Preschool Fall Theme
Page 2

Songs & Fingerplays (cont.)

Raking Leaves

I rake the leaves
(raking motion)
When they fall down,
(raise arms, let fingers fall gradually)
In a great big pile
And when there are
Enough of them,
I jump on them a while
(jump 3 times)

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Autumn Leaves

Leaves are floating softly down;
(hands floating down motions)
Some are red and some are brown.
The wind goes swish through the air;
(swish motion with hand)
When you look back, there are no leaves there.
(hands out, palms up)

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Five Little Acorns - sung to "Five Little Ducks"

(Five) little acorns swaying in a tree,
Hanging from a branch as high as can be.
Along came the wind and blew one away.
(Four) little acorns are left to sway.

(Four) little acorns swaying in a tree...
(Three) little acorns swaying in a tree...
(Two) little acorns swaying in a tree...
(One) little acorn swaying in a tree...

Down came a squirrel from high in the tree,
Searching for food as fast as can be.
He saw those acorns fast and round,
And hid them in a hole that he dug in the ground.

~Submitted by Betheny


Autumn winds begin to blow;
Colored leaves fall fast and slow.
(make fast and slow falling motion with hands)
Twirling, whirling all around
(turn self around and around)
Till at last, they touch the ground.
(fall to ground)

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Arts & Crafts

Torn Paper Tree

Have the children make a torn paper tree with brown paper for the trunk and red, orange and yellow paper for the leaves. The children should be supplied with paper and glue. they should tear the pieces of paper into the shape they want it to be.

Fall Leave Place Mats

Materials: Contact paper, leaf patterns, crayons suitable for "rubbing" in Fall colors and white construction paper.

Description: Tape the leaf cutouts on the table. Place construction paper over the cutouts. Have the children rub the crayon colors of their choice over several of the leaf patterns. Cover front (and back if you choose) with contact paper. These are very bright and colorful. Each child uses his placemat at our Thanksgiving Feast, many use them at home as well.

Comments: This art activity follows a fall walk! Depending on the age of the children, the construction paper might have to be taped as well as the cutouts. My three-year-old youngsters did not have any problems.

~Submitted by Malinda

Fall Art Ideas

Materials: Fall colored construction paper. fall colored paint, string, medicine dropper, playdough in fall colors, cinnamon and vanilla scents, cloves, apples, paint, mini pumpkins, and acorn squash.

1. Cut paper into large leaf shapes use a dropper to drop fall colored tempera onto paper. Fold the paper in half and rub the closed paper open to a wonderful surprise.
2. Using the same shapes and paint dip a long piece of string into paint allow it to fall onto paper and lift.
3. Mix the scents into the playdough and use leaf-shaped cookie cutters to play with.
4. Cut a yellow, red and green apple in half take out seeds and save for a collage. Dip in paint and use as a stamp on white or fall colored paper.
5. Cut squash and pumpkins in half and dip in paint. Use as a stamp on colored paper.

~Submitted by Malinda

Making Trees

On a sheet of manila paper, trace the child's hands and arms (to about elbow). Extend the fingers upwards to create the tree branches. Have the children paint or color the tree's trunk and branches brown. Have the children dip one fingertip at a time in the paint (red, orange, yellow, red) and then press it all over the paper, especially on the ground.

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Leaf Mobiles (my dcks loved these)

Cut a 1" strip from a cereal box (we used posterboard). Tape it into a circle. Punch 6 holes in the strip. Have the children collect colorful fall leaves on a nature walk. After they have been collected, press them between pieces of wax paper. punch a hole in the wax paper leaves and tie them with yarn of different lengths to the circular strip.

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

Leaf Bookmark

Cut construction paper into strips 3" wide and 6" to 8" long. Have the children collect leaves on a nature walk. Place contact paper on the table sticky side up. Have the children arrange the leaves on the contact paper. Have them choose a strip of construction paper to lay over the leaves. Cut around the edges of the construction paper.

I found it easier to have them put the leaves on the construction paper and then put the contact paper on top.

Could also use the same idea to make placemats.

~Submitted by Cindy in MD

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Preserving Leaves

Press and dry: Place leaves between the pages of an old phone book. Or put them between half-inch thicknesses of newspapers. Set bricks or weights atop the papers. Allow the leaves to dry for several days.

~Submitted by Betheny

Leaf Dip

In a shallow pan, mix one pint of water with 13 ounces of glycerin (available in drugstores). Place up to 30 leaves in the pan, make sure each leaf is completely coated with the solution. Allow the leaves to soak overnight. The next day, remove the leaves and dry them between newspaper layers. Let the leaves dry for several days. The leftover solution may be reused.

~Submitted by Betheny

Tree Rubbings

Have children make a tree rubbing of various trees, then compare the bark designs.

~Submitted by Betheny

Falling For Leaves

Have children create colorful fall foliage to hang in front of a sunny window. To make one leaf, fold a piece of red, yellow, brown or orange construction paper in half. Cut out one half of a simple, symmetrical leaf shape starting at the fold. Then cut out the center of this shape, leaving an outline about 1/2 inch wide. unfold the outline; then lay it on a slightly larger piece of waxed paper. Drizzle a generous amount of glue along the shape's outline and in the center of the waxed paper. Press tissue-paper squares onto the glue. When the glue is dry, peel the leaf off the waxed paper. Trim around the leaf's edges. use fishing line to hang the leaf from the ceiling in front of a window.

~Submitted by Betheny in NY

Beaded Turkey

(this project makes a good activity because it improves fine-motor skills, reinforces color recognition, and teaches patterning!)

Trace a child's hand onto cardboard; then cut out the shape. Have the child squeeze a generous amount of plaid tacky glue onto the fingers. Starting at the tops of fingers and working toward the palm, have child press on colorful beads to create a pattern. Then have child glue on a wiggle eye, a felt beak, and a felt wattle. Use hot glue to attach a cardboard right triangle to the back of the turkey so that it is freestanding.

~Submitted by Betheny in NY

Leaf Necklace

Supplies: Red, orange and yellow construction paper, markers, stickers or other flat objects to glue. Optional glue if using gluable objects, laminator and film or clear contact sheet vinyl, lengths of colored yarn, hole punch, scissors.

Cut (or have older children cut) several construction paper leaves for each child, using all the fall colors. The children can decorate them with markers, stickers, etc. Laminate the leaves and punch a hole into the stem end of each leaf. The yarn is threaded through to make an autumn leaf necklace.

~Submitted by Jeanie in SK

Gold Leaf Necklace

Supplies: Real leaves, gold spray paint, newspaper or another type of surface protector, yarn, hole punch, laminator and laminating film or clear contact paper.

Take a leaf-hunting walk and have each of the children choose one very special leaf from their gathering. Press them between book pages for a couple of days to flatten, then spray paint them over the newspaper, using gold spray paint (spray outside while there are no dck around). An imaginative story can be told to the dck to explain how their special leaves may have turned to gold (or they can be used to create a lesson illustration). Laminate the gold leaves, punch a hole in the stem end of each and have the children thread yarn through them.

Variation 1: Instead of necklaces the laminated leaves can be glued to other objects. E.g. hair combs or barrettes, craft paper for wall art etc.

Variation 2: An equal number of a lot of leaves can be pressed, then either picture of opposites or identical pictures can be glued for every two leaves to make opposite matching or memory games.

~Submitted by Jeanie in SK

Write a saying on a sheet of construction paper (Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Autumn, Give Thanks, etc.) Make sure you write it pretty large. Have the children glue dried corn kernels onto the letters to form the words. Glue leaf cutouts around the rest of the picture to frame it. This can occupy them for quite some time =)

~Submitted by Paulette

Apple Turkey

Insert pretzel sticks into the bottom of a red apple to form legs. Insert another pretzel stick on the top of the apple (to one side), and push on a large marshmallow. On 4 more pretzel sticks, push colored gumdrops. They go into the back of the apple for feathers. Add raisins and red gumdrop sliver to complete face. You can use the heavy duty colored toothpicks to prevent breaking, with older children.

~Submitted by Paulette

Leaf Splatter Painting

Use a lid from a box that is approximately 9 by 12 inches. Cut a rectangle from top of lid leaving a 1 1/2 inch border. Invert the lid and place a wire screen over the opening. Tape the screen to the border. Arrange the leaves on a sheet of paper. Place the lid over the arrangement. Dip a toothbrush into thin tempera paint and brush across the screen. When the tempera dries, remove the leaves.

~Submitted by Barbie

Corncob Printing

Wash corncobs and allow them to dry for several days. Make paint pads by placing folded paper towels in shallow containers and pouring on yellow tempera paint. Have the children first roll the corncobs on the paint pads. Then let them roll the cobs across their papers to make prints. Variation: Use a serrated knife to cut the corncobs in half. Let the children dip the cutoff ends into the paint and press them onto their papers to make yellow corncob flowers.

~Submitted by Barbie

Fall Collage

After taking a walk to collect objects such as grass, twigs, leaves, nuts, and weeds, collages can be made in the art area.
~Submitted by Barbie


Press them between sheets of clear contact paper. Another thing we like to do is arrange fresh colorful leaves on a large piece of colorful construction paper and "laminate" both sides with clear contact paper. We then use pinking scissors and cut all around the edges for really beautiful placemats. The leaves stay nice for a long time.

Leaf Rubbings

Collect leaves, paper, and crayons and show the children how to place several leaves under a sheet of paper. Using the flat edge of the crayon rub over the paper. The image of the leaves will appear.

~Submitted by Barbie

Leaf Prints

You will need: Leaves, Paint ("fall" colors), Black Construction Paper, and Newspaper
Put down lots of newspaper! Paint one side of each leaf (not too thick). Carefully arrange leaves in one layer, paint side up, on clean newspaper. Place a piece of black construction paper over the top of the leaves and press gently! A little messy, but very fun.
~Submitted by Barbie

Leaf Art

Tape or glue freshly fallen fall leaves to construction paper. Draw a picture around each leaf. Some ideas are people, an umbrella, a duck, a fish, etc. These are really cute. Best for ages 4 and up.

Pressed Leaf Collage

Arrange your collection of leaves (collect bunches of colorful fall leaves) on a sheet of waxed paper. Scrape crayon shavings onto the paper so that they fall onto the leaves. If desired, sprinkle glitter on the leaves also. Cover collage with another sheet of waxed paper. Iron over this collage with a medium iron. A construction paper frame can be cut to serve as a mat for this collage.

Dried Leaf Art

Collect a variety of colors of fall leaves. Bring the leaves inside and let them dry. Crumble up the dry leaves and place them in bowls. Set out the bowls of leaves, small bowls of glue and brushes or cotton swabs. Give each child a piece of construction paper. Let the children use the brushes or swabs to spread glue all over their papers. Then have them sprinkle small amounts of the dried leaves on top of the glue. Help them shake the excess leaves off.

Leaf Rubbings

To make a leaf rubbing, ask your child to place a leaf under a piece of paper. Using a crayon, help your child gently rub on top of the paper until the leaf print shows through.

Apple Printing

Cut some apples in half vertically and others horizontally (see the hidden star). Put red tempera paint on sponges. Dab apple halves on sponges and gently press apples on construction paper.

Circle Trees

Draw a tree with bare branches on a large piece of blue paper and attach fringed green construction paper below it for grass. Children glue circles they have punched out of construction paper with a hole punch on the branches and below the tree. Shake off extra circles. Autumn - red, orange, yellow circles.

Pretty Fall Wreath

First I have the children go for a walk, we all have our own small lunch bags, we pick up leaves, twigs, acorns, etc..., then we take paper plates with the center cut out,(older children may cut out centers themselves)and let them paint the plate, brown/orange/yellow/I like to give them a choice, after paint dries, let them glue on the objects they found while walking, it makes a very pretty fall wreath.

~Submitted by Sandy in Florida

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