“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.
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Read: Leaf Man
Our featured book is 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
Fall Colored Crayons
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.
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.
Additional Leaf Themed Books for Preschoolers
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
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
Numbers Learning Activities
Learning Fun with Leaves from Clare’s Little Tots
Preschool Printable Counting Leaves from Craft Create Calm
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
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
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