Fall Leaves Theme
Let the Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
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Materials Needed: finger paint in fall colors, paper
Show the children how to dip their hands lightly into a shallow tray of paint and then press their hands on the paper.
Repeat over and over for a beautiful Foliage collage of handprinted leaves!
Materials Needed: Fall colored leaves; paint in fall colors; brushes; paper
Children paint the leaves.
Show them how to turn them upside-down and press onto the paper.
If only a thin layer of paint is put on, they will see the veins of the leaves on their prints as well!
Materials: Large quantity of fall leaves (perhaps from a walk outside with the children!); large construction paper, glue sticks, crepe paper
Have the children glue leaves all over their papers. Encourage them to make designs or patterns!
Laminate the papers. Roll them into long cylinder shapes. Hole punch a hole on the topsides.
Help the children to lace yarn throught the two holes you punched on the top. This will be used to hang their Wind Socks.
Help the children to staple crepe paper to the bottom end.
Hang in the classroom or outside!
Materials: A HUGE pile of raked leaves outside; a camera--when back inside you'll need brown construction paper and glue.
Let the children jump in the leaves, of course! Take a picture of each child in the pile or a picture of ALL the children sitting in the pile. Have the children choose at least 5 leaves to take inside.
Have the children glue the leaves on the brown paper.
Print a picture for each child and glue it in the middle of their paper.
Laminate and send home their placemats (or keep them at school to use for placemats at lunchtime or for when they use playdough!).
Paper Towel Leaves
Materials: paper towels (or coffee filters) cut into leaf shapes; markers; eye droppers and water or a spray bottle with water.
Have the children color their leaf shapes with any or all colors.
When done, have them spray (or use eye droppers with water) the shapes.
The colors spread and look beautiful!
Place them on newspaper to dry--the marker will bleed through and stain a table--I'm just sayin'! If this does happen, Germ-X or Purell get marker off tables pretty well! ;)
Leaves, leaves, everywhere!
Add fall colored leaves, grass (or the plastic Easter grass) and forks. The children can add a fall hint to their structures and then use the plastic forks to rake their leaves!
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
5 Little Leaves Fingerplay
5 Little leaves so bright today.
Were dancing about on the tree to play.
The wind came blowing through the town,
And one little leaf came falling down.
Continue with 4, 3, 2 and then 1.
Use felt or real leaves to demonstrate on a flannel board!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific themed questions while making these fun snacks!
Leaf Toast Thank you Cheryl W. for this idea!
We take white bread (slightly stale is best) and use cookie cutters to make leaf shapes. We then "paint" the bread with fall colors (food coloring mixed into a little half & half) try not to use too much "paint" as it will get too soggy. We then take the leaves to the oven and bake them slightly to dry out some of the milk.
Always a huge hit and we get asked for the recipe from our Moms!
Add apples, pumpkins and other fall items (real or play-food!) as well as a cash register and paper bags for customers!
Try using leaves or branches to paint with instead of brushes!
Leaf Twister Game
Tape precut fall colored leaves all around the floor. (Have many!)
Place duplicates of these leaves in a bag. Pull one out and instruct the children on how they are to touch that leaf (again, have many of each type of leaf on the floor).
"Put your hand on a red leaf"
"Hop on one foot on a yellow leaf"
"Sit on a green leaf"
Give each child a small, paper lunch bag to collect leaves and fall items while outside. Place them in your science center for further exploration or use them to make a fall leaf collage at the art table.
Leaf Toss Parachute Game
Use a large bed sheet or a parachute. Place leaves (real, paper or fabric) in the middle and have the children lift the sheet/parachute slowly up and down to see the leaves float. Try shaking until all the leaves are off!
Before going outside, wrap a piece of masking tape, with the sticky side out, around each child's wrist. While outside, have the children add pieces of leaves and twigs to the tape for a fall bracelet!
Rake the Leaves
One is the rake and he must run around and "rake" (or catch) the leaves. When he tags a leaf it sticks to his "rake" or hand and now the two run after and catch the other leaves one by one. It gets funny when a herd of kids are running after the other loose "leaves". When all the "Leaves are caught another "Rake" takes over. I showed them beforehand how to rake leaves and they all get in a group with the rake and stick together. This way there is more running of everyone and they stick together by holding hands (sometimes) or just running in a group together.
Thank you, Karen, for submitting this idea!
Book Suggestions for the Library
Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins
Fall Leaves by Martha E. H. Rustad and Amanda Enright
Fall Leaves by Mary Packard
How Do You Know It's Fall by Allan Fowler
Leaves Fall Down by Lisa Marie Bullard and Nadine Takvorian
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
The Leaves Fall All Around by Steve Mack
When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass
Why Do Leaves Change Color by Betsy Maestro
Materials: Precut (and laminate so you can use them each year) pairs of leaves--use different colors, sizes, etc.
The children can match the pairs; sort by color; sort by size; identify colors by pointing, etc.
Materials: Program pairs of paper leaves for different matching games.
Match the leaf with a numeral "1" on it to a leaf with ONE smiley face on it.
Materials: Laminated leaf shapes (made from sturdy stock paper).
In advance, hole punch the leaves around the edges.
Tie a piece of lacing string (or yarn with clear tape on one end) in one hole.
Place them out for the children to practice lacing with.
Foil Leaf Rubbings
Materials: Aluminum foil, leaves, glue, construction paper, craft sticks
In advance, precut squares of aluminum foil the size of the leaves you have collected.
Show the children how to place a leaf under a square of foil.
Use the craft stick to gently rub over the foil. You should see the veins and shape of the leave appear.
Let the children make as many as they want and then glue them to a piece of construction paper for a leaf collage.
Dance like the Leaves
Play different tempos of music and tell the children they need to fall to the beat of the music, like leaves.
Addition to this activity: Give children a paper leaf to hold, ask them to move around the room to the music and pretend that they are leaves blowing in the wind. Find a song with various tempos so they can practice their awareness of how music changes.
Thank you Olivia for this idea!
Where are you?
Give each child a paper leaf.
All the children sit down.
You call out a color..."Red leaves, where are you?" and those holding red leaves stand.
Once they are all standing, tell them there is a big wind coming and they spin and fall like leaves!
Add leaves, twigs and grass to your sand table along with plastic diggers and forks to rake the leaves out of the way!
Here Comes the Fall Wind!
Materials: Fall colored leaves, straws (one for each child).
Place a leaf on one end of the table. Have the children use their straws to try and move the leaves to the other side, like the fall leaves! Try putting lots and lots of leaves and just let them blow them around!
Leaves We See
Materials: Place the different types of leaves, twigs and branches that are in your area during Autumn into or on your science table with magnifying glasses for the children to observe. Provide paper and markers or crayons for the children to draw what they observe!
Clay Leaf Fossils
Materials: Using your own recipe for plain colored playdough or clay (that you can bake), give each child a portion of it.
Have them roll out the clay and then place leaves and twigs on it.
Roll over the leaves with a roller.
Remove leaves and twigs.
Bake and when cool, let the children paint with fall colored tempera paint.
Leaf Letter Match
Materials: Program pairs of paper leaves for different matching games.
Match the leaf with the letter "A" on it to the leaf with the letter "a" on it.
or, make matching pairs to match capital letters with capital letters.
Use the letters to spell out your name!
Show the children how to trace their hand using a crayon.
Encourage them to cut out their hand tracings "as best they can".
Encourage them to print their name the best they can as well.
Tape the handprint leaves to a large trunk in your classroom for a Fall Class Tree.