Leaf pictures

We thought we’d share some of the activities for little ones from our collaboration with University of Dundee Botanic Gardens and today we are starting with making art from natural materials.

These pictures are from the artist Andy Goldsworthy and you can see how he uses natural materials like leaves and sticks to make patterns in the landscape.

Next time you are in the outdoors, like a park or the botanics, try encouraging wee ones to collect materials like fallen leaves, pinecones etc as you walk about. Make sure to only collect things which have fallen from plants rather than picking, unless it’s your own garden. And make sure not to pick anything that may be toxic such as berries. Toddlers especially seem to enjoy collecting so maybe take a wee bag that they can carry themselves and collect in. Then lay out all their finds for them on a grassy area and show them how to start making patterns or shapes. Then let them explore and chose how they want to arrange the materials.

Make sure you take some photos of their creations as the works themselves will blow away.

If they enjoyed this you might want to try making shapes for them to decorate with leaves. We used a simple hedgehog outline and they can use leaves or other natural materials to create the spikes.


You could draw an outline yourself or you can download ours below to use if you have a printer. You could also try making simple bird shapes or bugs for them to add wings with leaves. You could glue the leaves on when you get home or just take a photo then tip them off and use the picture another day.

hedgehog template

For other ideas with natural materials see our leaf printing or flower patterns

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