Inside: This preschool leaf sorting activity is a great way to add fall science to your day. Try it after a nature walk! Includes free printable cards.
Fall is here, the colors are vibrant, and you are looking for a way to share it with your preschoolers.
Teachers, I (sort of accidentally) came up with a great activity! While we were outside during recess, one of my students noticed a few leaves on the ground. One was completely brown. One was a bright red. The other was changing from green to yellow. The fact that he not only noticed the differences, but then asked why, made the light bulb in my teacher brain go off.
When I got home, I created some colored leaf cards that I could print out. I had an idea for the following day when we’d go on a nature walk.
(Note: Scroll down to find the free leaf sorting printables.)
It was a huge hit! (Don’t you just love when that happens?) I suspected collecting leaves on our walk would be fun, but I was not prepared for the love they’d have when we actually used the cards to sort our findings.
This one activity covers:
- Large motor (the walk)
- Science (wondering why the leaves are different colors)
- Color recognition (sorting and classifying leaves by color)
- Math (counting how many leaves we had of each color)
- Social (discussing the experience)
And now for the details….
Preschool Leaf Sorting Activity
The breakdown of what we did:
We started this leaf sorting activity by reading a favorite book, Going on a Leaf Hunt. (If you have not read it yet, you must!)
We then went on our own leaf hunt! I gave each of our preschoolers a plastic baggie to hold their findings as we took our walk.
Sorting Our Leaves by Color
I used our leaf sorting cards for this circle time activity. (Bonus! Scroll further down this post and get your free leaf printable cards!) I placed all of our leaves in a tray in the middle of the circle, along with our sorting cards.
I called each preschooler to pick out a leaf or two from the leaf tray and sort it by color.
Just like when we sorted apples by color, we found that some leaves had more than one color, so we then had to decide what color they mostly were.
We also noticed the different shapes of the leaves and the different shades of color.
Once all the leaves were sorted, we counted how many of each color we had and I documented it on the sheets of paper. The leaves were glued to the paper and hung on our bulletin board along with our watercolor tissue paper leaves.
Here’s your free printables!
Note: Since writing this post, I’ve changed the printables a bit and have added color pages that you can use to place the leaves on, rather than using construction paper.
Click on the photo to download:
More fall ideas to try:
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