The time between the beginning of November and winter break in preschool flies by! During this time I find that super simple and easy to prep learning activities, like this fine motor activity, work best. I pulled one of my sets of fall leaves, placed them on our table in the classroom, and the kids were ready to play, strengthen fine motor muscles, discuss fall leaf colors, count, and even sort!
These Fine Motor Fall Leaves are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers!
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In my classroom, we have a few sets of leaves that we play with in the fall. Some are silky, some are actually paint chip samples, and some are stiff felt material. The set I used for this fine motor activity were the stiff felt set. I found these at a craft store, but you can find the set on amazon.com here.
I scattered the set of leaves all over one of our smaller tables in my classroom. I have 2 of the plastic leaf bowls that are the same shape. I put them in the center of the table.
I added a few different pairs of our kid-friendly tongs (our ice tongs like these worked best!) and said nothing about the new area as the kids came in for the day. I wanted to see what they would do with the area before setting guidelines or suggestions.
The first group of preschoolers that found the table, sat down and immediately started picking up the leaves with the tongs and placing them in the leaf bowls.
Another child came over and wanted me to supply another bowl because there were 3 colors of the leaves and he could not sort them with only 2 bowls!
I heard preschoolers counting the leaves and making piles in front of them on the table. The leaves were sorted by color and size, just on the table versus in the bowls.
Most often though, my preschoolers played with the leaves exactly how I had intended the activity be played with originally. The leaves were picked up one by one with the tongs and placed in the bowls.
The great thing about this activity is that each way that the preschoolers chose to play accomplished my goal for them. The activity was mainly for fine motor skills, but all the other skills that were being used were just an awesome bonus!
We work a lot on strengthening fine motor skills in my preschool classroom. Each squeeze of the tongs or pinch of fingers as the leaves were picked up, helped get handwriting muscles ready to form letters in the future!