10 Splendid Leaf Activities for Preschoolers

| Last Updated: February 7, 2023

Collecting leaves is a common pastime among preschoolers. Make the most out of their curiosity by letting them complete leaf-themed activities in class. These activities are fun to make, require basic materials, and help children develop many important skills. 

Browse through the activities listed below and decide which ones to introduce to the class first. Rest assured, all of these activities will be a hit for preschoolers!

Great Leaf Activities for Preschoolers

Sensory Development | Cognitive Development | Literacy

1. Leaf Sorting Sensory Bottles

Photo credit: chalkacademy.com

Use this activity to teach preschoolers different languages. To incorporate another language as you go along, replace common English words, like leaf and color, with their translation in whatever language your child is learning. 

Begin by showing the class how to remove the labels from the bottles. Place one type of leaf on each bottle and have the class insert more leaves into the matching bottle. 

Next, have the class pour water, close the lid tightly, and shake the bottle. Leave the bottles for a couple of hours and let the class observe. Some leaves may change the color of the water. 


  • Water bottles
  • Leaves 
  • Water

For more information about this activity, visit chalkacademy.com.

Fine Motor Skills | Hand-Eye Coordination | Visual Perception

2. Leaf Rubbings

Photo credit: teachingmama.org

This activity makes it easier for the children to see the similarities and differences between leaves. Once finished, they can hang their artwork in the classroom or at home!

Take the class outside and instruct them to gather different leaves. Once inside, tell them to place the leaves under a white piece of paper and rub a white crayon over the leaves. Have them paint with watercolors to reveal the pattern from the leaves.

Extend the activity by talking about the different parts of the leaves and the importance of their veins.


  • Leaves
  • Paintbrush
  • Watercolor
  • White crayon
  • White paper

Find other leaf activities for preschoolers on teachingmama.org.

Gross Motor Skills | Coordination | Literacy

3. Fall Music Activity

Photo credit: pre-kpages.com

Who doesn’t love jumping and crunching leaves? Use this activity as an opportunity for preschoolers to explore music and dance

Put the leaves in the bucket or bowl and have the children hold the container on their laps. Ask them what sounds they can make with those leaves. Encourage them to be creative and let them swirl, crunch, or drum on the leaves. 

Invite the children to have their whole bodies involved by letting them dance while stomping on the leaves. You can also line up the leaves and let the class go for a march. 


  • Fallen leaves
  • One flat-bottomed container large enough to step in 
  • One large bucket or bowl

Head to pre-kpages.com for more fall-themed activities.

Fine Motor Skills | Science Concepts | Spatial Attention

4. Exploring Fall Leaves on the Light Table

Let the class explore the colors from fall leaves with this activity. It’s perfect for teaching the little ones about nature, the different seasons, and the uniqueness of leaves. 

Start with a walk aside and collect as many natural items as the children want. These can include leaves, acorns, and other items they can find outside. Place all the items on the light table and let the children explore the leaves more thoroughly. 

Place some paper and coloring materials next to the light table and instruct the class to record and recreate what they saw. Encourage them to draw and color pictures based on the details they saw on the light table. 


  • Fall leaves and other natural items 
  • Light table

Visit whereimaginationgrows.com for more crafts and activities you can give to preschoolers!

Large Motor Skills | Creativity | Planning Skills

5. Leaf Painting

Photo credit: happyhooligans.ca

Painting with leaves is a fun activity that helps preschoolers learn about fall colors and fall leaves. This activity can be done solo or in groups. 

Cover the children’s work surface with a large piece of paper. This is also where they’ll paint. Then ask them what colors of paint they think they’ll need to make a fall-colored painting. 

Let the children drizzle their chosen paint colors all over the piece of paper and instruct them to use the artificial leaves to swipe the paint. Have them observe the changes in the colors as they blend together.

Once they’re finished, let the paint dry. Hang this lovely piece of art in the classroom or use it as a piece of gift wrap. 


  • Different artificial leaves
  • Kraft paper
  • Paint 

The class will never get bored once you introduce crafts and activities from happyhooligans.ca!

Sensory Development | Literacy | Numeracy Skills

6. Graphing Leaves

Photo credit: Stayathomeeducator.com

This activity only requires a variety of leaves and a plastic tote to contain all the leaves in one spot. Playing with leaves is fun — preschoolers will never notice that it’s part of their lesson!

Scatter the leaves on a flat surface and let the children organize the leaves into lines. The important thing here is to let the children sort the leaves depending on their preferences (as long as they can explain their methods) and graph them the same way — based on their preferences. 


  • A variety of leaves (different shapes, sizes, and colors)
  • Plastic tote

Stayathomeeducator.com features more autumn leaf activities for preschoolers, so make sure to visit their site today!

Patience | Fine Motor Skills | Dexterity

7. Fall Leaf Sewing

Photo credit: rhythmsofplay.com

Teaching preschoolers how to sew can help them develop more control over their hands. It also prepares them for writing and more detailed projects involving their hands.

Begin by collecting fall leaves and teach children how to punch holes in the sides of the leaves. Cut one or more sections of yarn and thread through the eye of a blunt darning needle. Tie the yarn section together to make a large knot. 

Next, invite the class to sew fall leaves. If they haven’t tried sewing before, demonstrate the correct way to do it. Once they’re ready, let them sew the remaining leaves on their own. 


  • Cotton yarn or cotton embroidery thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing thimble for kids (optional)
  • Single hole punch and blunt darning needle or large eye stitching needle 
  • Sturdy fall leaves

Check out rhythmsofplay.com to learn other beginner sewing projects for preschoolers. 

Pre-Writing | Cognitive Development | Sensory Development

8. Leaf Investigation Booklet

Photo credit: earlylearningideas.com

Through this activity, children can be like little scientists and learn a lot about leaves. They’ll have to complete the booklet, which helps them practice their writing skills. 

Ask the children to help you find leaves outside. You can also ask them to bring leaves from their home — preschoolers love getting homework!

After gathering leaves, it’s time to conduct a scientific investigation by studying the leaves. The booklet will ask the children to examine the leaves based on their colors and texture. They’ll also have to identify the parts of the leaves and determine simple versus compound leaves. 

By the time the class completes the booklet, they’ll have a better understanding of leaves. 


  • Coloring materials
  • Leaves
  • Markers
  • Printable Booklet

To access the printable booklet, head to earlylearningideas.com.

Science Concepts | Color Identification | Fine Motor Skills

9. Leaf Chromatography

Photo credit: playdoughtoplato.com

This activity will enable children to see what gives leaves their amazing fall colors. This is the perfect science experiment for preschoolers to complete during the fall!

Instruct the children to gather a couple of leaves, some that have already changed colors and some that are still green. Let them sort the leaves according to their colors. 

Next, have the children tear up one group of leaves, place it into a mortar, and crush the bits to release their juices. Place them into a glass until all of the colored leaves are smashed. Label each glass by taping a matching leaf to the back of the glass. 

Pour a couple of tablespoons of rubbing alcohol into each glass and place the glass in Pyrex dishes. Pour boiling water around to warm the glasses. Use strips from white coffee filters as chromatography papers and put one end in the alcohol and the other over the edge of the Pyrex. The next day, the filter strips will have the leaves’ pigments. 

Extend learning from this activity by explaining to the class why the pigments transferred to the filter strips. 


  • Glasses or jars (one for each leaf color)
  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • Leaves
  • Mortar and pestle (or a spoon)
  • White coffee filters

The class will enjoy more activities once you use playdoughtoplato.com as your resource!

Concentration | Fine Motor Skills | Hand-Eye Coordination

10. Preserved Leaf Craft

Photo credit: buggyandbuddy.com

Let the class enjoy different fall colors all year long with this activity. This activity will teach them how to preserve leaves in two different ways. 

To preserve leaves with glycerin, instruct the children to place leaves in a container and then pour a mixture of 1 part glycerin and 2 parts water. Stack a second container on top of the first container and let the leaves soak for three days. Remove the leaves from the mixture and let them dry on a paper towel.


  • Fall leaves
  • Glycerin (We found ours in the first-aid section of our local drug store.)
  • Two baking dishes, containers, or trays that can stack together
  • Water

To preserve leaves using wax paper, lay one towel down onto the ironing surface and lay a piece of wax paper on the towel. Let the children place fall leaves onto the wax paper, add two layers of wax paper, and then put a second towel on top. Iron the leaves for 30 seconds and repeat the process on the other side. 


  • Fall leaves
  • Iron
  • Surface to iron on
  • Two thin towels
  • Wax Paper

See the results of this activity by visiting buggyandbuddy.com.


Leaves offer unlimited learning opportunities — you just need to incorporate them into the right activities to keep preschoolers engaged. An engaged class has increased attention and focus and can easily engage in critical thinking. 

Visit us again soon to learn more themed activities perfect for preschoolers!

Hi, I'm Amanda! Welcome to Education Outside! Im passionate about educating young minds and helping parents/teachers by providing easy and effective teaching resources. Check out all of my teaching resources on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

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