To create colorful and shiny fall leaves, we used an unusual painting material I've enjoyed using with students before: corn syrup.
Corn syrup mixed with food coloring creates a glossy and vivid colored paint. To create our paint I mixed together one tablespoon of corn syrup, two teaspoons of water, and a few drops of food coloring. I made up three batches in three different colors: red, yellow, and orange. Although you can use straight corn syrup, I've found a little bit of water makes the paint a little easier to spread.
I also created a quick leaf pattern page by tracing some leaves we already had on hand onto paper and photocopying it onto white card stock. Click here for a printable copy.
The boys and I took the painting outside, as it was such a nice day.
Each of the kiddos had their own painting styles, but both mixed the different colors onto their leaves to create varied colors and shades.
The boys both went over the lines a little as we originally had a different plan for our finished leaves and had hoped to cut them out. But, even with that plan the paint seemed to pop off of the lines.
As I mentioned before, we had planned to cut the leaves out when they dried. We wanted to use them as decorations. However, although the leaves dried they still remained a little too sticky for that plan. Other papers nearby wound up sticking to the leaves before we could finish cutting them out.
This is definitely more of a process not product activity. Even though we couldn't use them, we loved the color and glossiness of these leaves.
There are so many different ways to capture the colors of fall, but this was definitely one of the best ways to capture how vivid those colors can be!
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