8 to 10 pressed leaves
One 12-by-18-inch sheet of paper
Two 12-by-18-inch pieces of clear self-stick paper
Pinking shears (optional)
1. Let each child choose 8 to 10 pressed leaves. Have them try different arrangements until they have one that they like within a 12-by-18- inch space. (They can lay their leaves on a 12-by-18-inch sheet of paper, just to get the idea of the dimensions. They will not need the paper for the placemat.)
2. Give each child a piece of clear self-stick paper 12 by 18 inches. Lay it flat on the work area, sticky side up. Carefully place the leaves on the self-stick paper. Remind them to decide where they want each leaf before they put it down. Once it is stuck it is difficult to move it.
3. When all the leaves are on, lay another 12-by-18-inch piece of self-stick on top, sticky side down. This is tricky so help the children with this part. You can use a rolling pin, and if you get any air bubbles prick them with a pin and then press flat. (If you like, you can finish the edges of the placemat by trimming with pinking shears.) Now you can enjoy the colors of fall all year long—whenever you use your one-of-a-kind placemat!
Courtesy of Kids Celebrate! by Maria Bonfanti Esche and Clare Bonfanti Braham