October 13, 2011 by Shannon
If there’s one thing I love about fall, it’s the leaves. I’m just stunned by their colors – each one is like a little piece of art. I’m always tempted to preserve them in the pages of a phone book, but that gets old after a while. But this year, I came across the most amazing book: Leaf Man, by Lois Ehlert. All of her books are gorgeous, but I especially love this one because of the way she uses real leaves (well, color photocopied leaves) to create people, animals, and even a vegetable garden! At first glance, your eyes just see a page of beautiful foliage, then you realize there’s a picture within all that beauty. Genius!
Anyway, after reading this book to Kellan a couple times, I realized that we had all the supplies we needed to make our very own leaf people and animals, right in our own backyard. So we set to work, gathering up glue, pieces of cardboard, and the loveliest leaves we could find. Before long, we had all kinds of creatures that we turned into puppets. You should try it too! It made for two straight afternoons of fun activities, between all the leaf gathering, designing and puppeting.
What you need:
- Leaf Man, by Lois Ehlert (Actually, this is not necessary for the project, but it provides some great inspiration.)
- Several pieces of cardboard
- Regular white glue
- Several sticks, about 5-6 inches in length
- Duct tape
- Lots of leaves, berries, acorns and pieces of bark – whatever will make a good leaf person!
We each made several puppets, choosing mostly leaves for arms, legs, bodies and heads. Berries made for good eyes, and we have some small, curved seed-like things in our backyard that made perfect smiles. After gluing them all together and letting them dry for a couple hours, I cut the cardboard around each person. Then we duct taped sticks to the back. Lo and behold – leaf puppets!
Our playset provided the perfect puppet theater! Kellan and I each took turns putting on shows for each other, then we teamed up for a grand performance once his daddy got home from work. What a great way to spend a fall afternoon.
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