If the changing leaves have your students enamored, these leaf activities for preschoolers are sure to be a hit. Add them to your fall activities for preschoolers now so you’re ready for your next leaf theme.
I know I keep mentioning preschoolers, but kindergarten kids will definitely enjoy the leaf activities as well! You’ll find a variety of leaf ideas – from art and crafts to math to literacy to sensory play. There are over 20 fun and leafy activities for you to try with the kids.
Not going to lie . . . fall is definitely my favorite season. There’s just something about the transition from summer to winter that captivates me every year. Getting rid of those high summer temperatures doesn’t hurt either!
And then there are the leaves. It doesn’t matter how old I get; watching the leaves change colors amazes me every time. So it probably doesn’t surprise you that I think the fall is a perfect time to teach a preschool leaf theme.
Yes, you can teach kids about leaves any time of the year. But if you live in an area where leaves change in the fall, this is a great time to do it.
Leaf Activities for Preschoolers
Now let’s check out some of the fun and engaging preschool leaf activities. As I mentioned above, I’m sure older kids will have a blast with them, too!
Some of the ideas require real leaves, while others can be done with real or fake leaves. And a few use completely different materials to represent leaves.
To make things a little easier to navigate, I’ve broken the leaf activities down into three different categories. So you’ll find leafy art and crafts, learning activities centered on leaves, and leaf-themed sensory play ideas.
Admit it, you’re excited to get started with some of these fun leaf ideas, too? Be sure to let me know which one is your favorite.
Leaf Crafts and Art
Let’s kick things off with some creative leaf activities for preschoolers. These are art and craft ideas to incorporate into your fall plans. Click on the individual links to be taken to the specific descriptions of each idea.
Make pumpkin seed art using dyed pumpkin seeds as the “leaves” on a fall tree.
Use a variety of natural materials, including leaves of course, to create leaf people.
Explore color absorption with an autumn leaf craft.
Grab some leaves and some tape for a fun and simple leaf garland for your classroom windows.
Try painting leaves with the kids after you’ve gone on a fall leaf hunt.
After admiring the fall leaves, get crafty and make a leaf sun catcher with the children.
You only need a couple of materials to make glittered leaf ornaments this fall.
Combine art and science with some leaf sculptures.
Learn how to preserve leaves and make some beautiful leaf mobiles.
Let kids trace and color fall leaves on the light table.
Make some leaf lanterns to light up dreary fall days.
Which of these arty leaf ideas do you plan to try?
Leaf Learning Activities
Now, I firmly believe everything is a learning activity in preschool – from playing outside to making some messy art. But I wanted to corral all of the literacy, fine motor, math, and science leaf activities for preschoolers into one category. And this is all I could come up with.
Use the leaf shape mats to explore two-dimensional shapes during your leaf theme.
Pair the fall cutting strips (that are all about leaves) with a variety of materials to work on fine motor skills and left-to-right directionality.
Set up a leaf measurement and sorting activity for your little mathematicians.
Crumple up those dead leaves and make some fall leaves name art with your students.
Make leaf matching puzzles to practice alphabet recognition.
Have the kids trace over chalk numbers with leaves to practice number formation.
Work on lacing and fine motor skills with a fall leaf sewing activity.
Fine motor practice abounds, along with the concept of in/out, when your kids play with the fall leaves busy box.
Explore leaf chromatography with your little scientists this fall.
Set up a simple science activity to determine how plants breathe.
Which of these learning-focused leaf activities for preschoolers do you think your kids would enjoy the most?
Leaf Sensory Play
And finally, let’s talk sensory play! Because you can definitely use real or fake leaves to explore many of the senses with your students.
Related: Fall Slime
Set up a super simple leaf sensory bin during center time. You can use real or fake leaves – just depends on your preferences.
Make leaf sensory bags with your students this fall. If they’re really young, you can always make the bags ahead of time.
If the kids love all things water, try a water-based fall leaves sensory bin.
Make a leaf sensory bottle for your classroom, or work with the kids to make many!
Explore the sense of sound with a fall music activity centered around leaves.
Have the kids help you create some leaf sorting sensory bottles. (Not pictured)
Now that you’ve checked out all of the leaf activities for preschoolers, which ideas are you planning to try with your students? Be sure to save this post for future inspiration!
Leaf Books to Read with the Kids
In addition to all of these preschool leaf activities, I have a few favorite leaf books for you. I think these books would complement the activities very well. Read a book, and then explore a leaf activity. Sounds like a good plan to me. (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.)
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert is probably my absolute favorite fall leaf book. In case you were wondering. What about you?
Leaf Lesson Plans
Save time and get right to the playful learning with Preschool Teacher 101’s printable lesson plan sets. And be sure to check out The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101, a membership site for teachers like you. Members get access to our resources (and member exclusives) at a deep discount.
Click on the image below to get our leaves lesson plans:
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas, book suggestions, and the following printables:
- Roll and Say Fall ABC Game (uppercase and lowercase versions)
- Roll and Count Leaves Math Game
- Small Leaf Cards for Sorting and Patterning
- Sight Word Trees Activity Mats, Letter Cards, and Sight Word Cards
- Color Word Leaf Cards
- Leaf Number Cards (0-35)
- Sorting Leaves Color Mats and Leaf Cards
- Fall Leaves Emergent Reader (3 versions)
- Leaf Observation Recording Sheet
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers
Originally published October 2017