These fall leaf template printables offer an indoor-appropriate activity that combines entertainment and education … all without blowing your budget. They’re so good you’re practically guaranteed to fall in love. (Get it “fall?”) Choose from six free printable leaves below!
What’s one of your favorite things about autumn? The boot and sweater weather, pumpkin flavored everything, and Halloween, with it’s adorable kids’ costumes and abundance of sweet treats, are great, but one thing that tops my list is leaves. Yes, leaves.
More specifically, I love seeing them change color—red, orange, gold, brown, purple. Mother Nature’s magic is pretty unbelievable. (Although I could definitely do without the raking….)
If you also enjoy watching the summer green morph into rich and vibrant shades, I think you (and your kid, of course) are going to enjoy these printable fall leaves! There’s a lot you can do with them, including activities that are entertaining, educational, family-friendly, creative, and of course, budget-friendly (since they’re free printable leaves). Below are six different leaf outline printables for you to choose from (no raking required); with each I’ll share ideas, educational tidbits, and bonus printables and fall activities! 🙂
Sycamore Fall Leaf Template Printable
Download this Sycamore Leaf Template Printable.
There are plenty of fun activities you can incorporate these printable fall leaves into. However, before we get inspired, let’s get educated! One question your kid may ask you is why the leaves change color? Great question, right?
To answer that, you have to first understand why leaves are green in the first place. They’re green because of chlorophyll, which helps the plant carry out photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process leaves use to get the energy to turn water and carbon dioxide into “food.” On a tree, all the leaves work together in this process to “feed” the tree.
As the temperature drops in the fall and the days get shorter, the leaves cease producing the energy for food production. The chlorophyll starts to break down, meaning no more green! At this time, the color from other pigments and chemicals (ex. orange), which were present all along but masked by the abundance of chlorophyll, start to show themselves. Also, other chemical changes occur in the leaves, which brings more colors into play.
You can read more about this process on the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry website.
Cottonwood Free Printable Leaves
Download these Cottonwood Free Printable Leaves.
When faced with these fall leaf template printables or real leaves, another question your kid might have is why do leaves fall at all. Another great question, right? Sounds like your kid is super inquisitive! 😉
As mentioned before, leaves are vital for producing “food” for trees, but as the temperature drops and the days get shorter, leaves can no longer do that job. At that point, they’re actually a burden to the tree. The tree needs all of its energy just to keep itself alive, without supporting the now jobless leaves, so a process happens in which the connection between the leaves and the tree closes off and then the leaves fall.
You can learn more about this process on the University of Adelaide website.
Horse Chestnut Printable Fall Leaves Coloring Pages
Download these Horse Chestnut Printable Fall Leaves.
Now that we’re leaf geniuses, let’s get to the fun stuff! There are a lot of different activities you can use these leaf template printables for, but one really straightforward and easy option is as printable leaf coloring pages. Just download, print, and voilà, you’ve got a printable leaf coloring page!
These leaf outline printables make easy coloring pages for kids of all ages. Since there are no really fine details, even very young children who haven’t yet mastered fine motor coordination can enjoy these printables.
Bonus: Looking for more fall or plant themed coloring pages, like printable four leaf clover coloring pages? Check out:
- Fall Coloring Pages:
- Plant Coloring Pages:
Birch Leaf Stencil Printable
Download this Birch Leaf Stencil Printable.
Another creative use for these leaf template printables is leaf stencil printables. Yep, you can either cut out printable leaf templates or place a thinner piece of paper on top and trace to learn how to draw your own fall leaves! Doing so will allow you to create leaves in different mediums, such as colored markers or oil pastels, depending on how creative you want to get. Plus, after you build muscle memory by using the leaf stencil printable again and again, you should eventually be able to draw leaves free-hand which will allow you to scale the size up or down.
The fall leaves you draw could be used in a scrapbook, to create fall-themed handmade gifts or décor, or to make cards or word art. For example, combine a hand-drawn fall leaf with calligraphy to create an inspirational quote to hang in your home or office. Get inspired with these 3 inspirational printable quotes. Here are some posts to help you get started with calligraphy:
Oak Leaf Template Printable Crafts
Download these Oak Leaf Template Printable Crafts.
These leaf outline printables can also be used in a variety of craft projects from easy to it’d-be-easier-to-move-than-clean-up level crafts. 😉 For example, you can use a cut out printable leaf template to make faux stained glass fall leaves, which is the first craft project of 50 in this post on fall crafts for kids. Here are even more fall crafts to explore:
- Easy Fall Crafts Using Pine Cones: Homemade Pine Cone Bird Feeders
- Easy Fall Crafts
- 36 Easy Fall Crafts
- 25 DIY Fall Wreaths
- 25 DIY Fall Decorations
Tip: While some of the projects above call for “real” (natural) leaves, you may be able to substitute in these leaf cut out printables!
Maple Free Printable Leaves Templates
Download these Maple Free Printable Leaves Templates.
A final use for the free printable leaves templates is as a guide or checklist for a nature walk. If the weather is cooperating and you live in an area where the leaves do drop in the autumn, you can download these leaf cut out printables and challenge your kid to find “matching” real leaves. This is a fun activity that allows you child to explore his or her surroundings and burn off some of that pent up energy.
Tip: To make this nature-walk-meets-scavenger-hunt even better, snag pictures of other common “nature” items, such as perhaps acorns or pinecones (depending on where you live), and have your kid look for those too!
Can you think of other uses for these leaf template printables? Share your colorful and creative inspiration in the comments!