Leaf by Leaf

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Students can create a tree using different leaf cut outs.

By Sandi Kovach-Long [Sandi is a college instructor who trains Activity Directors to work with older frail adults in skilled nursing, adult day care and adult day health programs as well as healthy older adults in retirement settings.]

This cooperative art project can be adapted for a wide range of ages and abilities including adults with physical, perceptual and cognitive challenges. The beauty of this project is that everyone can participate. There is no pressure to “stay within the lines” as the leaves are cut-out and those who can use scissors can cut-out the leaves for those who are unable.


  • Exploring overlapping
  • Mixing colors
  • Large group cooperation

What You Need:

What You Do:

This is a large group project that can be accomplished by people with limited vision or motor skills.

I encouraged participants to start by making marks on the leaf outlines with marking pens and going back and coloring over these marks with crayons.

Staying in the lines is not necessary as leaves will be cut out.

The trunk is made from brown kraft paper (paper bags will work) and put on the wall with rolls of tape (make a loop, sticky-side out & use as double-sided tape).

Cut-out the leafs and as a group decide where each one goes.

This tree can be HUGE. One of the trees we have created was about 10 feet tall! The one shown in the photographs is about 6 feet tall.

Leaf by leaf cooperative art project Leaf by leaf cooperative art project Leaf by leaf cooperative art project

Leaf by leaf cooperative art project