Activity 20 – Leaf Bashing
This week, the instructors here at Thornbridge Outdoors are challenging you to get arty with leaves. In this activity, you’re going to head outdoors in search of the most interesting and patterned leaves that you can find. Then, when you get home, you’re going to press the leaves so that their patterns imprint onto a sheet of paper or fabric. If it works, you should peel away the leaf to find a beautiful, colourful design beneath it.
What kind of patterns will your leaves create? Here are the instructions…
Here at Thornbridge Outdoors, when school groups come to visit on a residential, they’ll spend time outdoors in our grounds, and possibly out and about in the Peak District National Park. In the course of one school trip, they’ll see all sorts of leaves! Depending on the time of year when they come to visit, students will see leaves in different colours and on different trees. Classes might get to take part in one of our environmental art activities, which challenge students to find their art supplies in the natural world. First, we lead a foraging session in which students gather together materials from nature that catch their eye, then we lead an art session where those materials can be transformed into some kind of picture or sculpture, dream catcher or jewellery. The aim is to encourage students to value the resources around them in the natural world, taking notice of their uniqueness, beauty, and potential.
Please inspire your children/students to really get into the Leaf Bashing challenge. If at first, they don’t succeed… try, try again! Some leaves will work better than others at transferring onto the fabric or paper, and some will imprint their patterns and detail while others will leave just a green blob. This can be to do with the kind of leaf that you try, as well as how well watered the leaf is, and where it is in its life cycle. It’s all a game of luck, but if you keep on trying then sooner or later you will make a beautiful leaf imprint!
If you like, you could learn a little along the way by looking up each of the leaves that you are bashing. Try to find out the name of the tree that each leaf comes from. Then, when you’re next out on a walk, you can look out for the same leaves and you’ll be able to identify the type of tree that they grow on.