This prickly hedgehog project combines a few painting techniques and is perfect for autumn when young children are learning about falling leaves and hedgehogs preparing to hibernate for the winter.
I provided some autumn paint colours – reds, oranges and brown – which the children used to create a background of leaf prints. They selected from a range of leaves of different shapes and sizes (green leaves or freshly fallen leaves work best for this, the crispy ones are no good) and sponged a thin layer of paint onto the veined underside before placing it face-down on their paper. I showed them how to lay a piece of newspaper over the top and press down carefully all over being careful not to move the leaf and smudge the image.
The next stage was to paint the hedgehog. The younger set (aged 3-4) each had a semi-circle drawn on their paper in pencil beforehand, which they filled in with brown paint before using a triangular shaped sponge to stamp a snout.
The older group (4-6 years) painted their own hedgehog shapes, looking at photographs of hedgehogs for reference. Black noses were stamped with a wine cork, and eyes with a wooden skewer dipped in black paint.
Next, the fun bit – adding the prickles! I gave each child a small square of cardboard and a tray with squirts of brown, white and black paint. I showed them how to use the cardboard to create a spiky texture, by dipping the edge in the paint and stamping prickles all over their hedgehog’s bodies.
The resulting hedgehog pictures are full of character!
Further leaf print projects may be found here:
And for more autumn inspiration, click here: Autumn Projects