“There are red leaves on that tree!” my daughter cries from the backseat, “It must be Fall!”

Leaves are often the first sign that Fall is arriving. The little reds and oranges and yellows that slowly take over the trees and horizon. Whether we are driving into the country for a trip to the apple farm or walking home from school, colorful Fall leaves seems to be the only thing on the minds of my twins.

Luckily, the week’s theme for Virtual Book Club for Kids is LEAVES!

This came at the perfect time for us. My kids loved our Preschool Story Time about Leaves and have been picking them up everywhere we go. This is the perfect book and theme for when those pops of colors start exploding everywhere.

leaf man fall invitation activity preschool

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Read: Leaf Man

Our featured book is Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.

leaf man by lois ehlert

The concept of the story is that Leaf Man is going where the wind blows. Through impressive leaf collages and beautiful lyrical language the reader follows along as the wind blows across the countryside. The fun part about this book is that Lois Ehlert created all of the pictures using color copies of real leaves. The end papers are a collection of the various kinds of leaves from Beech and Cottonwood to Fig and Linden. They are all labeled so you can identify the ones in your collection as well. Beautiful and informative, Ehlert continues to be a master of non-fiction for young children. Order Online

This unique illustration material was the inspiration for our activity.

Play: Fall Loose Parts Invitation

On our many Fall Adventures we have been gathering leaves. My kids can’t seem to help but pick them up everywhere we go. The result is a pretty awesome collection – especially after our morning in Central Park where the variety is truly stunning.

Regardless of where you go leaf hunting, for this activity you will need:

Materials to Gather:

Copy of Leaf Man

Additional Leaf Guide (optional)

Leaves + Other Fall Found Objects

Magnifying Glass


Fall Colored Crayons

White Construction Paper or Tag Board (I prefer Tag Board because it is a little sturdier when loaded with generous portions of glue)

Leaf Invitation

First, Explore Your Leaves

We started with a space for each child with a magnifying glass and a leaf.

Carefully investigate your leaves.

Ask questions such as;

“How does your leaf feel?”

“What do you see when you look closer?”

“How does your leaf smell?”

Then see if you can find your leaf on the end pages of Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. You could also look up the type online if you prefer to add a little technology use to your activity.

Note: If you are doing this will a larger group, offer multiple copies of the book or print out leaf guides for your table, like this one.

fall leaf leaves loose parts invitation reggio

Then, Create

The brilliant illustrations in this book were created with copies of leaves, but using the real materials is a far more interesting sensory experience.

Remind your kids of the different ways the author/illustrator used leaves to make the pictures. What can they make with their leaves?

Leave the glue off the table for now. Start as a sensory invitation to move around the loose pieces and see what they can create.

I like to let my kids work and only occasional comment on what I see them doing.

Ask if they want to glue it down.

The goal of this activity is to explore the different Fall materials and look a little closer at them with our senses. Moving them around to create images is an exercise in creative thinking and encourages kids to look at the leaves in a different way.

IF they want to glue down what they have made to save it – great! If not, that’s okay too.

Perhaps they will want to come back to the tray to make something else later. I like to leave trays like this with loose parts out for a few days to see how further opportunities change their explorations.


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Additional Leaf Themed Books for Preschoolers

red leaf yellow leaf by lois ehlert

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson

More Leaf Activities for Preschoolers

Here are some more fun leaf themed activities from my Virtual Book Club for Kids co-hosts:

Alphabet Learning Activities

Alphabet Flashcards from Kori at Home

Leaf Sticker Tree Beginning Sounds Activity from Growing Book by Book

Leaf Matching Tree from J Daniel4’s Mom

Name Learning Activities

Leaf Name Sticky Wall from Inspiration Laboratories

Learn to Write Your Name with ‘Letter Man’ from Chickadee Lit

Write Your Name in Leaves from Adventures of Adam

Sensory Activities

Fall Leaf Auditory Processing Activities from Sugar Aunts

Color Learning Activities

Giant Colorful Watercolor Fall Leaves for Kids from Toddler Approved

Basic Math with Fall Leaves for Preschoolers from Views from a Step Stool

Fall Preschool Story Time Ideas Pack

Get the Full Fall Story Time Pack Today!

Numbers Learning Activities

Learning Fun with Leaves from Clare’s Little Tots

Preschool Printable Counting Leaves from Craft Create Calm

Pre-Writing Activities

Leaf Art : Pre-writing Patterns for Fall from Rainy Day Mum

Fall Pre-Writing Activity Inspired by Leaf Man from Books and Giggles

Leaf Puppets from Messy Little Monster

Movement Activities

Follow the Leaves: Cardinal Directions and Map Skills for Kids from Extremely Good Parenting

Number Themed Leaf Scavenger Hunt from The Educators’ Spin On It

Science Activities

Preschool Leaf Science Experiment from Preschool Powol Packets

Simple Preschool Science: Leaf Matching Activity from School Time Snippets

Shapes Learning Activities

Leaf Art from Mama Smiles

Exploring Leaf Shapes from To Be a Kid Again

Leaf Fingerprint Painting Activity from Artsy Momma


Join Our Weekly Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook Group
Next week #VBCforKids is talking about the theme of Pumpkins with the book 5 Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino! We also love this version of 5 Little Pumpkins from the Pete the Cat series that would also work for the theme.

3 thoughts on “Leaf Man Loose Parts Invitation

  1. Such a beautiful invitation I need to get one of these trays. All of our autumn treasures are in a basket at the moment but I love the idea of separating them out like this.

    1. Thank you! I love that you call them “autumn treasures”. What a beautiful way to think about them. I’m kind of obsessed with trays like this right now. I keep coming up with excuses to use my stash. My kids do seem to love it for helping them see all the different options when we’re doing collages or looking at their various finds.

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