Fall is in the air! Have your leaves started turning golden yet? This week I’ve rounded up some easy leaf crafts for kids to make, some by themselves and some with a little help from you. We can’t wait to make a leaf mask and the rolling pin leaf painting looks like great fun!
And as usual I’ve thrown in some links to fine and gross motor skills, leaf themed printables, books and yummy snacks so you have everything you need for a leaf themed Tot School for your toddler or preschooler!
Easy Leaf Crafts for Kids to Make
Crafts are a great way to develop fine motor skills and creativity and at the end of the session your child will have created something they can show to daddy or their grandparents. These are some of my favourite easy leaf crafts for kids:
- Rolling pin leaf painting – Love this idea of painting leaves with a rolling pin.
- Easy peasy fall collages – These leaf crafts are simple enough for even the youngest of toddlers to get involved in.
- Glitter and mod podge leaf craft – Gather up some glitter and mod podge you’re all set for your little ones to have fun with this sparkly leaf craft.
- Fall watercolor art – These watercolour leaves are just beautiful and the kiddos can practice their fine motor skills with the eye droppers.
- Fall pom pom tree – This Fall pom pom tree is adorable, and once they’ve had a chance to practice their fine motor skills putting it together it will be perfect to use in Small World Play.
- Leaf mask – This leaf mask is absolutely adorable. What better leaf craft is there than one you can wear?
- Fall sticky trees – I love these conical leaf trees, and they look like they’re a lot fun to make too!
In our house we have a rule that when a child comes to you with a book you stop what you’re doing and read it together. I’ve lost count of the number of times Master J and I have snuggled up on the kitchen floor to read a book when I’m in the middle of making dinner!
I do this because I love books and I want my children to share that passion. But there are also studies that show that a child who reads for enjoyment every day develops a broad vocabulary and general knowledge and should do better at school than those who don’t.
Here are some leaf themed books for you to read together:
Leaf fine motor activities
Fine motor skills are an important part of your tot’s development, because without them they won’t be able to write, grasp small objects or fasten zips on their clothing.
Here are some wonderful leaf fine motor activities for them to have fun with:
- Leaf rubbing – A wonderful idea for fine motor skill practice
- Leaf button practice – A fun way to practice button skills, and a twist on the traditional button snake.
- Playdough leaf tree – Pinch small pieces of dough and then shape them into leaves to place on the tree.
- Leaf sewing – A nice big maple leaf makes the perfect sewing activity for little fingers.
- Leaf seed tree – Use leaf seeds to design a tree, you can mix this activity up by picking the seeds up with fingers or tweezers.
- Leaf sorting – Gather some leaves of different sizes and have your little one sort them from biggest to smallest.
- Autumn leaf threading – This is a wonderful threading activity where your tot can make a wind chime to hang up in the breeze.
- Fall clothespin leaves activity – This activity will test out those tiny muscles and looks like so much fun.
Leaf gross motor activities
We must not forget about helping develop the larger muscles needed for gross motor skills and encouraging climbing, running, crawling and jumping. Here are some wonderful leaf gross motor activities to get your little one up and moving.
- A leafy game – I love this idea for a leafy relay race, to practice running as well as colour sorting!
- Fall leaves activities – Your little one will have fun raking leaves into a big pile and then jumping into them!
To help develop numeracy and literacy skills you can use one of the many free printable packs that are shared by other mums. Here are some leaf printables:
Leaf sensory tubs and small world play
Sensory tubs are a brilliant way to encourage learning through invitation to play. Little ones can explore their senses as well as practicing pouring and measuring, counting and patterning. There is also an opportunity for small world play too as they explore and comprehend the world around them. Here are some brilliant ideas for leaf sensory tubs and small world play:
- Fall leaves soup from This takes sensory play to a whole new level – I think my kiddos will have a blast playing with this soup!
- Under the Fall tree small world – I love this invitation to play, especially how Chelsey attached the tree to the wall to set the scene.
- Outdoors small world – Set up some small toys at the bottom of a tree, throw in some leaves and let their imaginations run riot!
- Fall leaf play – Switch the real leaves for silk ones and you have a wonderful sensory bin that’s suitable for babies too.
- Fall sensory bin – I love how some googly eyes and a couple of clothes pegs turns leaves into characters.
- Red leaf, yellow leaf sensory bin – this sensory bin is inspired by the popular children’s book Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf.
- Leaf sensory bin – The addition of the magnetic letters and the acorns makes this a wonderful bin to explore.
- Fall sensory soup – I can’t wait to give this a try, it just looks like a lot of gloopy fun!
- Leaf picking small world play – This small world activity is so simple to set up, I love the idea of adding in a paint brush and adding numbers to the leaves for older kiddos.
All this learning is enough to make anyone hungry, so why not fix one of these tasty leaf snacks to enjoy together:
- Fall leaves sugar cookies – You can have fun making these cookies together, and then eating them too!
- Easy tree snack – Let your little one have fun making a tree that they can eat at snack time.
- Tree snack – Here’s another idea for an edible tree snack.
- Fall tree snack – Your tot might eat a lot of snacks that look like trees this week… but I love how this one actually stands up!
~Clare, currently pinning to Art and Craft for Kids – Inspiration