fall leaves.

There are always a lot of projects to do regarding pumpkins during the fall season. Though this makes sense, I find two drawbacks with projects involving actual pumpkins. First of all, depending on the project, a pumpkin can be a hard to involve multiple children. Second of all, pumpkins can be messy (guts!) and will rot quickly.

So instead, I’m coming up with ideas for leaves.

The Younger Set (Toddlers-Twos)

  1. Collecting leaves is a simple activity that teaches toddlers focus and task completion. You can have older toddlers look for a certain color leaf. We had the toddlers help us collect leaves on the playground, and they loved it.
  2. Count the leaves you collect!
  3. Throw the leaves you collect into a sensory bin. Question toddlers about texture, colors, shapes, and size (big/small).
  4. Use real or fake leaves to make a leaf collage. With our toddlers, we were using glue, so we used fake leaves because we felt they would stick better and be less likely to break off.
  5. Show toddlers leaves and ask them to draw their own. Create a tree on which to hang the leaves.
  6. Have toddlers paint using leaves. Leaves will create an unique design with the paint and it’s good for toddlers to try painting using all materials.

The Older Set (Preschoolers)

  1. Preschoolers can also collect leaves, and look for a specific color. With multiple preschoolers, divide them into teams and have them look for a certain number of a certain color, or have them try to find the most unique leaf, in color or shape.
  2. Preschoolers can use the leaves they collected to create bar graphs. Leaves can be organized by color, size, and students’ favorites.
  3. Leaf rubbings! White paper + leaves + crayons = science and art! Make sure leaf/paper is secure to ensure an accurate rubbing. Look up leaves found ahead of time so kids can label their rubbings.
  4. I really like this project, but it would require close adult supervision. Have preschooler use a needle to thread string through multiple leaves (fake or real). Hang up leaf banner!
  5. Either have a leaf pattern, or have preschoolers use leaves found. Have them trace and cut out leaves. Next help them make a tree with branches (individual size, nothing huge) using brown construction. Glue on leaves!

Books about Leaves

  • Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro (PK)
  • Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (PK)
  • Leaves! Leaves! Leaves! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace (PK/Toddlers)
  • Fall Leaf Project by Margaret McNamera (PK)
  • Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber (PK)
  • Leaves, Leaves! by Salina Yoon (Toddlers)
  • Ready for Autumn by Marthe Jocelyn (Toddlers)
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