New Britain City Journal

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Family Fun – Watercolor Leaves


I love October! The sky is sooo blue and the leaves on the trees are just beautiful. The backyard is so pretty with the colorful blanket of leaves that I hate to think of raking them up! This is a great time to take the kids out for a hike. Connecticut has many wonderful hikes for all ages and abilities. They vary in length as well. While you are out there it’s a good time to pick up leaves, seed pods and nuts. Maybe you might take a tree and plant identification chart out there with you. Shiny leaves of three – let them be! Poison ivy is active year round. I use these materials all year in my crafting.

Today we play with wax resist and watercolors.


Watercolor Paper


Watercolor Paints


How to:

Get out there and gather some real leaves. Pick some nice supple, fresh leaves that will stand up to some handling. Maple, Dogwood, Oak all have different shapes and different colors. Can you find more? Even the ferns will look pretty when you do the water colors.

Trace or draw your leaves on the watercolor paper with your crayons. Press hard enough to leave a good line. Draw all those veins in the leaves as well.

Choose your colors and dampen your brush with water and paint your leaf.

I chose to also paint the background blue to represent that beautiful blue sky that I love.

Let dry! That’s it!

These painting are pretty enough for framing!


You could use just black crayon to outline the leaves.

You could mix colors.

You could overlap colors.

You could use a brown to help those bright leaf colors pop.

Books to extend the activity:

50 Hikes in CT – David Hardy

Foraging New England: Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Edible Wild Foods and Medicinal Plants from Maine to Connecticut by Tom Seymour

I Wonder Why Leaves Change Color by Andrew Charman