project is simple and VERY little prep for teacher/mom!
HANDS ON SCIENCE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Materials needed for LEAF RUBBING activity:
- Brown Paper Bags – for gathering leaves
- Twine or yarn
- hole punch
- Free Printable Leaf Rubbing Worksheets – to create their Leaf Rubbing Book.
If you have been around me long enough, you know I’m an advocate of the STEAM process of learning. If you aren’t familiar with Everything You Need to Know about STEAM hands on is where the science experimentation comes into importance for early childhood education!
Step by Step – Leaf Rubbing Art & Science STEAM Activity
As you are walking through on your nature walk here are a few thought provoking questions you can ask your preschoolers or kids along the way.
- What is the difference between these two leaves?
- What tree does this leaf come from?
- Explain that there are different types of trees that will look different in leave, height and even colors at times
- Compare leaves and their shapes, colors
- Talk about evergreen trees (meaning they stay green all year)
- Talk about “non- evergreen trees” (deciduous trees)
- Talk about grass vs. a bush
- Talk about a bush vs. a tree
- Does this bush have flowers?
If you are doing a nature walk during the fall season and you find different colored leaves here are a few thoughts on asking questions around that idea:
- Why are these leaves different colors?
- Explain they come from different types of trees
- Talk about how the weather affects the changing of the leaves
- With weather changing the leaves will turn different colors
- As well, with weather changes comes leaves falling off the trees
- Weather affects our nature and trees
- Nature Walk Time: Each child has a brown paper (lunch bag) and goes on a nature walk gathering different kinds of leaves.
- Show and Tell: Once you’ve let the kids explore and adventure gather them together around a table or outside to talk about leaves, the science (see below for more information on what we talked about) and ask the kids questions.
- Each child should have a set of their own Leaf Rubbing Worksheets which in the end makes their own Art & Science Leaf Rubbing Book.
- Demonstrate how to place your leaf under the worksheet printable and take a crayon and color on the printable over the leaf.
- Once they have finished their leaf rubbing take a hole punch and punch two holes on the sides or top of their worksheet/book.
- Tie twine or yarn through holes.
- Their Leaf Rubbing Book and Collection is complete!
SCIENCE EXPERIMENT FOR KIDS
I say it over and over again. The process of STEAM learning is vital:
- Investigate – let the kids be kids and explore the materials BEFORE doing the science project.
- Discover – how are you going to leaf rub? what is leaf rubbing? talk through the steps.
- Connect – this is where you connect nature to their world around them. Talk about leaves, colors of leaves, shapes of leaves etc.
- Create – now it’s time to give them the materials and get to rubbing leaves! Remember it’s not going to be perfect and if they fail it’s ok, this is where they will learn the most! Give them time to process and think through “how to do it” if they are stumped.
- Reflect – Ask questions, Talk and get them talking about this science activity.
Some useful vocabulary: petiole (stalk), veins, simple leaf, compound leaf.
- What shapes do you see?
- What parts do you see?
- How are leaves the same?
- How are leaves different?
Discover Learn Connect has some great twist on materials to use in the Leaf Rubbing project which would be especially fun for older students to explore.
Want to see more of our Science Activities for Kids through STEAM learning? Check out more here
We are a husband and wife team, pairing our strengths together to teach our preschooler in the most fun and engaging way we possibly can. The mister is a high school educator at Northlake Christian school in Covington Louisiana and over the Innovation Center, which is all things STEAM. I am a SAHM that blogs pretty much everything we do in our little paradise, from what we eat, to where we travel to how we teach our little one. We hope you are inspired to incorporate STEAM into learning with your children.