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Sometimes having a simple craft that requires few or no tools is a treasure to have in your magical “Mary Poppins” bag. This is so helpful when you are out and about or you just need something for your children to engage in but you did not bring a craft kit with you. And, who doesn’t love a fancy crown? Leaf crowns can lead to rich imaginative play and if you wear it upside down, it is more like a pixie hat.
- Sycamore Leaves or any other semi dry leaf with a stem on it. Sycamore trees often grow in and around creeks and rivers (in parks, Liquidambar trees are lovely. You know the ones that change colors in the fall with the spiky balls that hurt real bad when you step on them barefoot?).
- Clippers or scissors (optional)
1) Gather plenty of leaves. For a child’s head, you will need at least 5-8 big sycamore leaves. Make sure the leaves are pliable enough that they do not crumble when handled. Very dry leaves can soak in a creek for several minutes or sprayed with a spray bottle to become more pliable.
2) Cut or break the stems (petiole) off of the leaves and save in a pile. This is what you will use to stitch the leaves together. If the stems (petioles) are too tiny, twigs can be used instead.
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3) Place one leaf on top of the other, overlapping slightly. Use one of the little stems or twigs to pin the two leaves together. It goes through both in the front to the back, then back through to the front again. Think pinning two pieces of fabric together.
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4) Continue pinning the leaves together until it is long enough to fit around your child’s head (or yours!).
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If you have older children, gathering leaves is the perfect errand to send them on, whether you are in the creek or just in your yard if you have fallen leaves. Have your older children make crowns for the whole family. This is a moment that they can be truly helpful.