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Easy Kid's Camping Craft: Leaf Rubbing Tree

We took our Camp Fire club camping this past weekend.  The kids had a great time exploring nature and getting dirty!  The younger kids especially love learning about nature through arts and crafts and interactive play, so we try to incorporate a few craft projects into the camping weekend.  Today I am sharing one of the crafts we did this weekend: a super easy leaf rubbing tree!

What you need:
Blank paper or a leaf rubbing book (see my printable below)
For the leaf rubbing book: brad, yarn, washi tape
Crayon (ideally a triangular or flat-edge crayon)
Brown yarn
Empty toilet paper roll

This is a lesson and craft you can do while camping, or at home if you want to get your kids exploring outdoors.  I started with this simple lesson on parts of a tree for the little ones who still needed to learn basic tree anatomy (our Little Stars 3-5 year olds are learning tree anatomy and plant lifecycles this year, but the older clubs already had this foundation).  All the kids at the campout participated in the main craft, which was inspired by this craft from No Time for Flash Cards.  I was looking for something different they could do with their leaf rubbings aside from the usual placemat.
Each kid received a leaf rubbing booklet at the beginning of the campout.  You can get the My Leaf Rubbing Book cover printable that I made here.  To assemble the books I printed the cover page and added three more blank pages, which we cropped in half so that we had a cover page plus seven blank sheets.  I fastened the booklets together with a brad.  Since we were doing this craft at a campout, I figured there was a good chance that the crayon would get lost, so I attached the crayons to the booklets with a string of yarn wrapped around the brad, and secured to a triangular crayon (like these ones here) with washi tape.  Triangular crayons are ideal for leaf rubbing!

The kiddos took their leaf rubbing booklets with them during our hikes and nature explorations during the weekend.
When they found leaves they liked, they rubbed them into their booklets.  They even shared cool leaves with each other.  They tried to get a few rubbings on each page so that they'd have more leaves for their craft.

At the end of the weekend, the kids cut out each of their leaves.  We found that having 10 leaves worked out pretty well for the craft.

Using recycled empty toilet paper rolls, we taped 8-10 small pieces of brown yarn inside one of the ends of the toilet paper roll (as the tree's roots). 

The final step was for the kids to tape each of their cut rubbed leaves onto the outside of the roll (the tree's trunk). 
The trees all ended up being unique based on the crayon colors the children each chose, all of the different shapes of leaves they found, and the unique ways they arranged them on the trunks.

This was a super easy craft with a simple but effective lesson on tree anatomy.  It also added a great bit of interactivity with nature throughout the weekend as the kids looked for different types of leaves.  I hope you have fun with this with your kids as well, whether you are camping or doing this at home!

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