Reading Time: 3 minutes
Fall is a magical time for preschoolers. Trees change color, the ground is covered in a layer of crunchiness just waiting for feet to stomp and kick. This is the perfect time to take advantage of a classroom provided by nature.
Here are some leafy preschool activities to get you started.
Leafy Scavenger Hunt
Send your preschoolers outside with a ‘list’ of what they need to find. You can use colors, symbols or simple words for pre-readers. This works as a solo or team activity. Here are some examples of the types of leaves you can ask them to find:
- 1 red, 1 brown, 1 yellow, and 1 green leaf
- A spiky leaf
- A round leaf
- A narrow/skinny leaf
- A leaf with more than two colors
Once they’ve brought the leaves back, they can use them for other activities.
Art With Leaves
Leaves are wonderful creativity kick-starters. Here are two options for this preschool art activity:
30 Second Quick Art
Give the children a pile of leaves and yell out different things for them to make with the leaves, for example:
- A person (see who gets the right number of limbs/a body/head)
- A house they’d like to live in
- Face – once they have a face, you can ask them to show different emotions, for e.g. happiness, sadness, anger, etc.)
Art For Keeps
Set out art supplies, paint, glue, googly eyes, brushes, sponges, glitter pens. You can either let them choose what they’d like to create, or you can give them some guidelines using the list above or your own objects. You can also let their imagination run wild and ask them to come up with their own new type of animal.
Numbers & Leaves
A pile of freshly gathered leaves is all you need for a session of maths data handling. You can get your preschoolers to:
- SORT into colors, shapes or types.
- COUNT how many are in each different pile.
- COMPARE the different types of leaves and discuss what is similar and what is different about them.
The Great Leaf Race
This is a fun way to introduce preschoolers to the STEM concept of the invisible force of the wind.
Set up a ‘race-course’ with lanes for each child. This can either be done on a small scale on a table where the leaves will travel a short distance and the preschoolers will stand next to each other, or on the floor with enough space for them to get down on hands and knees and travel across the floor.
Let each child pick a leaf, line them up at the start and BLOW!
They will have to adjust the angles they blow at to get the leaf to move and the direction they blow from to keep the leaf on course.
Move The Mound
This is an exercise in teamwork and problem-solving that is best done outside.
Start with a pile of leaves per team on one side of the play area and mark a ‘goal’ area for each team on the other side. Layout a selection of tools including blankets, buckets, small bowls, packets, plastic shovels, and trays.
The task for each team is to move their pile of leaves to the goal area as quickly as possible. They can choose a limited number of tools per team. (You can vary this depending on the children that you’re working with. The goal is not to frustrate them, but to provoke logical problem-solving.)
Start the timer and let them loose. Once the activity is over, you can discuss it together and help them to figure out which strategies worked best and how they could tackle it differently next time. (Did they plan together before? Or did the timer make them rush before thinking? Did they make use of the tools effectively? Did they work together, or was everyone on their own mission?) You can run the activity again and see if they can beat their first time.
Learning Is Fun In Fall
These are just a handful of the fun preschool activities you can use leaves for. Whatever concept you’d like to unwrap for your preschooler, leaves are wonderful learning tools. Of course, getting to take your preschoolers outside in the crisp fall air is a bonus!