Making Bark and Leaf Rubbings

What Does Autumn Feel Like?

As the weeks pass and the weather changes, we begin to experience chilly Autumn days. Our clothing reflects the temperatures as we don wool sweaters, waffle weave long underwear, thick socks, and perhaps even a puffy down vest or a coat before we go outside.

There are other ways to feel the season:
The textures of hay bales
The varied surfaces of pumpkins and gourds
Difference between the silky petals of the mum’s flower and its leaves
What does the sun feel like on your skin? What about the shade?
Is there any wind today? Can you feel a breeze?
What does the air feel like? Dry? Humid?

How to Make Bark Rubbings:
Peel the paper from a large crayon. Press a sheet of thin paper up against the bark of a tree. Gently rub the side of the crayon on the paper until the pattern of the bark shows.

How to Make Leaf Rubbings:
Collect interesting leaves. Lay them flat on a hard, smooth surface. Cover the leaves with paper and rub the side of the crayon on the paper. Kids will notice one side of the leave is smoother than the other.

After Making the Bark and Leaf Rubbings:

Bark: Glue your rubbings in a scrapbook to make a Bark Book. Compare rubbings from different trees. Which bark patterns make the nicest rubbings? Can you tell which rubbing came from which kind of tree?

Leaves: Glue your rubbings in a scrapbook to make a Leaf Book. Have kids write a short description of each leaf they found, including what the leaf looks like, what type of tree it may be from, and how it compares to other leaves they found.

Apple Picking Time by Michele Slawson
A great seasonal story about a little girl, who along with the rest of the members of her community, helps to bring in the fall apple harvest. She is determined to fill her basket for the first time this year. A warm story about community, harvesting, and helping out.

How Do You Know It’s Fall? by Allan Fowler
Presents the many signs of fall, including geese flying south, squirrels hiding acorns, and people playing football.


  1. I love doing leaf rubbings but all year round. I think it's fun to compare summer and fall rubbings.

  2. I LOVE doing leaf and bark rubbings with preschoolers. Best part of autumn are evening walks in crisp air and the smell of wood burning fire places in the neighborhood.

  3. Some other favorite activities are simple ones like collecting acorns and leaves for craft projects and wreathes, making scarecrows, jumping in leaves, going for hikes in the crisp beautiful autumn air.

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