We’ve been learning about the four seasons with our Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum this week. Our unit about Autumn came with a wonderful invitation to create focused on fall leaves. The kids got a chance to use a stencil for the first time and enjoyed creating a variety of artworks using the stencil and fall theme colored paints.
Fall Leaves – Invitation to Create
- inspiration photo of fall leaves*
- leaf stencil*
- background paper*
Set out the inspiration photo and additional supplies.
What colors do you see in the photo?
The kids requested red, yellow, and orange paints based on the inspiration photo. They quickly figured out that patting with the sponge worked better with the stencil than dragging the sponge did. They did struggle somewhat with getting paint outside the square of the stencil and remembering to only use one side of the stencil. Fortunately, they quickly found solutions they were happy with that incorporated the stray paint marks.
Which colors will you use in your art?
The kids were very interested in trying to use markers with the stencils. My eldest was the most successful, since she has mastered being able to hold the stencil still with one hand while drawing with the other. A little bit of masking tape helped keep the stencil in place for my youngest. When using the markers, the kids were interested in incorporating other colors, especially their favorites, blue, purple, and green into the design.
What happens when you paint over the stencil?
Because of the errant paint on the outside of the stencil, the kids wished they had paint brushes, but before I could get them out my middle child figured out that he could get a good “paintbrush-like” effect by sweeping the sponge across the paper. The paper quickly became laden with different colors that he blended together effectively turning his background paper a greenish blue. He then elected to make another print in orange using the leaf stencil on top. The effect was striking and he was ultimately very happy with the results. I thought they were neat too. For the first time in a creative art project my eldest chose to follow her brother’s lead and create artwork with a similar technique of background painting with a stenciled leaf on top.
Which types of leaves can you find outside? Would you like to add these to your art?
The kids elected not to introduce leaves from the outside into their art. It was about 30 degrees and raining 🙂 They did; however, use tons of different colors and traded techniques; which I loved to see among the siblings! My eldest also used the markers almost as an engraving type tool to write in the wet paint.
How did the child participate in the stenciling process?
My favorite part of this invitation to create was watching my kids share ideas. The sponge was used to create mixtures of colors as background and then the stencil was used to create a leaf on top. The markers were used to draw stems, etc., but also as an engraving tool over top the paint.
Which parts frustrated the child? How did he problem-solve and experiment?
The stencil moved when not held in place by a hand or tape, which was initially very frustrating for my middle child and possibly for my youngest (he’s not overly verbal yet, so mostly he was just excited to be included). The extra stay marks from going outside the stencil square also irritated my son. Once he figured out that the sponge could be used to paint and blend colors, he had a great time creating his own unique background. Then he reattempted the leaf stencil on top with significantly greater success. Overall the kids really enjoyed their first stencil experience!