I have such great memories of doing this craft with my kids back when they were younger. Oh, those were the days, the chaotic days. My kids were born just 15 months apart from each other so I had two toddlers on my hand. That usually meant I had to come up with creative ways to entertain them and since diapers were expensive that also meant the creative ideas had to be cheap or free.
When the weather started to change and we couldn’t go outside as often I took that as an opportunity to explain fall to them. I’m a visual teacher, that’s why I love sharing object lessons with the readers of this site. It also means that I use very visual methods for teaching my own children. This particular object lesson was on the fact that the seasons or more specifically the leaves change. Keep in mind, I’m not a teacher, I’m a mom. Also, keep in mind that my kids were still in the toddler and preschool phase of life. Regardless, I think this method would make for a great art class even in elementary school.
I set out a bowl of water and let my kids pour the noodles into the bowl, then I pointed out to the that the noodles didn’t change colors. Next, I let my son drop a few drops of food color into the bowl of water and noodles. The water changed but the noodles did not so I explained to him that the noodles, or rather our pretend leaves would need time to change colors. I then took this opportunity to take them outside and to help them notice the things outside that were changing. The wind was cold and the leaves on the trees were swaying in the wind. To this day my children still talk about that moment and that makes my heart happy because there aren’t many moments as a mom where you are completely sure that the kids are paying attention. Even in that moment I wondered if I were crazy for trying to teach a toddler such a big lesson.
A Fall Craft Using Noodles That Teaches Kids About Color Changing Leaves
My son noticed right away that the trees outside were changing colors. We were sitting at the dinner table that night and he yelled out “they orange! they orange! the trees are orange daddy!’
This is a great and easy way to help teach kids about the way that the leaves change for the fall season. Granted, it’s not scientifically correct but it gets the point across to a young child and if it helps them learn then I’m all for it. Plus, it’s fun!
First, you start with just plain noodles.
Then you dye those noodles using food coloring and water.
The ones in the picture soaked for about an hour and then dried for another hour. *note* these are gluten free noodles so regular noodles may not take as long. We used yellow, green and red for our leaves.
Take those colored noodles and glue them to trees.
You can use this tree printable here. The ones shown in the picture above are the cut outs from the PDF. Feel free to let your kids color their trees.
Display the work of art proudly!