Playing with Leaves to make Land Art

Photo courtesy of RedTentArt

Photo courtesy of RedTentArt

“Land Art” is a movement made famous by the work of British artist/sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. Land artists go to a natural area – a patch of trees, a riverbank, a shoreline, or an open field – and create there an astonishing, implausible, graceful work of art, made from the natural things found in that place and time.

As a way to connect children and nature land art is ideal! You and your children get to hike around picking up treasures with which to create art and then you let nature take it back!

Supplies Needed: Backyard/local park/woodland area with fallen leaves or other natural objects


1. Start by searching online with your children for pictures and ideas. Try the search terms “Andy Goldsworthy” or “Richard Shilling” in Google Images. Ask your children what they think the exhibits are made of, and how they might have been constructed. Watch their faces, look for what sparks their interest, and follow their excitement in choosing your own activity.

2. Then head outdoors to look for your raw materials, in this case leaves in a variety of colors. See if you can collect leaves that would create a smooth transition from one color to the other, or from light to dark.

3. If fall leaves haven’t happened yet or are gone in your area, try creating a design of other found objects like sticks, pebbles, or acorns. You can arrange things by size, or it could be a square, a spiral, or a “drawing” done with natural materials instead of pencil and paper. Use your imagination!

4. Take a photo of it before you leave it to the elements. Leaving the work there for the place to reclaim is part of the project. (You can also email us the picture to post on this page! Click HERE to open an email!)

Important Tip!
Let your children be the artists –if you are getting all excited about it and are running the risk of taking over, do your own. Kids love to see their parents creating for the fun of it.

For ideas on patterns you can build with kids check out these sites:
Red Tent Art

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