My 12-year old granddaughter and I recently made this simple banner of fall leaves to decorate the chandelier above the family table. She came to me with the idea.
This is a fun and simple project for ages 8 and up. Start to finish, it took us 40 minutes, including the time we leisurely discussed different types of trees and their leaf formations. Actual drawing time was about 5 minutes. Cutting took the longest.
What you’ll need (see the photo, right):
masking tape (not shown) to hold down the corners of your final drawing
an interesting ribbon or string
leaf samples – a few interesting leaves from outside
(we used some illustrations as our guide)
- Select one or more types of leaf to draw. We got our ideas from the illustrations on the Heritage playing cards,* as this gave us a chance to look at the beautiful variations of leaves from different trees, as well as the overall tree shapes.
2. Do a few quick sketches and select the ones you like best for copying.
3. Tape the corners of your paper to a table, so that it’s squarely in front of where you’ll be standing or sitting as you draw
4. Align what will be the center (the leaf’s midrib) with your sternum. (If you’re new to the Double Doodle, you can click here for more basic drawing instructions.)
5. Draw the outside contour of your leaf. Many leaf shapes are easiest to draw if you turn the leaf so that it’s tip is facing you, and begin by drawing the petiole, the part that attaches to the branch. This way, your hands can move easily toward you in a flowing motion, gliding slightly in and out as you follow any interesting contours of the leaf blade. You’ll see in the photo at left that my granddaughter experimented with drawing the leaves both ways; beginning from the tip (far left) and from the petioles (larger drawings at right). In some cases, we used our leaf templates as a jumping off point to create our own imaginative shapes. Leaves are not usually perfectly symmetrical, and yours will probably not be. Imperfections make them more interesting and natural looking. Note: We made the petioles quite wide to accommodate the hole punch.
6. You can draw the leaf’s midrib (it’s midline) with one hand, or else, if you wish to keep going with the kinesthetic feeling of the Double Doodle, place your non-dominant hand on top of your dominant one as you draw this downward stroke. I find it easiest to do the veins and small netted veins at the leaf sides with both hands at once, flowing directionally down and out from my midline.
7. Cut out the leaf shapes.
8. Use your hole punch to make a hole in the bottom of each leaf (see photo, right).
9. Thread the leaves onto an interesting ribbon and then string it on a mantle, in front of a window, or wherever you like.
Happy celebration of autumn! ∞
*Since I often travel to teach the course Double Doodle Play: A Window to Whole-Brain Learning, I like to have small artistic templates to inspire my students. The Heritage Playing cards offer a wide range of beautifully illustrated cards. For our banner, we used their “Famous Trees,” on Amazon here. Heritage cards also offers a host of other options, including such favorites as Backyard Birds, Ocean Animals, and African Animals.
The Double Doodle is one of 26 Brain Gym activities, from Brain Gym: Teacher’s Edition © 2010, by Paul and Gail Dennison.
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© 2015 Gail Dennison. All rights reserved.
Brain Gym® is a trademark of Brain Gym® International/The Educational Kinesiology Foundation. Click here for the name of a Brain Gym or Double Doodle Play instructor near you.