Autumn is the perfect time to head outside, gather a variety of leaves, and get creative! Today’s art activity gets children moving and interacting with nature, thinking outside the box, and making the purr-fect autumn art collage! Found objects in nature will be transformed into cats’ fur and whiskers. This cat collage art project introduces young learners to a variety of art techniques, including stamping, painting, cutting, and gluing. Fine motor skills are on full display as children pick and choose their favorite leaves and sticks. Ideal for art class at home or woven into art centers in the classroom, children will be looking at leaves and sticks in a brand new way!
Art & Nature
Going on a leaf hunt is a wonderful fall activity for children of all ages and ability levels. They love to explore and discover the world around them! Extend this outside activity and connect it to a variety of subjects, including science, writing, and/or math by having children…
- Identify the different colors, shapes, and sizes of leaves.
- Identify the different species of trees.
- Find the veins in the leaves as well as the stem.
- Are the leaves symmetrical?
- Are most of the leaves on the ground or still on the tree?
- Why does a tree lose its leaves? Why do they change color?
- Describe the texture of the leaf. Is it smooth, bumpy, or rough?
- Do you notice anything else that fell from the tree? Seeds? Pods?
Cat Facts for Kids
- Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world.
- Cats are very fast runners and great jumpers!
- When a cat purrs or meows, it usually means they are happy.
- Cats love to sleep! They sleep 13-16 hours per day.
- A young cat is called a kitten.
Nature Cat Collage Art Project Materials
- White Glue or Tacky Glue
- Acrylic Paint
- Construction Paper
Search, Find, and Paint
Head outside and gather a variety of leaves and sticks. Paint the leaves with black acrylic paint and let them dry.
Teacher Tip: Choose flat leaves as they are easier to paint compared to dry, crinkled leaves.
Teacher Tip: Hold the stem of the leaf as you paint it to secure it into place and keep little hands clean.
Move, Groove, and Glue
Glue the black leaves to a piece of paper to make a cat. Be sure to find leaves shaped like a triangle to represent the two ears. Grownups may wish to add a dot of hot glue if needed. Encourage your child to move the leaves around and experiment with different placements. You may wish to view cat photos as a reference.
Teacher Tip: If you cut off the stems of the leaves, they will be easier to manipulate. It’s also an easy way to give young artists practice using scissors!
Create a Cat
Use a triangle sponge to make the cat’s protruding face. Dip it into white paint and print it upside down in the middle of the face. Dip a small triangle sponge in pink paint and print the nose. Use the same small sponge to add the pink inside of the ears. Use a small sponge dabber to print the eyes.
Teacher Tip: I suggest cutting a big sponge into triangle shapes rather than buying triangle sponges.
Finish it Up
Glue sticks to make whiskers. Use a sharpie to make the eyeballs and mouth. Cut out a black tail from construction paper and glue it to your work. If you wish glue leaves and other found objects from nature to the background.
Teacher Tip: Please anticipate that the leaves may dry and crinkle over time and change the appearance of the artwork. Perhaps incorporate this into a science lesson.
Talk About Art
Ask family and friends to guess what objects from nature you used to make the cat.
Art & Literacy
I love the book Kindergarten Cat by J. Patrick Lewis. The classroom pet cat takes part in listening and learning along with a class full of excited students. The book is full of rhyming fun and focused on friendship and kindness. I recommend reading the book together before or after this art activity.
Please share your unique cat creations with the Fantastic Fun and Learning community! Be sure to tag @youngschoolartwithmr.g and @fantasticfunandlearning on Instagram.
CONNECT WITH VIN GIANNETTO
Fall and Fall Holiday Art Projects for Kids
Click on the images below to see the full tutorial for each art project.
GET A FULL SET OF HALLOWEEN THEME ACTIVITIES
Watch this short video to see just a few examples of the types of activities and printables included in this set:
The 132-page Halloween Lesson Plan Set includes hands-on activities and these additional printables:
1) -at Word Family Bat Game (in color and b/w)
2) Candy Corn Science Experiment Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
3) Candy Corn Uppercase, Lowercase, and Beginning Sound Picture Puzzles for Letters C, A, N, D, Y, H, O and R (in color and b/w)
4) Candy Corn Counting Cards 1-10 (in color and b/w)
5) Halloween Costume Syllable Sorting Activity (in color and b/w)
6) Haunted House Colors Board Game-3 variations to work on color recognition or color word recognition (in color and b/w)
7) “Look at the Costumes” Emergent Reader-3 variations
8) 0-35 Halloween Number Cards (in color and b/w)
9) Halloween Roll and Graph Math Game (in color and b/w)
10) Halloween Picture-Word Cards (in color and b/w)
11) Build a Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkin Mats and Shape Pieces
12) My Jack-o-Lantern Recording Sheets-2 variations, one to focus on shape recognition and one to focus on writing
13) Spider Number Mats and Ways to Show Numbers 0-10
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.