Fall is the perfect time of year to teach a leaf preschool theme. Even if you live in warmer climates where the leaves don’t change from green to burning red, these preschool leaf activities are sure to captivate your little learners.
Free Leaf Theme Preschool Lesson Plans
Are you ready for bitter cold mornings and warm afternoons? How about the changing leaf colors and watching them flutter to the ground in the lightest breeze?
One of my favorite memories as a child was raking leaves.
And we had a LOT of them.
My family of ten lived on a one-acre lot that was completely surrounded by elm trees. In case you’re having difficulty imagining it, a perimeter of elm trees around an acre is a LOT of elm trees, no matter how you slice it.
Most of the leaves had fallen to the ground by November, leaving a blanket of dried leaves on our lawn. My siblings and I would work well after dark raking up all those leaves. Don’t get me wrong, there was a fair amount of playing, too (because how can you not jump in all those leaves?!), but it was also a lot of work.
We would come inside when it was too dark to see anymore, our hands hurting and our noses runny from the cold. The house smelled of that familiar burning scent when you turn on the heater the first few times in a season, and my mom would be in the kitchen cooking her famous split pea soup with the ham hock leftover from Sunday’s dinner.
So, yeah. Leaves definitely have a special place in my memory. (Although, as an adult, it’s now more of a chore that I gladly pass off to my children! Ha, ha!)
Whether you live where leaves fall and make a terribly large mess to clean up, or you need to buy some silk leaves to pretend it’s fall, these preschool leaf activities are sure to help you have a magical time together!
And they’re not just limited to the fall season, either. These leaf lesson plans include a wide range of activities that can be done any time of year!
Why Do a Leaf Theme in Preschool?
A preschool leaf theme is another one of those themes that is really tangible for preschoolers.
All preschoolers have had some experience with leaves before they ever walk through the door. They already come to school with some background knowledge of leaves and trees, and since leaves are so common, we can give preschoolers even more experiences to explore them, allowing them to make even more meaningful connections.
I love including a leaf theme in my preschool lesson plans because of the wide range of activities you can do with them. These lesson plans include literacy, math, science, art and sensory, and just plain fun leaf activities for preschoolers!
How Do You Teach Preschoolers About Leaves?
My recommendation is to always start off with two things: realia and lesson plans!
I have the lesson plans covered in this post, you just have to come up with the realia…that’s the leaves. You can, of course, use real leaves collected from trees, or you can keep things extra simple and just grab some silk leaves from the dollar store.
These leaf lesson plans make teaching preschoolers about leaves so easy! Like all my Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans, they require no special materials and practically no prep.
But here are some additional preschool leaf activities for preschoolers you can add to these lesson plans!
What are the Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans?
The Learn at Home Preschool Lesson Plans are free lesson plans you can use to teach your preschooler at home.
Each set of lesson plans is centered around a weekly theme and includes a minimum of 16 activities that can be done throughout the week. They are designed to be done at home with parents, but many preschool teachers are using these lesson plans, too!
Just glance over the lessons each day, gather the very few materials needed, and you’re ready to go!
All the preschool learning activities are quick and easy to set up, requiring very little (if any at all) prep and only requiring the most basic of household materials. This makes them especially easy for parents to implement…and this makes preschool teachers happy, too!
These activities also work wonderfully in the classroom, and if you’re a preschool teacher who is remotely teaching you can send these lesson plans to your students’ parents.
More Free Lesson Plans for Preschool
Looking for more free preschool lesson plans? Try all the preschool themes included in my Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans Collection.
New activity sets are rolled out weekly. Themes include everything from apples, spring, and bugs & butterflies to 1st Week of School, Family & Pets, and now…Fire Safety Preschool Lesson Plans!
Be sure to subscribe to keep up with the latest set of activities and have them automatically emailed to you when they’re ready.
To find all my Learn at Home Preschool lesson plans, see here:
>>> LEARN AT HOME PRESCHOOL LESSON PLAN COLLECTION <<<
In total, I will have 40+ sets of free preschool lesson plans (that can easily be used for homeschool preschool or in the classroom) by the end of the school year. Seriously, make sure you have subscribed so that you don’t miss a week of free lesson plans!
Engaging Preschool Leaf Activities
These leaf activities for preschoolers cover a wide range of content areas, so I’ve arranged them into different areas of topic for you. Math and literacy are included, of course, but be sure to read about the online activities and art activities, too!
Literacy Activities for a Leaves Theme
Uppercase and Lowercase Leaves – Grab some silk leaves from a dollar store and write a set of uppercase and lowercase letters on them. Hide them around the house and invite your preschooler to go on a leaf hunt to locate the matching uppercase and lowercase letters. Start by using the letters in your child’s name and go from there.
When the Leaf Blew In – Go to YouTube and listen to the story When the Leaf Blew In by Steve Metzger. Enjoy the funny story that all started with the cow sneezing, “Ach-ooo!” After listening, ask your preschooler to share the cause and effect events by asking them to retell…”What happened when the pig dove into the bucket? And after the sheep leaped over a barrel?” This conversation helps children see natural cause and effect. Share cause and effect examples in real life, such as “the ice melted because it was sunny.”
Math and Science Activities for a Leaves Theme
Leaf Color Sequencing – Silk leaves from the dollar store come in lots of different colors. Invite your preschooler to put them in order from lightest to darkest, or from red to brown.
Fall Graphing Game – Grab this fun graphing game that helps to reinforce simple math and uses easy-to-print materials.
Leafy Science Exploration – Head outside on a nature walk looking for leaves of all sizes and other natural materials. Collect them all in a bin and bring them back home. Set all the items on a table and invite your preschooler to explore and make notes about the items. Use a child-safe magnifying glass if available.
Playful Learning Activities for a Leaves Theme
Imaginative Games – Invite your preschooler to think of a new game. Allow them to make up the rules (within reason) and play it through. Do they want to change any of the game rules after the first play? Model being flexible and thinking outside the box.
Making Mistakes – Pretend to make a mistake, like spilling a box of crayons. Model an appropriate response and model a disproportionate response. Allow your preschooler to try.
Windy Day Leaf Pick-Up – Pile up some silk leaves and then use a blow dryer to scatter them about like the wind. Then say, “Ready, set, go!” and race to pick up the leaves.
Social-Emotional Activities for a Leaves Theme
Gratitude Leaf Garlands – Trace leaves on construction or cardstock paper or grab some silk leaves from the dollar store. Invite your preschooler to cut out the leaves and think of things they’re thankful for. Encourage them to share why they’re thankful for these things. (Sometimes it’s helpful to model gratitude sentences like this: “My ___ makes me happy because ___.” Using a black marker, write the thankful words or notes on each leaf. Then hot glue or clip the leaves to a piece of yarn or string. Knot the end and wear or display proudly! This garland is perfect to use in other themes or holidays, also. Sharing gratitude is always important and helps develop a growth mindset.
Big and Small Problems – Using silk leaves, invite your preschooler to select 3 different sized leaves. Each size represents the size of a problem a preschooler might have: a big problem, a medium-sized problem, and a small problem. Discuss appropriate responses for each size problem and how to manage said problems with various strategies. Model sharing examples of grown-up problems that are small, medium, and large, and various ways that adults solve and cope with challenging situations.
Just Plain Fun Activities for a Leaves Theme
Leaf Suncatcher – Grab some white coffee filters and use watercolor paint to paint the filters. After they dry, cut them up into pieces and then place them on contact paper to make a suncatcher.
Paper Plate Wreaths – Using paper plates, cut out the center of the plate, and leave the plate border wreath. Paint, decorate, and get creative using silk or real leaves and fall-colored items.
Leaf Painting – Grab some paint and invite your preschooler to make a tree with colorful leaves. Paint the arm brown and stamp onto white paper. Paint the branches and use fingertips to paint leaves with various colors.
Get Online Activities for a Leaves Theme
Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the book The Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. After reading, invite your preschooler to make their very own leaf man. Using real or silk leaves, arrange them on a piece of construction paper and encourage them to make a face or body.
The Leaves on the Trees Song – This catchy and colorful song is a great singalong, which is perfect on a nature walk or during learning time.
Autumn is Here – Learn why the leaves change color and why they fall from the trees. This factual video is great for learning a little more science about the season.
Get Your Free Leaf Lesson Plans Here
Use these free preschool lesson plans this fall. They include 16 preschool leaf activities, all of which are almost no prep and completely free! Grab your copy by clicking the image below.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.