Falling leaves suncatchers are a fun and easy process art project that does a lot to help develop scissor skills. And what preschoolers wouldn’t love scissor practice like this?
These suncatchers have a lot of fine motor work involved, which is just one more reason I love them so much for preschool. It’s not all scissor practice, either. In this project my preschoolers were able to use several different materials while creating a beautiful suncatcher.
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- coffee filters
- liquid water color (or regular water color paints)
- eye droppers
- plastic tray or baking sheet with a rim
- contact paper
The Set Up
Begin by flattening out the coffee filters. You’ll only need two or three per suncatcher depending on how big you want the overall product to be. Place the flattened coffee filter on a plastic tray and invite your child to join you for some painting, cutting, and sticking.
Fallen Leaves Suncatchers for Scissor Practice
The first step is to paint the coffee filters. Because I’m so big on developing writing skills without the use of a pencil, I offered my preschoolers some liquid water colors and invited them to use eye droppers to saturate the filter with paint. This project works just as well when using regular water color, but the color may not be as intense.
Once the coffee filters have had a chance to dry thoroughly, it is time to cut into tiny bits. That’s how we make our fallen leaves. This part is really fun for all preschoolers, even those without great scissor skills, because there are no lines to cut. I invited my preschoolers to just snip any way they chose, but encouraged a small-ish size.
Once the filters were cut, they really did look like a pile of fallen leaves!..and we couldn’t resist playing a bit.
After all the coffee filters have been snipped into small “leaves”, invite your child to place them on some contact paper. Many of my preschoolers treated this part like a puzzle, where they wanted to make the pieces fit into one another. Others randomly placed the cut filter leaves.
The finished suncatchers were beautiful, and the preschool parents loved them!
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I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction