Today I want to share an educational, sensory, and fine motor leaf imprint activity for toddlers and preschoolers to get your kiddos outdoors and in touch with nature this fall!
This easy activity is fun to do indoors and out, in the classroom, or at home!
We had so much fun with this activity that we ended up doing many other small leaf activities that turned into a full day of nature fun!
Keep reading for a tutorial on how to do this fine motor leaf imprint activity and more educational leaf activities!
Enjoy! If your child ends up loving this activity, let me know by tagging me on Instagram using the handle @lorenaylennox!
More fall posts you might enjoy:
- Free Printable PDF Fall Scavenger Hunt
- 5 Sensory and Fine Motor Fall Crafts for Toddlers
- Fall Books in Spanish
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Materials you will need for this fine motor leaf activity
- Leaves- Go on a nature walk and collect a handful of gorgeous fall leaves.
- Crayola Crayons
- Safety scissors
- White paper
Yup! That’s all you need! Four simple items that you can probably find outside and around your home!
Now, let’s get to the fine motor leaf activity!
We did this entire activity outdoors on a beautiful fall day.
Children need to be outdoors, not only for their physical well-being but also for their emotional state! Furthermore, there is so much to learn from nature!
With that said, before I get down to the fine motor leaf activity, I wanted to walk you through some other fun-filled fall leaf activities that led up to our fine motor leaf imprints.
Enjoy, and may nature bring you and your littles some fun and peace!
Step 1: Go on a fun nature walk and collect leaves!
Our first step in this activity was to go on a nature walk and collect some beautiful leaves.
On our walk, we brought along our fall scavenger hunt for some extra fun!
We snatched up whole, fallen leaves. Likewise, if we found a leaf on a unique tree or bush, we added it to our pile too!
Step 2: Have some educational and sensory leaf fun!
After we go back from our nature walk, we laid our leaves out on the table to observe our finds.
Then, Lennox and I talked a little bit about the anatomy of the leaf such as the veins and the stems.
Next, we did some fun sorting games with our leaves.
We sorted the leaves by:
- Dead or Alive
Step 3: Identify the leaves
This part of our nature learning was my favorite part of the activity!
The older that I get, the more into gardening and outdoor life I am. I recently downloaded the iPhone App, PictureThis, and everywhere I go, I am constantly snapping pictures of different plants to learn more about that.
Thus, we took our leaves, and I took a picture of each leaf and wrote its name on the backside.
Then, we used our leaves as our reference guide on our future nature walks by identifying each tree or plant by looking at our leaves!
Step 4: Make your fine motor leaf imprints
Now time for the fine motor fun!
First, you will want to show your preschooler how to make their leaf imprint.
Take a leaf, and turn it face down. You want the veins to be facing you.
Then, place a blank piece of paper on top of the leaf.
*Hint: to save paper and resources, cut your paper into four rectangles! Use bigger pieces of paper for bigger leaves!
Next, show your toddler or preschooler how to hold the crayon at an angle. Place the crayon in between the thumb, pointer, and middle fingers.
After that, show him how to shade the crayons on the paper to imprint the leaf’s outline.
You will want to add some pressure to the crayon, but not too much! If you have an impatient toddler like myself, good luck! Just keep on reminding them the patience is key!
Since we speak to Lennox in Spanish at home, I always say “Con la paciencia, se adquiere la ciencia.” Doing this does the trick to calm him for a second!
Related: Fall printables for preschoolers
Once you start shading, the crayon will shape down to the perfect angle to capture the outline of the leaf!
Your toddler or preschool will probably require a little help to finish this part of the activity. Remember, perfection is not the goal, but fine motor practice and sensory stimulation! Oh, and educational fun, of course!
Step 5: Cut out your leaf imprints
The last step in this fine motor leaf imprint activity is to cut out your imprints!
This is where your toddler can execute his fine motor skills and cut out the outline of the leaf he just imprinted in the paper!
Once all of the leaf imprints have been cut out, you can laminate them and keep them as an educational resource for the rest of time.
Thank you for reading thus far. I hope you and your kiddos enjoy this fun fine motor leaf imprint activity. Don’t forget to tag me on IG with the handle @lorenaylennox to show me their beautiful artwork!