Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts

October 22, 2015 04:32 by Barbara Shelby


ARTS AND CRAFTS (Autumn Table Top decorating at page bottom; Songs, Poems, Fun Facts & More on Page 2)


Rocks (various sizes, avoid shiny or glossy rocks)
Light stock paper (such as news print)
Low-gloss varnish or clear finish

1. Collect an assortment of rocks.
2. Clean with soap and water, then paint with fall colored acrylic paints (It's not necessary to cover the entire rock with paint, leave some areas exposed if you wish. Let dry.
3. Print words of wisdom or Thanksgiving quotes on paper. Tear out the sayings (ragged edges).
4. Glue the sayings to your rocks using either white glue or Modge Podge.
5. Finish off the rocks by applying low-gloss varnish or polyurethane.
At home a variety of rocks good be arranged for centerpiece or in a cornucopia along with some other dried elements, such as nuts or grasses.

After Thanksgiving this makes a nice paper weight or addition to a garden!


Gather colored paper (red, orange, brown, green, yellow) Trace the children's hands onto several sheets of several colors. Cut out. Then cut out a brown tree trunk branches in proportion to the amount of leaves. Have the children glue the hand shapes to the tree trunk to form the leaves of the tree. Have the child think of things to be thankful for and label the hand/leaves.

Thankful Tree Display

is a sample from Mann School Art Appreciation.




 Version #2 of  Thankful Tree! (Image from Discount School Supply)


Children can make a beautiful wreath of leaves that displays what they are thankful for. This wreath makes a great Autumn or Thanksgiving decoration.
A plain white paper plate
Construction paper (orange, red, yellow, brown, and other earth tones)
Templates of leaf shapes
Crayons or markers
Glue or a glue stick

  • Cut a HALF CIRCLE OUT OF THE CENTER of a plain paper plate. Cut out a lot of leaves from construction paper. Draw the leaf veins if you wish. If you'd like, use a leaf template.

  • Glue the leaves all around the rim of the paper plate.
In the lower center of the wreath, (the half circle part that was NOT cut out) write, "I am thankful for," and then have the children write or draw what they are thankful for.

  • Put the child's name on the wreath (or let them sign it).
For variations on this wreath: instead of using leaves, use cut-out handprints of the child, tissue paper baking cups or torn-up scraps of paper.




Make a huge turkey body out of construction paper and affix it to a wall. (Or make a smaller body and put on card stock or construction paper)
Give kids multi-colored paper feathers (made from construction paper) and have them write something nice about other students or family members.
Collect the feathers and place on the turkey.



A pine cone
An acorn or a nut in the shell
Brown, red, orange and yellow construction paper
Pencil or marker
Hot glue
Googly eyes

1. Cut out construction paper feathers.
2. Put a small blob of clay on one side of the pine cone to steady it on the table. The pine cone will be the turkey's body.
3. Glue the "feathers" to the top of the wide side of the pine cone.

  • Glue the acorn to the front of the turkey using hot glue. 
  • Glue on two googly eyes and a small piece of red construction paper (for the turkey's wattle). Let the glue set.

You now have a great Thanksgiving table turkey decoration. To avoid staining a tablecloth with the clay, put the turkey on a small plate.



1. Do you have a large pattern or coloring book picture of a cornucopia. If so, make a copy for each child.
2. Have kids color the picture.
3. With stick glue, apply glue to a piece of fruit in the cornucopia; sprinkle dry jell-o (matching the fruit) over the glue. Shake off excess jell-o powder.
4. Reat with the other fruit and flavors of jell-o.
(Original idea from Ms. Tyler-Livonia, Mi. SAC)


  • I painted the kids fingers different (Turkey) colors and placed them on a piece of tag board. Then I painted one foot.

  • Place foot opposite way so the heel is on the top, your toes are the turkey feet and your heel is the head.

  • The funny part is I told all the kids is they had to scrub their feet the night before. They didn't know why and their parents were questioning. I told them it is for a gift for them.

  • We wrapped them up and gave it to the parents for Thanksgiving. Some are framed and hanging in homes every Thanksgiving. I didn't have a poem including the feet but that would be adorable.
Mrs. Z/Rochester Mi.

Mrs. Z...I think the following poem would work (Barb)

This isn't just a turkey,
As anyone can see-
I made it with my hands and feet...
Which are part of me.

It comes with lots of love
And especially today…
I hope you have a very
Happy Thanksgiving Day!


Materials: Construction paper or tag board, glue, paintbrush, different seasonal spices such as: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, whatever smells good!

1. Trace children's hands on tag board or construction paper. Have the children then put glue on the palm and finger shapes.
2. Spices are then sprinkled on the glue. They can be mixed or put on areas of fingers and hands...
3. To make the spiced handprint become a turkey, draw-feet, eyes, beak and wattle.




APPLE TURKEYS (A snack and craft in one!)

These are fun to make. The tail feathers can be colored mini-marshmallows, gumdrops or a ring cereal such as Froot Loops. The feet can be whatever you decide--such as gum drops or candy corn


 TURKEY: (Sample and Photo by KidActivities) Need: apples, ingredients for feathers, candy corn, large marshmallows and colored toothpicks.

  • The apple is the body of the turkey.
 • Add colored mini-marshmallows or gum drops to 5 or 6 toothpicks; stick them in one end of the apple. 
 • Use a toothpick for the neck.
 • Use a marshmallow for a head -tiny raisin pieces for the eyes - a cut up cany corn for the beak
. Use 3 toothpicks for legs (in a triangular position so your turkey can stand up) If you decide not to add legs, cut a small slice from the bottom of the apple to sit straight.

 Personally, I like to then eat the spice gum-drops! When you are making food crafts with children, make sure to have a few extra pieces for the kids to munch on!

The "Apple Turkeys" would look nice combined with some of the  centerpieces at the bottom of the page...


PLYMOUTH ROCK SEATING--A fun alternative to place cards!

Version #1

Smooth rocks
Craft paint
1. Make sure rocks are clean and dry.
2. Paint the stone/rock entirely or with designs on it.
3. After the rocks are dry, paint  names of Thanksgiving Day dinner guests!

Version #2 using pasta letters... 
Medium sized smooth stones
Pasta Letters

Coat stones in brightly colored craft paint. When paint is dry, glue on pasta letters.


A Connecting and Feel Good Activity

These can double as an activity and for decorations on the tables. You'll need: 
  • Brown paper lunch sacks 
  • Green paint pen 
  • Raffia 
  • Tissue leaves in autumn colors.
  • Plenty of small pieces of paper (approx. 3" X 4" size).

1. Cut the top of each sack in a decorative manner. (Use pinking shears, or regular scissors to trim the size, and give the bag a little character.)
2. Glue one autumn leaf to the center of each bag at an angle.
3. Tie raffia into little bows, and glue one to the base of each leaf with a hot glue gun. Write the name of each child on the bags with the green paint pen.



Place small pieces of paper in a basket along with pens and markers. Have each  child write a note or draw a picture (little ones) of why they are thankful for each person.

    • If your group is having a party-this can be done in the days preceding the party. Drop notes into bags. Allow time during the party or program for the children to read their notes. A great self-esteem building activity!!!


  • Leaves (these can be commercial silks, plastic leaves, or children can children trace and cut out their own leaves. 
  • A branch to make the tree  
  • A container and rocks to support the tree 
  • Magazines 
  • Paper 
  • Scissors 
  • Markers 
  • Needle 
  • Thread 
  • Low-tack tape

Fill the container with rocks. Remove leaves and unnecessary branches from the tree. Put branch in container. Make sure that the branch is securely anchored by the rocks.
2. Use the needle and thread to make individual hangers for the leaves.
3. Have children cut out or draw images of things for which they are thankful or have them write a list of things they are thankful for and cut out the words.
4. Use the tape to stick the thanksgiving items to the leaves. Hint: Any adhesive would work but if you use a low tack adhesive you can use the leaves again next year.
5. Hang the leaves on the tree.




You'll need: leaf cutouts, glue, dried kernel corn 


1. Write a greeting on a sheet of construction paper or card-stock-
such as Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Autumn, Give Thanks, etc.
2. Have the children glue the corn to form the letters of the words. 3. Glue leaf cutouts around the rest of the picture for decoration






•Color paper plates with markers
•Glue turkey head on to T-paper tube.
•Staple the tube to the plate.

Courtesy of Renee Glashow at lilteacher





'Words' for Younger Children's Hand-Print Turkeys  The poem above (for Mrs. Z's Footprint Turkey)  uses the words 'Hands and Feet'--this one is just hand...) 

This isn't just a turkey,
As anyone can see-
I made it with my hand
Which is part of me.

It comes with lots of love
And especially today-
I hope you have a very
Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Handprint photo courtesy of Ms. Glashow's class at lilteacher 




Gather brightly colored leaves and create this cute turkey! 

1. Glue the leaves to a piece of construction paper. It should resemble the tail feather of a turkey.
2. Add a body cut from another piece of construction paper.
3. Add a beak, feet, and some eyes--either wiggly eyes orpaper.
Tip: You may want to preserve the leaves before starting project. Thank you to MomentsofMommyHood for idea and images! 



175 Easy-To-Do Thanksgiving Crafts (Creative Uses for Recyclables) (Paperback)by Sharon Dunn Umnik
$7.95 new and starting at $2.97 used at
A review: This book is an incredible asset to any classroom. The directions are clear and concise and the full color pictures of the end result are great! I would highly recommend this book to any teacher in need of extra ideas! Mary Ellen Fuentes



Be sure to check out Ideas in the Autumn/Fall Centerpieces and Decorating Category!



All Miscellaneous activities of POEMS, SONGS, FACTS AND MORE...has been moved to its own page! Click here...




You may also be interested in...




Teddy Bears and Other Bears Too

July 21, 2015 01:45 by Barbara Shelby

Updated October 2016...


Art, Crafts, Games, Snacks, FYI, Book List, Community Service (great for older kids!), Jokes and lots of fun ideas! 

ADAPT TO MIXED AGE CHILDREN: 'Bear Themes' are usually for young children; however, this can also be adapted to mixed-age programs. Perhaps your school age participants would like to facilitate planning and presenting Teddy (and other) bear themed ideas? 

Older children could plan activities for the younger.  They could read books about Bears and write, produce and act out skits and plays based on those books. They could lead games and host and make decorations for a party. School Age participants could also lead a Community Service activity. (See below) An * has been placed before ideas that would be appropriated for school agers...there are more than 15 activities of this type.

Additionally, while younger children are actively involved in the below --older youth may be interested in studying and learning about different species of bears...they can make posters, display boards, drawings, research, write articles and present to each other. Pre-K to grade 1 children will enjoy a 'Teddy Bear' theme--but when working with mixed ages--get creative and also include activities for them!  'Teddy Bears and Other Bears' can also work for older school-age kids!



1. Make the cave base using a small cardboard box or Styrofoam meat tray. 
2. For the cave-- staple or glue a brown crumpled paper bag to the base.
3. Add pine needles, straw, rocks/stones, twigs, moss, and sawdust.  
4. Tuck a 'teddy graham bear' or two inside the 'cave' to hibernate!


*TEDDY BEAR WINTER BIRD FEEDER (Makes a nice Nature, Earth, and Craft project all in one!)
Materials Needed:
Teddy Bear shaped Cookie Cutter
Peanut Butter
Knife (to spread Peanut Butter)
Scissors or knife
Plate to dip bird seed
Bird Seed
Ribbon or Yarn

1. Toast bread 
2. Press  cookie cutter into the bread.
3. With scissors or knife, put a hole in the toasted bread shape.
4. Spread  peanut butter onto toast.
5. Place the toast--peanut butter side down-- on a plate of bird
seed. Press lightly so the seeds stick in the peanut butter.

Put the yarn (or ribbon) in the hole of your cut out bread feeder. Hang from the trees outside for the birds to eat during the Winter





Put out a couple teddy bears and invite children to draw what they see. These samples are by first grade children-Clay and Jonathon. Source: Michal Austin-TechyTeacher



1. Cut a teddy bear shape from heavy cardboard or cardstock. (You
may want to make templates for the children to trace.) 
2. Cover the bear with glue - sprinkle fresh coffee grounds. Shake
to remove extra grounds.

Use spices such as: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, whatever
smells good! Proceed as above.


Simple! Bears love honey so just string Honeycomb cereal! Put cereal on string and tie when complete--be sure to make long enough to get over the head. After wearing awhile, it makes a good snack!


1/2 Cup Apple Sauce
Teddy Bear Cookie Cutters
Optional: Ribbon, Cloves, Drinking Straw

1. In a bowl mix the cinnamon and apple sauce together. If the mixture is too hard, add more apple sauce, if too thin, add more cinnamon.
2. Roll mixture on wax paper until it is about 1/4 " thick.
3. Cut our shapes with the cookie cutter.
4. If you will be hanging as ornaments, put a hole in the top area of the shapes. (Use a straw to cut a perfect size hole.)
Option: Add clove to decorate the bears. Gently apply pressure to push the cloves into the ornaments.

5. Dry the bears for one to two days. After bears are dried, tie a ribbon or yarn through the hole.



Make  bear-shaped templates for children to trace. (This project is best done on card-stock type paper) After bears are drawn-just follow one of the puffy paint recipe directions below...(Recipes are from KA's Paint/Coloring Recipe Category)

1 tablespoon self-rising flour
Few little drops of food coloring
1 tablespoon salt
Add some water till it a smooth paste.
1.  Use this to paint on a thick sheet of cardboard.
You can also use Q-Tips if not enough brushes...
Microwave the design on high for 10 - 30 seconds until the paint puffs and it is dry.

1 c. water
1 c. flour
1 c. salt
Separate into different squirt bottles and add POWDERED TEMPERA PAINT to create a rainbow of colors.

Salt, Flour. Water, Tempera Paint
Mix equal amounts of flour, salt and water. Add LIQUED TEMPERA paint for color. Pour mixture into squeeze bottles and paint. Mixture hardens in a puffy shape.





(This sample is child made)
   • Cut a circle the size of a paper plate out of a piece of white craft paper.
   • Cut two oval shapes for the ears and two small circles for the eyes out of black craft paper.
   • Cut one medium-sized circle out of white craft paper for the nose. Glue cutouts onto paper plate sized circle.
   • Cut out a small black triangle and glue onto nose.  Cut out two small white circles and glue onto eyes.
   • Glue face to the backside of a paper plate.
   •Fill paper plate with a handful of macaroni or beans and staple another paper plate to the reverse side to close.
   • Shake to make noise.


MAKE A PLATE TEDDY BEAR FACE: Another easy paper plate idea...

Draw eyes. Draw nose and mouth on a cupcake liner (The muzzle). Glue the cupcake liner'paper-holder onto the plate. Add two cupcake liner ears. That's it! Plate will be as sophisticated or simple child's development.

The plate can then be glued/taped to a large craft stick and used as a puppet or mask.


 *HONEY PLAY DOUGH FOR 'BEARS' (Not only art--but making play dough is also 'science'.)
Tip: If play dough is too sticky, butter child's hands before starting...

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup oatmeal

Mix ingredients in bowl with spoon or hands until well blended. Place playdough on wax paper. Make something and then eat it! (Be sure hands are washed well before starting.)

1 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. powdered milk

Mix together to make a playdough.
Optional: Wheat germ, coconut, decorations: raisins, nuts.
Use as regular playdough, then eat!

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
4-6 oz. corn flour or corn meal

Combine together peanut butter and honey. Add the corn flour until it reaches the desired consistency.
Note: Corn muffin mix (Such as Jiffy-Mix) can be substituted for corn meal.



Cut three bear shapes from a medium grade sand paper. 
Rub the sandpaper bears with different scents and have children guess what the scent is!

Scents that work well: cinnamon, orange, lemon or lime peel, peanut butter, garlic, etc. 


Children sit in a circle.
Play music and when the music stops, the child left holding the bear
is out. Reward the child with small treat.
If children
are very young--have players clap for the child holding
the bear instead of going out.


This is a variation of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

Draw a large bear on craft/roll paper.
Give each child a paper heart with their name or a number on it.

Blindfold each child when it's their turn. Turn them around and then have them place their heart on the bear's chest.



*Honey, Bees and Bears...
Decorate small flower pots or buckets to look like honey pots.
Use small plastic bees or make some using yellow circles of cloth

which you have stuffed with dried beans--and then tied.(Much like bean bags) Another option is to use colored baby socks and fill them with dry beans and tie them closed with a piece of ribbon. Choose yellow socks for bees.

Cut a large bee hive shape from construction paper. It should be
large enough for a child to stand on with both feet. If necessary, cut two hives - one for each foot. If possible-laminate for repeated use.

If playing the game outdoors, use sidewalk chalk to draw a 'hive shape' on the hard surface.

Have each child take a turn standing on the hives and tossing the bees into the honey pots. Award one point for landing in the closest pot, two points for the middle pot, and three points for the farthest pot. If not using bee hives to stand on--mark a line to throw from.


Play like a traditional relay race.

1.Form two or more teams. Each 'team' is given a stuffed bear.
2. Children line up and one by one run from one end of the course to the other while holding their bear. When they return to the staring point, they give the bear to the next child.
3. If the bear is dropped during the run, the player must return to the beginning and start over.
The first team to have all players finish the race wins.


Gummy Bears
Paper plates
Corn flakes or Whipped cream

Hide one gummy bear on each paper plate in a pile of corn flakes or in a blop of whipped cream. (Older kids love the whipped cream-and it makes a great photo-op!) 
Children stand or sit in front of the plate with their hands behind their backs.
On the "GO" signal, each player finds the gummy bear in the corn flakes (whipped cream) using only their mouth & teeth...
The first player to lift their head with the gummy bear between their teeth is the winner!

Variation: Hide several gummy bears and set a time limit; those who find the most gummy bears wins! This can be done as an individual or 'Team Count' event.


Instead of playing Duck, Duck, Goose--Play 'BEAR, BEAR, GOLDILOCKS'!

PLAY TEDDY BEAR TAILS (Also played like Duck, Duck, Goose)
Object of game: Teddy bear is looking for his tail!

Give each player a tail made from brown felt or construction paper. Have children tuck or tape the 'tail' on their lower back. Except for the bear, players sit in a circle--Teddy Bear walks around the circle until he/she sees 'the tail'. After grabbing a tail, Teddy runs around the outside of the circle--and back to the empty spot--before being caught by the 'tail-less' player.


*Instead of Simon 'TEDDY  SAYS'...


TEDDY BEAR HUNT  (A version of Hot and Cold)

Hide a small teddy bear in your program room- or a section of your outdoor area. (Make sure the children know what they are looking for.)

  • Have children come into the room and search for the bear.
  • As they get closer call out "Warmer, warmer" until you get to "Hot!" As they get further away call out "Cooler, cooler" until you get to "Cold".
  • The first player to find the bear then gets to go and hide it for the next round.



Place all the Teddy Bears in the center of a parachute or large blanket. With all players firmly holding the edges, toss them up into the air. Whose Bear is going to go the highest? (See 'Parachute Game Category' for other games)


Played like traditional musical chairs...
Set out chairs, one for each child minus one.
While each child holds a bear, they move/dance to  music.
When the music stops, they move quickly  and put their bear on a chair. The bear that doesn't have a chair is out but children are given a treat/prize as they are out.


Make large 'paw prints' using card stock. Numer each paw print--from 1 to 10.

Place the numbered paws around the garden/house. Children must find the prints in numbered order. When they get to number 10 they'll find a bear with a bowl of treats. Treats can be 'goody bags', candy or cookies, etc.





• Papa bear takes big steps
• Mama bear takes medium steps
• Baby bear takes baby steps
• Brother bear hops on both feet
• Sister bear hops on one foot
• Polar Bear walks on all fours

You can also play music of your choice and encourage  children to move like:
Big bears, little bears, tired bears, happy bears, scared bears, etc. Make it more interesting by choosing music based on the movement you'd like!

• Growl softly
• Growl loudly
• Growl fiercely
• Growl gently
• Growl to yourself
• Growl a big, wide growl


Divide  children into two or more teams.
Each team member is given a teddy bear and lines up in a straight line in front of their "basket". (If there are not enough bears-give the first person in each team line a bear. The team will then share this bear.)

The team who gets the most bears in their container wins!








*Visit the Jokes Category about Bears!





*TEDDY BEAR VACATIONS (Good for Pre-K thru Grade School)
This project can be done a number of ways.

Method #1
Pack up your group's teddy bear and send him/her to another program, school classroonm day care, hospital,  or _______. Teddy bear will go on a trip and return with pictures and a journal about  adventures and experiences on the vacation.
Teddy's host will photograph and record his adventures. (Learning, Reading, Napping, Playing, Visiting children's homes, etc)

It would be helpful to also send a disposable camera, blank diary with identification-- and other things that one would need for a trip. (A small backpack to put everything in)


Method #2


1. Preparation is the same as above; however, Teddy starts out with a person that is going on vacation. A diary/journal with photographs is kept.
2. Upon return, Teddy is then given to another person that is going on a trip.
3. Set a certain time frame-such as 60 to 90 days. Indicate in documentation --when and where the bear is to be returned.
4. Oh what adventures Teddy will have! Lessons and discussions can then be build around Teddy's adventures! Be sure to keep track of the miles and map each place Teddy has visited.


One traveling bear that I've read of (known as Snicks) slowly collected clothing from places he visited (including teddy-patterned socks, a personalized T-shirt, shoes and 2 caps) as well as pins and badges from his various travels. He also had a backpack containing knickknacks from along the way. (He visited many of the States, Australia, Cape Town, and Czechoslovakia.

Photos were posted online to the Snickerdoodle MacBear flickr page. He also had his own 'Facebook page' where he updated friends on his adventures. (One year I did this with a group of children-and we really had a good time with it! Barb)





Invite children to bring in their teddy bears or a teddy bear 'friend'-- if  their favorite stuffed animal isn't a bear.


• Compare bears...
• Talk about what kinds of bears the children have. Do the children remember when/where they got their bears?
• Create a graph based on the color of the bears.


Extension Idea:
Each category can have seveal winners...


•Funnies names of bears
•Happies looking bears
•Most unique bears
•Most colorful bears
•Most huggable bears
•Fuzziest bears
•Softest bear
•Well-dressed bears
•Smallest bears
•Biggest bears
•Skinniest bears
•Widest/chubbiest bears
•Loved well bears
•Oldest bears




Talk about the differences between teddy bears and real bears.
    • Where do they live?
    • What do they eat? etc.






Set up your dramatic play center with a 'medical clinic area/table for 'Teddy Bear and Friends' that are ill or need attending!
Make sure young 'doctors and nurses' have all the supplies they need. Usually toy doctor kit/bags have the essentials.
Include : Doctor bag, stethoscope, reflex hammer, thermometer, play syringe, auriscope, laryngoscope, bandages, plastic gloves, wraps, cold compresses, gauze pads, surgical tape, tongue depressors,  pager (some have realistic sounds, and battery operated cell phone. Maybe add a microscope and magnifying glass? Besides an examing table--is there a bed where the 'patient (s) can recooperate? (Homemade bed-boxes work out great for this...)

Also look for deals on scrubs, caps and lab coats...quite often the time after Halloween will have sales.
Want to make your own as an activity to go with the center?




MAKE LAB COATS (Taken from KA's Mad Science Category)
#1  Lab Coats: Cover  table with newspapers or freezer paper. Lay out fabric markers. Give each child a plain white shirt to decorate as a lab coat. You can use T-shirts, or look for used front-buttoning shirts at thrift shops
Idea #2
Use white kitchen sized garbage bags to make lab coats.
Cut a half circle hole for the head, and half circles for the arms. With a black permanent marker, draw a line down the front and buttons next to it. You can also draw a pocket on the side with a pen in it; write the children's names on them (Example: Professor Smith, Dr. Susan, etc.




Bears eat with their paws--so the snacks of course should be finger foods and nibbles!


Make Peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches (or other fillings)
Cut out in the bear shapes.




Fill bear-shaped molds with juice and freeze. Fill a  punch bowl with
juice or simple punch recipe. Add bear cubes before serving.



Bears like ants and insects and bears also like make your favorite versions of ANTS/BUGS ON A LOG!

MAKE 'LOGS'  from any of these foods:  

• Celery Stalks (cut to about 3 inches long)
• Apples (cut in halves or quarters with cores removed)
• Carrots 
(cut to about 3 inches long)




• Cream Cheese
• Cream cheese and pineapple
• Cheese and pimento
• Peanut butter
• Egg salad




• Raisins
• Golden raisins
• Dried cranberries or cherries
• Raisenettes candy
• Unsweetened cereal
• Sunflower seeds
• Chopped peanuts of finely chopped walnuts
• Mix in chopped apple




1 cupcake per person
Frosting (Any color/flavor you'd like)
2 Nilla Wafers
1 Junior Mint or large spice/gumdrop 
2 black or dark brown M&Ms

After frosting the cupcake, place a Nilla wafer cookie (for a muzzle) toward the bottom of the cupcake.
Stick a Junior mint 'nose' about 2/3 down the cookie muzzle.
Add M&M eyes.
To make the ears, cut the second Nilla Wafer in half; place halves at the top of cupcake.


If Bears live near the sea they catch fish.
Fill celery with cream cheese and top them with goldfish crackers!

Bears eat berries, nuts, tubers, roots, honey, worms, buds, leaves, fruit, twigs, grubs, fish, and insects/ants. In the spring, black bears even eat the inside layer of young trees. They must eat between 11 and 18 pounds of food each day to stay healthy.

SO...SERVE fruit, berries, nuts and honey. Gummy worms can substitute for worms!






1 cup miniature pretzels
1 cup miniature Teddy Grahams snacks
1 cup dry roasted peanuts (If no allergies)
1 cup m&m's
1 cup gummy worms
Mix together and enjoy

See other 'Worm Snacks' in the WORM THEME! (Scroll down to the middle of the page)




Frost a large round cookie or cupcake as desired. Place a gum drop --or half a large gum drop --at the upper side of the cupcake. Place a large Teddy Graham or Gummy Bear at the opposite lower side of the dessert. Connect the 'balloon' with the bear with a slender string of licorice. (In this image, two cupcakes have gummy bears with ballons--and one has a very large gummy bear on it. Sprinkles are added) Image by




MAKE AN ANT FARM... with Peanut Butter, Graham Crackers and Raisins

  • On a plate spread peanut butter.
  • In the middle erect a tunnel from the broken graham crackers.
  • Next, place the raisins on the peanut butter to look like Ants.
  • Children can eat the raisins and peanut butter with either the graham crackers or pieces of celery.
    (You can use canned chocolate frosting if you have peanut allergies in your group)






First put ice cream and then a layer of your choice of candy--- M&M's, Kisses, Chocolate or Peanut Butter Chips.

Cover candy layer with Cool Whip...Decorate with Gummy Bears.Serve in small-clear plastic cups for individual servings ..or one big vat that everyone shares. Usually, kids like to have their own :-)






    Bears like Honey so have...APPLES AND HONEY...

    Take an apple and slice a thin piece from the bottom so that it stands up without support. Cut the top off and core the center out. Fill with honey.





QUICK IDEAS: Serve Teddy Graham Bear Cookies, Honeycomb Cereal, Gummy Bears...



No theme is complete without a Community Service effort!

1. Consider holding a TEDDY BEAR AND FRIENDS (Stuffed Animals) DRIVE!
Donate  collected animals to a Homeless Shelter for new arrivals.

2. Another idea--check with your local police station or fire station. Many are happy to take Teddy and Friends; a teddy bear can be a comfort to children in times of distress.

3. ADOPT A BEAR ( or lion, tiger, whale, or other animal.) Many zoos, aquariums, and animal sea habitats have adoption programs. In exchange for financial support, you often get a photo and biography of your new adoptee.


4. HELP THE PLIGHT OF ASIAN 'MOON' BEARS! For ideas visit the Kids' Page at AnimalsAsia...Animal Asia has extensive list ideas for children and teachers. There is information regarding...
What is a Moon Bear; Why do Moon Bears need help; What is the 'Bear Rescue'; How to help; Info for Teachers; Games and Quizzes; Downloads.
Spend some time in different areas of the site and learn about the plight of Asian Bears and how we can help.

5. ADOPT A POLAR BEAR, PANDA or one many other animals.
Visit World Wildlife Fund; donations start at 25.00 (Donations are used in general support of WWF's efforts around the world. 82 cents of every donated dollar goes toward conservation. WWF has been recognized by Charity Navigator, and meets the BBB Wise Giving Alliance's Standards for Charity Accountability.)





*TEDDY BEAR, TEDDY BEAR (Younger children say and do--older can jump rope)
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Turn around. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Touch the ground. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Shine your shoes. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Go upstairs. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Say your prayers. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Turn out the light. 
Teddy bear, teddy bear, 
Say good night. 


A little brown bear went in search of some honey,
Isn't it funny, a bear wanting honey?
He sniffed at the breeze, (Sniff air)
And he listened for bees, (Cup hand to ear and listen)
And would you believe it?
He even climbed trees!
(Fingers of one hand climb the opposite arm.)


Tune: For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
The bear went over the mountain, 
The bear went over the mountain, 
The bear went over the mountain, 
To see what he could see. 
And all that he could see,
And all that he could see,
Was the other side of the mountain, 
The other side of the mountain, 
The other side of the mountain, 
Was all that he could see.


Sing to tune of Three Blind Mice (Good song to go along with a version of 'Goldilocks & The Three Bears' Story)

Three brown bears
Three brown bears
See all their beds
See all their chairs...

The mommy cooked in
A big brown pot
The daddy's porridge
Was much too hot
The baby bear
Always cried a lot...
Three brown bears


To the tune of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

The polar bear lives in Alaska,
He never gets cold in a storm,
He swims in cold icy water,
His heavy coat keeps him warm.
Warm, warm, warm, warm,
His heavy coat keeps him warm.
Warm, warm, warm, warm,
His heavy coat keeps him warm.



Bears, bears, bears, everywhere!
(Point in all directions)
Bears cimbing stairs,
(Pretend to climb)
Bears sitting on chairs,
(Pretend to sit)
Bears collecting fares,
(Reach out for fares) 

Bears giving stares,
(Stare at group)
Bears, bears, bears, everywhere!



This little bear has a fur suit. (Thumb)
This little bear acts very cute (Pointer finger)
This little bear is bold and cross. (Middle finger)
This little bear says, "You're not boss." (Ring finger)
This little bear likes bacon and honey. (Little finger)
But he can't buy them, he has no money!!!




TEDDY BEAR'S PICNIC (Complete lyrics below)

If you go down to the woods today,
You'd better go in disguise.

If you go down to the woods today,
You're in for a big surprise.

For every bear that ever there was
Is gathered there for certain because..
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.



Lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy -1932 (A Celtic song)

If you go down to the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

For ev'ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Ev'ry teddy bear who's been good
Is sure of a treat today.
There's lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play.

Beneath the trees where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Cause that's the way the teddy bears have their picnic.

If you go down to the woods today
You'd better not go alone.
It's lovely down in the woods today
But safer to stay at home.

For ev'ry bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today
Watch them, catch them unawares
And see them picnic on their holiday.

See them gaily gad about
They love to play and shout;
They never have any care;

At six o'clock their mummies and daddies,
Will take them home to bed,
Because they're tired little teddy bears.






(For ages Pre-K to Adult)


•Baloo from The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Berenstein Bears
Brer Bear, from the Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris
Paddington Bear
The Three Bears from Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Winnie-the-Pooh (The Winnie-the-Pooh Collection) by A. A. Milne

Rupert Bear (also known as Rupert the Bear) from the children's books by Mary Tourtel (also became featured in comic strips and a TV series)
Corduroy by Don Freeman

Little Bear by Maurice Sendak
Crow of the Bear Clan, barbarian comic book bear
Old Bear, from the Old Bear series of books
Old Ben, around which revolve the events of William Faulkner's short
story The Bear.

Shardik, the ursine protagonist of Richard Adams' novel of the same name

Theadore Rosebear, Teddy Roosevelt's best friend in Edward Summer's novel Teefr and The Legend of Teddy Bear Bob (aka "Bear Bob's Story").
Henisz Teddy Bear who went on the Trip around the World.
Beorn, from 'The Hobbit,' by J.R.R Tolkien, was a man with the ability
to transform into a bear

The Three Bulgy Bears in 'Prince Caspian'
Teddy Robinson, from Joan G. Robinson's books 'Dear Teddy Robinson'
and 'More about Teddy Robinson'.
Ursaline B. "Bear" Bruin, a Chevy Suburban-driving grizzly from the
fantasy novel 'Collinsfort Village' by Joe Ekaitis.

Teddy Bears' Picnic (Aladdin Picture Books) by Jimmy Kennedy

Winnie-the-Pooh (The Winnie-the-Pooh Collection) by A. A. Milne

The Million-Dollar Bear by William Kotzwinkle

Holt Collier: His Life, His Roosevelt Hunts, and the Origin of the Teddy Bear by Minor Ferris Buchanan

That's Not My Teddy (Usborne Touchy-Feely Board Books) by Fiona Watt

Teddy Bear Encyclopedia by Pauline Cockrill

The Teddy Bear by David McPhail

The Teddy Bears' Picnic Board Book and Tape (My First Book and Tape) by Jerry Garcia

Sign and Sing Along: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear! by Annie Kubler Favorite nursery rhymes and songs



There are eight species in the bear family: The Asiatic Black Bear, Brown Bear, North American Black Bear, Panda Bear, Polar Bear, Sloth Bear, Spectacled Bear, and the Sun Bear. 

For many years scientists wondered whether the panda was more like the raccoon family or more like the bear family. DNA studies have shown that that giant panda is more closely related to the bear. Books published before that time may still list only seven species of bear, because the giant panda was not included in the list.

The koala is not a bear, it's a marsupial. It gets the nickname 'koala bear' from its resemblance to a teddy bear, not from any relationship to actual bears. 





Leaf-Leaves Theme

September 2, 2013 15:47 by Barbara Shelby


Games, Art and Crafts, Science, Snacks/Recipes, Poems /Songs, Book List...all with a Leaf Theme!

Updated September, 2015


Have a leaf race! In this, the children blow a leaf across a table with a straw. The first one across is the winner...


The Leaf, Leaf, Pinecone is a version of the classic "Duck, Duck, Goose" with a nature-friendly twist.
This game is best played out-doors, but you can also gather pinecones and play this traditional game inside on a rainy day.

Whoever is "it" must not only touch the heads of the other players, saying, "Leaf, leaf, leaf," but must also drop a fresh pinecone in the lap of the child they choose before running back around the circle without being tagged. The person trying to tag "it" can touch "it" with a hand above the waist or with the pinecone below the waist


Materials: Cardboard box and bean bags...

Depending on the size of your cardboard box, cut One to large leaf shapes into the cardboard.
Paint the cardboard colors of fall--yellow, red, orange, gold...
to play--children throw bean bags through the leaf shaped holes.


PARACHUTE LEAF TOSS (For younger children)
Take a sheet, or a parachute. Gather real leaves, fabric leaves, or paper leaves. Place them in the middle of the sheet. Gather around the sheet and have the children lift the sheet slowly and then quickly to see how all the leaves "float".



Take a large piece of poster board and draw the tic-tac-toe lines on it; laminate it if possible.
Cut-two different leaf shapes; then simply play tic-tac-toe.



1. While children are out of the room (or if in room have them cover their eyes) hide a leaf. (The leaf can be 'real' or draw on cardboard and cut out.) Hide the leaf where the children will need to search--but not too difficult to find.

2. Instruct the kids to sit down in a pre-designated spot when they see the hidden leaf.

3. After all children are sitting--the first child to 'spot' the leaf hides it for the 'next game'.




SUN PRINTS with paper taped to window...
MAKE LEAF PRINT ART... Materials: Colored construction paper (make sure you use paper that will fade), leaves gathered from yard, glue stick, masking tape
Optional: picture frames

  1. Dab a bit of glue onto the back of a leaf, and attach to a piece of construction paper
(If you are going to frame--you can pre-trim the paper to fit a 5"x7" frame--frames can be made from foam, cardboard or card-stock).

2. Tape the paper to a sunny window, with the leaf facing out. Leave up for THREE TO FOUR days, or UNTIL YOU NOTICE that the paper's color has faded. (Some directions say a week or longer--I think this time estimate would be more accurate--you'll know by the fading)

3. Remove from the window and gently peel the leaf off to reveal the print. Frame and hang.
This version from Parents Magazine, August 2005




Glue colorful and different fabrics to both sides of several pieces of heavy paper. Cut out leaves from this. Tie a string on each leaf. Suspend the leaves from a small branch. Hang them where they might catch a breeze.

You can also make the mobile with leaves cut out of construction paper or found outdoors. Preserving the leaves in the glycerin mixture found in the Fall Nature Category would make the leaves look fresh for quite awhile. (Preserving leaves is also near page bottom in Science)



YARN SHAPED ... (Can be made into people)
Thin cardboard
Pencil or pen
Tacky glue
Colorful yarn
Adhesive magnet strips

  • Trace some leaves onto thin cardboard and cut them out.
  • Coat one side of the cardboard with tacky glue and let the glue dry after covering the shape with yarn.
  • Attach a strip of adhesive magnet to the back.
  • You can also us colored foam (green, red, yellow, orange), that is peel-and-stick. Peel the backing off and "paint" the yarn right to the foam, much easier and neater than glue.
  • Cut out the leaf shapes and paste them to background paper.
  • You can add heads, arms, and legs. Suggest that children have the leaf people engaged in some activity.


LEAF PEOPLE #2 --Glue a leaf to a sheet of paper and draw features to make them into leaf people and animals... put arms, legs, necks, heads, tails, etc. when complete draw a scene around your leaf person!
Place your leaves UNDER sheets of white paper. Rub the sides of red, orange and yellow crayons on the paper -- Rub over the leaves until leaf shapes appear. Cut out leaf shapes and paste them to  background paper. Add heads, arms and legs. It would be fun if the leaf people were engaged in some activity.


Cut 4 1/2 inch circles out of construction paper. Collect a variety of fall leaves. Glue the circles on paper and glue some leaves around the circles to make hair. Complete the faces by adding facial features with markers or paint.

NOTE: Be sure to check out the leaf fox/dog image a couple entries below!!! Soooooo cute!



Collect leaves and arrange them on a piece of wax paper. Add wax crayon shavings and apply another piece of wax paper on top.

  • Iron the wax paper together until crayon shavings have melted.

    Let cool. Trim into desired shapes and hang in windows. Wonderful 'Image Mosaic' is from ArtfulParent



  • Take coffee filters and cut them into the shapes of leaves.
  • With cups of liquid watercolors in orange, yellow, red, and brown have the children use eye droppers to place watercolors on the filter leaves.
  • The colors blend together for wonderful fall leaves.
  • Create a tree trunk out of brown wrapping paper or butcher paper. Add leaves to the branches and also at the base of the tree.


Have children place a variety of leaves -underside up - under a piece of light colored construction paper. With the sides of crayons that have had the paper covering removed, make crayon rubbing of the leaves. This works better with green leaves. Great way to see the veins and differences in leaves!


Collect leaves with long stems. Have children paint with the leaves, using the leaves as brushes and the stems as handles.
Or...Collect leaves and tape them to a small stick and use them instead of brushes for painting.





How cute is this?!!!  Image was found on Pinterest and is originally from stranamasterov



Have the children make a tree by gluing toothpicks on a piece of paper. Use a sponge, finger tips or smal paint brush-- and fall colors of red, orange and yellow tempera paint. Using your paint choice of color application -- add leaves to the top of the tree. The tooth picks were also painted brown before the leaves were added. The leaves were made by dipping fingers in paint.) Image by

TIP: Instead of using toothpicks for the branches--pretzel sticks, pasta, or twigs can be used!


You need:
Pieces of aluminum foil, leaves, glue, construction paper

Set out pieces of aluminum foil and a variety of fall leaves. Have each child select a leaf, place it under a piece of foil, and gently press and rub the foil with their hand to get a leaf print. Have  children glue their leaf prints to the construction paper.



1. Draw leaves on construction paper with Crayola Markers or Crayons. Or gather fallen leaves from outside and trace them. (Wash hands thoroughly afterward.) Draw veins and other designs on the leaves.

2. Cut out leaves.

3. Spread newspaper over your craft area. Dip your finger tips in Crayola Washable Finger Paint. Spread the paint in swirling motions--like the wind--over white construction paper. Wash hands.

4. While the paint is still wet, place leaves on the paper. Arrange them in different directions so they appear to be blowing in the wind. Leaves stick to the paper when the paint dries.

5. Extension: Look at leaf patterns in a science book or collect real leaves. Draw different examples such as maple, beech, and oak. Use red, brown, orange, and yellow paper to make leaves for an autumn scene. Source: Crayola



Give  children white paper and have them paint using red, and yellow paint. They can mix the paints to create orange.

When the papers are dry, using templates, draw leaf shapes on the back. Cut out the leaves.
With these children can...

  • Make a leaf mobile
  • Make a leaf collage
  • Hang them from the ceiling
  • Glue onto a paper. Make a trunk of a tree--glue on the leaves
  • Put up on a bulletin board
  • Hang them from a classroom size tree...



With a brush, paint red, orange and yellow tempera paint onto the front side of leaves. Press the painted side onto paper. For a variation, place the paint on the back side of the leaf and press down--you might see more distict markings on this print.



  • Using colored construction paper (red, orange, brown, green, yellow) trace the child's hand onto several sheets of several colors. Cut out. (Children can also use their painted hand-prints)
  • Next cut out a tree trunk with branches in proportion to the amount of leaves.
  • Have the child glue the hand shapes to the tree to form the leaves of the tree.
  • Consider having children think of things to be thankful for -- and label the leaves.



Place leaves on the sticky side of clear self-adhesive plastic. Cover it with another sheet of plastic and press. Cut around the leaves. Punch holes in them and thread yarn or ribbon for a leaf hanging. Also...cut a single leaf and use it as a bookmark. 


Make a string of leaves to decorate a room. These simple-to-make strings make a great Fall or Thanksgiving decoration. You can drape the strings across rooms, over windows and from the chandeliers.
Construction paper (orange, red, yellow, brown, and other earth tones)
Crayons or markers
Glue, tape, or staples
A long piece of green or brown yarn or string

  • Draw a leaf on a piece of construction paper. Make sure to draw a long-thick stem on the top (your leaf will hang from this stem, which will be folded over.) It would be a good idea to make a few leaf templates for the children to trace and cut the shapes.
  • Cut out the leaf. Draw the leaf veins if you wish.
  • Fold the leaf's stem in half.
  • Attach the leaf to a long string using tape, glue, or staples. Make more leaves and attach them to the string.
  • Hang your string of leaves across the room for a wonderful Fall decoration. Source: KinderCrafts  




Place child's entire hand and arm in brown paint. Place the painted arm and hand on the art paper to make the trunk and branches. With a variety of colorful finger paints---finger print leaves around and on the entire tree. Add some 'leaves' falling and swirling to the ground! Image by





Have children glue several different leaves on a light-colored sheet of construction paper. Apply transparent Contact paper onto the leaf side and then the backside of the construction paper. Trim excess contact paper from the ends, and seal all the way around the outer edges with colored tape. (This sample is at





Wrap a piece of masking tape (sticky side out) around each child's wrist. Go on a nature walk and have children collect a leaf from each of several trees---sticking it on their leaf bracelet.

Get a Book with a variety of leaves to compare 'finds' when you return. Children will also be able to go home and see what leaves they find there!

As shown, you can take clear packing tape and make bracelets with a variey of nature finds--as well as some wonderful bookmarks! Photographs are courtesy of Angela at Colorfool  blogsite...Angela shares that flat items adhere better than bulky.



We all have puzzles that have missing pieces (such as the 100 piece puzzle that only has 80 pieces left)

1. Either draw a tree trunk and leaves... or cut out the trunk of a tree with limbs. If cutting out a tree trunk, glue or staple the trunk to a piece of background paper.

2. Pre-paint the puzzle pieces in fall leaf colors (or they may already have a fall look.)

3. Glue the puzzle pieces to the branches of the tree.

This tree didn't need the puzzle pieces painted--as most pieces were already in shades of red, yellow, orange, and brown)... This idea is also good for spring--using 'spring' colors. (Puzzle Tree Image by



Use a rolling pin to flatten clay or DRYING TYPE dough. Lay a leaf on the clay & roll over it. Remove the leaf & let the clay dry. Paint the clay with fall colors of tempera.

"Air dry and bake recipes" are on this site in the Play Dough Category!


Gather old brown leaves--and crumbel them up!
Draw your pictures (leaves or a fall scene would be nice)----apply a light coat of glue or wet paint--sprinkle with you leaf glitter!

You could also paint the leaves before you crumble them to make different colored glitter.



Uncooked spaghetti
Adhesive-backed magnet
Green food coloring
Recycled clean margerine container
Styrofoam vegetable trays
Paintbrush and Scissors 
1. Draw and cut out a maple-leaf shape on a piece of cardboard. (Good idea to make a template for the kids to trace)
2. Pour 1/4 cup (50ml) white glue into an empty margerine container. Add 2-3 drops of green food coloring to the glue. Mix well, until the color is a shade you like.

3. For a good work surface--Place cardboard leaf into a styrofoam vegetable tray. Paint the entire surface of the leaf with the colored glue.

4. Break spaghetti sticks in half. Line up the spaghetti sticks in a single direction on the leaf. Be sure the spaghetti is adhering to the glue. Leave the spaghetti untrimmed at this point.

5. Cover the untrimmed spaghetti with glue-coloring so that it is completely colored.
6. Let the leaf dry on a clean styrofoam tray. Once the glue has dried, carefully cut around the edges of the cardboard shape to remove the excess spaghetti. It is helpful to turn the leaf 'spaghetti-side down' while cutting the spaghetti.

7. Repair jagged edges with glue and pieces of trimmed spaghetti. Allow to dry a second time.

8. Adhere two magnets to the center of the cardboard back.
This project also makes a great lapel pin. Just use a pin backing instead of a sticky-backed magnet!
Adapted from



Go on a nature walk and collect different kinds of leaves. Sort the leaves  by color, size or type of leaf. Place them on your science table.

Extension Ideas: GRAPH THE LEAVES
1. Have children count the number of leaves collected from each type of tree. Graph the results.

2. Get young children thinking about what they collected. Ask questions such as:

• What can you tell me about these leaves?  What is the same about these leaves?  What is different about some of these leaves?
What colors are the leaves? 
Look through the magnifying glass, what do you see? (veins, colors, size of the leaf seems to change)
How can we measure this leaf? Can
someone demostrate (show me) how to measure this leaf?  How long it is?  How wide it is?  (This leaf is __ inches/centimeters in length and __ in width.)




Display natural earth wonders such as :
Sea shells, rocks, crystals, geodes, pine cones, seeds, leaves, twigs, etc.
Encourage children to add to the collection. Provide magnifying glasses to study the items at this center...Photograph courtesy of Restoration Place.


You can preserve fall leaves in your microwave oven.

  • Choose fresh leaves with the bright colors. Avoid fallen leaves that have already begun to dry.
  • Place separate leaves in the Microwave oven on top of two pieces of paper towel. Cover them with one sheet of paper toweling.
  • Run the oven for 30 to 180 seconds. Microwaves vary so watch carefully. The drier the leaves, the less time they will need.
  • Be careful, if the leaves "cook" too long you could actually start a fire.
  • If the leaves are curled on the edges they need more time.
  • Let the leaves dry for a day or two and then finish the leaves with a sealant, such as an acrylic craft spray.


  • Place your autumn colored leaves between two layers of wax paper.
  • Cover with a cloth rag. Using a warm (not too hot) iron, press down on the wax covered leaves, sealing the wax paper together with the leaf in between.
  • Cut your leaves out, leaving a narrow margin of wax paper around the leaf edge.


and place them on a tray to dry.... Over time they'll turn brown; without chlorophyll the leaf loses his green color.

Place a small branch with fall leaves on several layers of newspapers. With a hammer tap the end of the stem until it is slightly crushed.
Place the branch in a jar or baking dish with one part glycerin to two parts water. Keep it for 2 weeks. The leaves will be thicker to touch, colors will have changed & they will not disintegrate or fade..

In the autumn, you can also gather branches of oak, beech, and maple leaves just as the colors began to turn. Submerge them in vases filled with a solution of equal parts of water and glycerin. Over the next week, watch the color metamorphose as the chlorophyll ceased production, triggering the release of pigments. The glycerin, an emollient, fills the cells, rendering them supple and leathery. Leaves will last for years this way, more so if pressed.


IF YOU FIND A CATERILLAR in late summer to late fall, put FRESH LEAVES in a tank or fish bowl with a few twigs on which to make a chrysalis.

Ask children what they think happen? Ask them what will happen later?

We have done this with our group in the fall. They found a caterpillar outside in early October and brought it in. We put it in a large clear bowl and after the week-end it had made a chrysalis hanging from a twig. Kids  eagerly waited for spring so the butterfly could hatch! Sarah/Oakbrook


 MATH --LEAF COUNTING-- Pre-K to Grade 1

After a naute walk...Have the children count how many leaves they have collected. (Individually and together) 

Make pictures of trees with different numbers of leaves on the trees. Have the children count the number of leaves on the tree. 

Set out two of each kind of leaf the children and/or you have collected... and have children find the matches. 




Nice for September through November
6 cups cornflakes
1 cup Karo syrup
1 cup peanut butter.
You will also need some Wax paper to lay your leaf piles on.

Directions: In a microwave melt the Karo and peanut butter together. Pour over the cornflakes and place them in piles on wax paper. Let them cool and dry. (Image by

NOTE: When KA tested this recipe, there at first was an, "Oh No moment"!  Halving the recipe -- after mixing the Karo and peanut butter mixture in with the corn flakes-- the leaf piles seemed rather loose when putting them together on the wax paper. I pushed each small pile as closely together as possible. After 2-3 hours, the leaf piles did firm and hold together. R pronounced he liked them... I see them as a nice Fall novelty. 


We usually eat the roots of plants--but there are many leaves we eat! These include artichokes, celery, lettuce, onions, cabbage and spinach. We also eat herb leaves of sage, mint, parsley, thyme, bay-leaf, etc.

Each of these plants has very different looking leaves. Discuss the difference in these 'leaves' and have children try some! Maybe a salad made from a variety of lettuce/leaves -- or a good cabbage soup?!



Instead of using bread to hold your sandwich together-try lettuce! For best results, pick large, pliable lettuce leaves such as iceberg, spinach leaves, or red lettuce.

Lettuce wraps are easy to create; Use just about anything you would to fill bread, tacos, pita bread, or burritos. (Chicken, turkey, veggies, beans, eggs, bacon, cheese, etc.) The key to a good wrap is a combination of a warm and flavorful filling -- rolled into the cold and crispy leaf!

The sample wrap by is sliced chicked mixed with a little mayo. It is sprinkled with finely shredded cheese.


Can you purchase  a leaf shaped cookie cutter? Make jell-o jigglers from yellow, red and orange jello!



By Irmgard Guertges
(Sing to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus")

The leaves of the trees turn orange and red
orange and red, orange and red...
The leaves of the trees turn orange and red
All through the town.

The leaves of the trees come tumbling down
tumbling down, tumbling down
The leaves of the trees come tumbling down
All through the town.

The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish
Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish,
The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish
All through the town.


AUTUMN TIME IS COMING (Sing to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Red leaves falling
Red leaves falling
On the ground
On the ground
Autumn-time is coming
Autumn-time is coming
All around
All around...

Orange leaves falling
Orange leaves falling
On the ground
On the ground
Autumn-time is coming
Autumn-time is coming
All around
All around...

Brown leaves scattered
Brown leaves scattered
On the ground
On the ground
Autumn-time is here now
Autumn-time is here now
All around
All around.

This would be cute if children make leaves before singing this song. As they sing the 'individual' color of leaf, they throw them up in the air. (Of course, when complete-leaves are then picked up!) If the weather is nice, collect leaves and sing/play outdoors!


Sing to tune of Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush

This is the way we rake the leaves rake the leaves, rake the leaves
This is the way we rake the leaves in the middle of Autumn.

This is the way we jump on the leaves, jump on the leaves, jump on the leaves
This is the way we jump on the leaves in the middle of Autumn.

This is the way we throw the leaves Throw the leaves, throw the leaves
This is the way we throw the leaves in the middle of Autumn.

This is the way we rake the leaves rake the leaves, rake the leaves
This is the way we rake the leaves in the middle of autumn.



By June Haggard
(Sing to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell")

The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
School is here and fall in near
The leaves are falling down.

The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
Some are red and some are brown
The leaves are falling down.

The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
They tickle your nose and touch your toes
The leaves are falling down.


A little elf
Sat in a tree
Painting leaves
To throw at me.

Leaves of yellow
And leaves of red
Came tumbling down
About my head.



I love fall! Fall is exciting.
It's apples and cider.
It's an airborne spider.

It's pumpkins in bins.
It's burrs on dog's chins.
It's wind blowing leaves.
It's chilly red knees.

It's nuts on the ground.
It's a crisp dry sound.
It's green leaves turning
And the smell of them burning.

It's clouds in the sky.
It's fall.
That's why...
I love fall.


by Elsie N. Brady

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.



Over the housetops,
Over the trees,
Winging their way
In a stiff fall breeze.

A flock of birds
Is flying along
Southward, for winter,
Singing a song.

Singing a song
They all like to sing,
"We'll see you again
When it's spring, spring, spring."



October's the month
When the smallest breeze
Gives us a shower
Of autumn leaves.
Bonfires and pumpkins,
Leaves sailing down -
October is red
And golden and brown.



Now the autumn days are gone
Frost is sparkling on the lawn,
Windows winking cheerful lights
Warm the cold November nights.


Autumn Leaves (ages 3-7)
Written by Ken Robbins
Illustrated with full-color photographs, this book introduces young children to autumn leaves from thirteen different types of deciduous trees. Beginning readers will find the vocabulary very challenging, but even young children will enjoy listening and following the pictures as an adult reads it to them.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf (ages 4-10)
Written by Lois Ehlert
In this classroom favorite, Ehlert relates the life cycle of a sugar maple from a child's perspective. The unique illustrations will grab the attention of the youngest listeners, while the captivating text will engage older readers.

Why Do Leaves Change Colors? (ages 5-9)
Written by Betsy Maestro; illustrated by Loretta Krupinski
In the simplest of terms, this book explains why leaves change colors and fall from the trees. Also included is a list of activities children can do with leaves.