Leaf Painting - Sensory Play For Toddlers

I don't often write about the activities that I do with Edith, but I thought this one deserved its own post. 

Edith has really started to get into play activities, and is much more comfortable to explore things on her own. She absolutely loves her crayons, and as started asking for her paints to come out a bit more. So, I thought it would be a nice idea to mix up her painting activity a little and give her some more props to explore the paint with. 

Setting up

Before letting Edith run wild, I made sure that I had everything that I needed to hand before going outside. I wasn't keen to do this activity inside as I thought it would be a bit too messy and Edith just loves being outside so it meant that she could hunt for some other things to paint with in the garden!

What we used:

Messy mat
Plastic plate to put the paint on
Non-toxic child-friendly paint
Old flowers from the house
Whatever we could find in the garden that we could paint with!
Clothes that we didn't mind getting messy
Wipes for messy fingers (and face!)


Being outside is one of Edith's favourite things to do. She loves to explore and find things to show me. Our garden has quite a mixture of things in it, so she was able to explore our vegetable patch as well as finding old leaves and bits of grass. 

Of course, Edith wanted to wander around the garden and still come back to the painting area that I'd made for her, which was nice for her to be able to approach the activity at her own pace. Edith was in control with that she wanted to do, so the play was very led by her, which I think she really enjoyed!

Messy play

We all know that painting is not the tidiest of activities, which is why we opted to do it outside. I know from past experiences, that Edith likes to get up half way through painting and go to her other toys, so I did not want to have to tidy the paints away too quickly to clean her up. 

If we had done the activity inside, she would not have had the freedom to walk around and touch other things, because lets be honest, no one wants paint all over the carpet!

So, outside seemed like an all rounder. It didn't matter if she got too messy, because it was easier to clean everything down outside, than it was in her bedroom. Plus, it's a great chance to be outside and soaking up all of the sounds and for Edith to say 'hello' to the birds!

A masterpiece

My little artist (following on from her daddy!) had such a lovely time with this activity and it really broke the day up after lunchtime. Watching Edith learn and explore is such a joy, and it's always a big thumbs up when your child actually enjoys the activities that you do with them!

Anyway, I thought I would show off Edith's masterpiece that she created from bits and bobs from the garden! Of course, I took part too. I couldn't let her have all of the fun!

Have you ever tried painting with leaves?

Thanks, lovelies.



  1. You are braver than me with the mess! It's in the garden though... great idea to involve the leaves.

  2. What a fun mom you must be!! Cute