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A few years ago I designed a simple free printable leaf activity kit for b&b, and all these autumns later, it’s still one of our most popular posts come September. The allure of fall leaves endures!
At the time, I came up with a few quick ideas for using our kit (check out the video below for a preview) but since then I’ve found so many MORE ways to incorporate the printable pages into fall learning and playtime.
So as a little update to the original post, I’m sharing my very favorite NEW leaf projects. The kaleidoscope of leaf colors fall brings to many parts of the US is so lovely, but there are so very many places that don’t experience the same “traditional” autumn we do here in the upper Midwest.
These 5 leaf activities are ideas that anyone can enjoy – whether you’re celebrating a fall like ours or on the other side of the globe preparing for a tropical spring!
Keep in mind as you scroll through: if you don’t have access to a printer or are missing materials, you can simply draw your own leaves, and whenever I can, I provide ideas for alternative supplies. All of these activities were created with ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and eco-friendliness in mind.
For these 5 fall kids leaf activities you’ll need:
Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Woodpeckers Crafts and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*
5 MORE kids leaf activity kit ideas for kids this fall:
1. Set up a leaf-themed invitation to create with loose parts and nature supplies
Is there anything simpler and more enjoyable than setting out some fun supplies and watching your kiddos make something amazing? This fall leaf invitation is perfect for those days when you need a quiet, creative activity STAT. Just set out supplies and let them at it!
- The tray we set out featured some of my favorite materials for fall play and crafts. Leaves, feathers, bark, sticks, and paper scraps offer a variety of textures. Sea glass and cabochons have great natural transparency (just check to make sure all your glass pieces have smoothed edges first).
- Pairing collected leaves and natural materials with a set of kid-safe scissors is a wonderful way to introduce scissor skills and encourages fine motor development. As an add-on activity, make your own shoebox nature explorer’s kit to collect your supplies.
- I cut out and watercolored a few of our large leaf templates to act as a “backdrop” for using loose parts to build and decorate, but you can simply print and let your kids color themselves.
- If you plan on using these often or in a classroom setting, you can use a self-laminating sheet so the leaf templates can be cleaned and reused again and again.
2. Use for a fall leaf scavenger hunt
An incredibly quick and easy leaf DIY that will have your kiddos running around the backyard looking for ALL the leaves.
- Print the first page of our free printable leaf activity kit, cut apart the small leaf ID pages, then use a glue stick to glue 3-4 different cards on a paper bag. How many your kids can find in the backyard or at a park?
- Rainy day or a little too chilly for extended outdoor play? This can easily turn into an indoor game! If you don’t have actual leaves handy, just print our page or two of our leaf templates, cut out, and hide around the house.
- Create a variation on this by coloring the leaves to make the search more specific – challenge your minis to find the rare red Oak leaf, an orange maple, etc.
3. Make autumn-inspired paper leaf magic wands
Welcome fall with a flick of the wrist and the magical jingling of little bells and acorns! You can find the step-by-step leaf wand DIY here.
- The opportunities for creative art-making are endless with this enchanting nature project. You can lean into the outdoor angle by taking a woodland walk to collect all-natural decorations OR go artsy with it by pulling out a variety of craft supplies and fun mark-making tools.
- The magic of these little wands is that they engage the senses through sight, sound, and touch. Add smell by painting a leaf or two with coffee for extra autumnal flair!
- As a bonus, these wands come just in time for Halloween – they make a darling eco-friendly accessory to costumes or dress-up!
4. Create a simple leaf-matching flipbook game
Little leaf enthusiasts will get a kick out of this matching game. Visit the full tutorial for this upcycled leaf-matching flipbook here.
- This clever little flipbook couldn’t get any easier. All you need is the 3rd page of our leaf activity kit and a scrap piece of cardboard! Be sure to hop over to the DIY to see the flip function in action.
- Visual lessons abound in this simple upcycle. Sight-matching, positive & negative space and so much more!
5. Make funny-faced leaf stick puppets
These whimsical leaf stick puppets are the perfect way for kids in other climates to re-create the magic of our colorful northern fall and add a side of silliness! Find the easy directions for these cute leaf stick puppets here.
- The large leaf templates from our printable kit are the base of these expressive puppets. All you need to add are the sticks and leaves!
- Up for a less common coloring technique? Try bleeding tissue paper! Cut a few sheets of bleeding tissue paper (in a variety of colors) into 1-inch or 2-inch squares. Cover your leaves with the squares and brush with water for a look that’s sure to enthrall your little ones and impress puppet-show goers.
So now that you have a brand new stock of leaf-themed project inspiration, go forth and create! I’d love to see how you’ve used our leaf kit to make your own variations – of our ideas or your own! I’m passing my stash of watercolored leaves on to a friend who’ll be hosting a very small (socially distanced) woodland tea party. A long table covered with a fresh bed of bright fall leaves…sounds like an autumn dream!
For more fun kids fall activities try making a simple and colorful DIY felt fall tree. Create a stunning fall leaf collage using an unexpected process. Or break out the recyclables to make your own charming woodland toadstool gnome home (SO. CUTE!).
*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon or Woodpeckers Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!