How to make Pumpkin Spice Sand Leaf Prints & “It’s Fall”

"It's Fall" book with pumpkin spice sand leaf print art

A Seasonal Book & Pumpkin Spice Sand Leaf Prints!

After reading Jimmy Pickering’s “It’s Fall” we decided to say goodbye to summer, represented by craft sand, and hello to fall with the scent of pumpkin spice and our leaf shaped cookie cutters. This is a quick and easy craft that incorporates both sensory and art, so let’s get started…

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Summary of “It’s Fall”

It’s Fall” by Jimmy Pickering is a seasonal book about all the wonders of autumn. Adorable illustrations of a little girl and her dog, depict the best parts of fall. The leaves changing colors, jumping in a pile of leaves, hayrides, apple picking, petting zoos, haunted houses, pumpkin picking, jack o’lantern making, halloween, bobbing for apples, hot apple cider and being cozy as the temperatures change; this book has it all! 🙂

"It's fall" book opened showing illustrations and rhyming text

It has short and sweet rhyming text and my daughter looks forward to this book each year. I definitely recommend this book, that has become a classic in our home.

How We Made Pumpkin Spice Sand Leaf Prints…

hands squeezing glue into a bowl

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. For this activity we gathered a bowl with some white school glue and a couple of leaf shaped cookie cutters. We used thick cardstock paper to hold the weight of the glue and sand.

hand sprinkling sand to make leaf prints

We had autumn colored (red, orange & yellow) craft sand mixed together from previous bookish play. To add to the celebration of the first day of fall we added our favorite scent…PUMPKIN SPICE!!!:) The spice mixed into the sand without a trace and smelled amazing as we sifted through it. Next, we dipped the leaf shaped cookie cutters into the glue and stamped it onto our paper. The only real “rule” here is to not move it around a lot or else it won’t look like a leaf.

Remember, its okay, its about the process, not the product.

If you are making this for someone and are concerned about its appearance I suggest you allow time to practice and experiment. What works best, how to dip it, how much glue, how much pressure when stamping it onto the paper, etc… Once you’ve played and explored and figured out what works for you, then make the one you’ll give away.

a maple leaf print

I will say though, that I treasure most the dinosaur that looks more like a cat or the snowman whose googly eye is where its ear would belong.

In fact, over the years when parents have asked me my advice on what to look for in a daycare or school setting when touring, my number one suggestion is to look at the art. If they all look perfect and the same, the children are either heavily prompted or not doing it. 🙁 In my classroom each piece of artwork looked as unique as each student I had and I believe thats how it should be!

Lastly, sprinkle the pumpkin spice scented sand onto the glue leaves, shake off the excess sand back onto the tray and viola! That’s all there is to it. 🙂

Wait?!? Am I Supposed To Be Making One Too?

I highly recommend getting hands on and doing art projects with your child. If you’d rather not, thats okay too, but please do not correct anything they do. If you want the art to look a certain way – make your own.

hand sprinkling orange sand onto paper with glued on leaf shaped cookie cutter in the forefront

Especially if your child is little, its okay if it doesn’t turn out the way you imagined. Maybe its what they imagined. Also, its a process. They are learning. They will learn more through trial and error than if you correct them or do it for them. All they will learn if you “help” is that they didn’t do a good enough job on their own or they can’t do it; not exactly the message you want to give your kid. Am I right?!?

pumpkin spice sand leaf prints with book opened

Believe me, I know it can be really challenging to let them make “mistakes”. Try doing the project along side them. It will allow you to focus on your own work, give them appropriate modeling of how to use the materials, and show them that you like art too! A lot of what I talk about in “What about the Sensory Mess?” applies to Art projects as well, you might wanna check it out! I love how each art has its own identity. I would suggest Pumpkin Spice Sand Art Leaf Prints if you’re looking for a quick and easy seasonal sensory art activity to connect with your child.

Materials We Used

  1. “Its Fall” by Jimmy Pickering (from the library or buy it here)
  2. Craft sand
  3. A tray or container to hold the sand
  4. A bowl for the glue
  5. School glue
  6. Leaf shaped cookie cutters
  7. Thick cardstock paper
  8. Pumpkin pie spice (optional)
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Sand Leaf Prints?

  1. Place the craft sand onto a tray or in a container.
  2. Explore the sand by itself first.
  3. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice onto the sand and mix it in with your hands.
  4. Take time to enjoy the scent.
  5. Gather thick cardstock paper, school glue and leaf shaped cookie cutters.
  6. Pour some school glue into the bowl.
  7. Dip the leaf shaped cookie cutter into the bowl.
  8. Stamp the glue dipped cookie cutter onto the thick paper.
  9. Lift it up and you should see a leaf design made of glue on the paper.
  10. Continue dipping and stamping all over the paper.
  11. Once you like the design (or run out of room 😉 ) its time to sprinkle the pumpkin spice scented sand onto the glue.
  12. Sprinkle the sand all over the paper.
  13. Lift the paper and hold it above the tray of sand.
  14. Tilt the paper so the excess sand falls into the tray of sand.
  15. Allow time to dry.
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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