Activity Introduction

Collect interesting shaped leaves in your garden, in the park or on a walk around the streets. When you get home, make a piece of art by rubbing over the leaves. 

Younger kids will need support to complete this activity. Some kids will be able to work on this activity with minimal support.

Ideal for: Early Learning and Lower Primary Ages 3 – 7


  • investigate 
  • fresh air 
  • chill time 
  • be creative 

Time required: 20 minutes 

Curriculum connections: Science, Maths, Arts, Physical Education, Critical and Creative Thinking

Tips for Parents and Carers

There are so many learning opportunities within a seemingly simple activity such as this. Firstly, the activity of choosing the leaves includes close scientific observation – which ones have the most interesting shapes, which ones are flatter, which ones have interesting veins? Comparing the sizes and areas of the leaves are early mathematical concepts of comparison and shape. The composition of the leaves and the colours that are used in the leaf rubbing are artistic choices. And finally, the strength and dexterity of holding the leaves still and rubbing them build fine and gross motor skills. Not to mention the feelings of joy and wonder as the imprint magically appears – or perhaps the frustration felt and resilience built when children find it hard at first but are encouraged to persevere! 

Lesson & Curriculum Details

Curriculum codes:

Resources Required

  • Bag for carrying your leaves 
  • Crayons, pastels (or coloured pencils)
  • Leaves of various shapes and sizes 
  • White paper

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[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand-alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real-world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in remote or school settings.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Leaf Rubbing Art - Activity Instructions

Collect interesting shaped leaves in your garden, in the park or on a walk around the streets. When you get home, make a piece of art by rubbing over the leaves. 

Leaves are all around us in our gardens, parks and along the streets. But have you ever noticed the differences in the shapes and types of leaves there are? 

Step 1. When you are in the garden, at the park or going for a walk in your local area, have a look around you at the leaves you can see. Notice the different colours, sizes, textures and shapes of the leaves. Choose some special leaves to take home with you. 

Step 2. Once you get home, lay out the leaves on a flat hard surface like a table or desk. Place a piece of white paper over a leaf and hold the paper and leaf in one place with the hand you don’t write with. With your writing hand, gently rub over the paper where the leaf is with the side of a crayon or pastel. If you don’t have any crayons or pastels you can use a penc

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