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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Make leaf art

Look at leaves in a different way and use them to make a wild, nature collage.

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You’ll need

  • A4 card
  • Natural materials (for example, leaves, twigs, feathers)
  • PVA glue
  • Paint brushes

To watch in full screen, double click the video

Before you begin 

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Take a look at our guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples.  
  • Make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers. 

Planning and setting up this activity

  • You’ll need to prepare the leaves to use for this activity. Collect a variety of leaves and seed cases (for example, sycamore seeds) for people to use in this activity before the session. A few days before, press the leaves lightly between sheets of newspaper and weigh them down with books. The leaves will be easier to use if they’re flat and dry.

Running this activity 

  1. Gather everyone round and tell everyone you’re going to make some leaf art. 
  2. Ask everyone to look at the collection of leaves, paying attention to all the different shapes and sizes. Can anyone spot any textures, colours, shapes or patterns that might remind of something? For example, are any round like a small fluffy chick? Are any spiky just like an alligator’s back? Are there any sycamore seeds that look like horns or antlers?
  3. Give out card and glue, then let everyone take a few leaves from the pile to create their animal their artwork.
  4. People should arrange their leaves on the card to create an image. They may want to cut them with scissors, tear them or add extra details to them with pens.
  5. Once they’re happy with their design, they can glue the leaves in place. You may want to use additional crafts materials, such as crayons or chalk, to add extra details. 
  6. Once everyone’s happy with their leaf picture, you could ask people to share the image they created with the group if they’re happy and comfortable to. You could even attach some string or ribbon to the back of each to hang them up.

Examples of leaf animals

Here are some examples of leaf animals to help inspire you.


This activity allowed us to use nature to be creative. What was it like using leaves, rather than normal craft materials? Were they hard or easy to create shapes with? Did everyone’s pictures turn out exactly how they planned? Did anyone have to change what they were creating as they went along? 

Was it obvious what the leaves could become, or did people have to play around with them? It’s OK if people change their minds when things don’t work out – the important thing is that they keep on trying.

This activity was also a chance to try new things. People had to use their imagination to figure out how some leaves could turn into different objects. Did everyone enjoy looking at the pictures? Could people guess what each other had made?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Gardening and nature

Everyone must wash their hands after the activity has finished. Wear gloves if needed. Explain how to safely use equipment and set clear boundaries so everyone knows what’s allowed.

Glue and solvents

Always supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions that could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

  • You could draw some templates for people to finish with leaves – for example, draw a lion’s face so people can stick leaves around it to make the mane.
  • Why not use nature to create a whole scene? You could add grass, use sticks as trees, or more acorn animals to the scene. You could also use sticks and twine to create a border or frame.

Make it accessible

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.