As a compromise, I found this fun project to do with the girls and all their fall leaves:
The girls made all of our placemats for Thanksgiving dinner! All it required was a bunch of colorful fall leaves, 12" x 18" construction paper and a roll of contact paper.
To make the placemats, we first cut the stem off of the leaves and pressed them between books.
I also cut the contact paper and flattened it under books to make it easier to work with. While we waited for the leaves and contact paper to flatten out (a few days), I cut the centers out of fall-colored construction paper to make frames for the placemats.
To assemble the placemats, remove the backing from one piece of contact paper and place it sticky side up on a flat surface. Lay the construction paper frame on the contact paper and then begin placing leaves inside the frame.
The tricky part is applying the top piece of contact paper. After two failed attempts, I figured out the trick...here's my best attempt at explaining it.
1. Remove the backing from a piece of contact paper.
2. Fold the contact paper in half with the sticky sides facing out.
3. Carefully place the rounded sticky side of the contact paper on the middle of the leaf placemat.
4. Smooth the contact paper as you press it onto the leaf placemat.
They turned out so cute! And the girls love having placemats with all their meals! So fancy!