Leaves and Leaf Rubbings
Fun for all ages

Today we’re going to do a fun project and learn about leaves, which are a very important part of a plant. Leaves are how a plant makes its own food! Leaves turn sunlight into food for the plant through a process called photosynthesis. They use a chemical called chlorophyll to do this, and that chemical is what makes the leaves green. There are all kinds of shapes and sizes of leaves, but they all do the same things and have the same parts.

The blade is the main flat part of the leaf, where photosynthesis takes place. The vein is in the center and can have smaller veins branching off of it. This transports food, water, and minerals all around the leaf. The margin is the edge of the leaf, and can be smooth, toothed, or lobed. The petiole attaches the leaf to the stem, and the stipules are growths at the base of the petiole.

When a plant stops producing chlorophyll in the fall, the leaves stop looking green and their real colors show. But any time of year, leaves are beautiful! We can also use leaves to make beautiful art by doing leaf rubbings. This will help us to easily see the different parts of a leaf.


  • Paper (printer paper works well)
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Leaves


  1. Lay the leaf flat on a table and set the paper on top of it. If you want you can tape the paper down so it doesn’t slide around, or you can hold it with one hand while you color.
  2. Gently color over top of where the leaf is. Don’t press to hard! The outline of the leaf will start to appear!
  3. You can do one leaf or many. Use whatever colors you like!
  4. If you want, you can use your leaf rubbing to make your own diagram and label the parts of the leaf. See our helpful diagrams!


More Fun:

  • photosynthesis video!
  • Learn about Leaves here!
  • You can make rubbings of almost anything- tree bark, cement, wood, anything with a texture. Making a rubbing shows the texture and you can use these different textures to make art!


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