Tots! Activity: Fall Leaf Luminary - Cheekwood
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Tots! Activity: Fall Leaf Luminary

As Cheekwood’s Tots program is temporarily suspended, we are sharing today’s activity for parents and tots to activate at home. Use our files to create your own fall leaf luminary, then share your work with us by tagging @cheekwood on Instagram and using #cheekwoodtots!

Here’s what you’ll need:

• Clear plastic milk jug cut in half

• Clear contact paper

• Fallen leaves of various shapes and colors collected on a walk

• Scissors

• Battery tea light


1. Cut the top off of the clear jug.

2. Go outside and collect different leaves. See how many different shapes and colors you can find!

3. Using the clear contact paper, stick leaves onto the jug, making sure to completely cover the leaves.

4. Arrange as many of your leaves onto the jug as you would like.

5. Place the tea light in the jug to complete your luminary.

Try pairing the activity with one of these books:

Kate, Who Tamed The Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon and Lee White

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

Ask your explorer: 

• Describe some of the trees that we saw on our walk while collecting leaves. Can you name the parts of a tree? Leaves, branches, trunk, roots.

• How are the leaves you collected the same/different?

• Pick a leaf and describe it. How does it look, feel, and smell?


An Additional Project: Leaf Rubbings

Here’s what you’ll need:

• Leaves left over from luminary project

• Drawing paper

• Crayons with wrappers removed


1. Place a leaf under a piece of white drawing paper, vein side up.

2. Using a crayon, gently rub it on the paper over the leaf until you see it appear.

3. Repeat until your paper is filled with colorful leaf prints.

4. Ask your explorer what caused the lines to appear on the rubbing? (veins)

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