Are you looking for a fun, low-prep, and inexpensive activity to try with those beautiful fall leaves? Try making this simple leaf matching activity for kids today! This game will give children the opportunity to look closely at leaf details, identify leaves, strengthen fine motor skills, and appreciate those beautiful leaves in a new way!
This nature invitation is inspired by A Simple Stone Activity to Try Today! It was a crowd favorite so I thought I’d share a new way to try this activity.
Who doesn’t love fall?! The pumpkins, cooler weather, bonfires, Halloween, and those lovely fall leaves get me every time! We love collecting and crafting with them, but making games with leaves is a new idea for us.
I hope you love this nature activity as much as we do! Check it out below.
- Paper- We use Melissa and Doug easel paper
- Leaves- Go on a leaf hunt and collect a variety of leaves (We found our leaves the evening before and pressed them in a book in between pieces of wax paper to keep them flat.)
- Painter’s Tape
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Here’s What We Did:
I got out my large roll of white paper and taped it to a chest we have in our living room. I placed the leaves in the middle of our paper as a focal point.
I outlined the leaves. I chose a wide variety of leaves to make it easier to find the match. First I outlined each leaf with pencil. This outline doesn’t need to be perfect. Just make sure you get the basic shape of the leaf. When complete, this step looks like a lot of work but it took me about 5 minutes at most!
Here’s a tip: If you are working with children that get frustrated easily, you might want to consider marking the side of the leaf that faces down to make the activity a little easier and this also helps children self correct. Just an idea!
Then I went over the pencil line with a Sharpie.
Here’s an idea: You can also identify and label the leaves on the paper at this point! This will turn it into a beautiful leaf identification chart.
If you have a few similar leaves, you might want to consider taking a photo of the leaves in their outline, so you remember where everything belongs on the matching mat later.
Ours were all pretty unique!
For the simple stone activity, I modeled how to match up the stones first. I decided to skip this step for the leaves game because my boys were already familiar with the activity. I also think the leaves are a little more self explanatory because their shapes are all so unique.
My boys enjoyed comparing the leaves discussed the leaf details when matching the shapes!
I have to say, this looks more like a piece of art than a learning activity when finished! And not only is it gorgeous, but it’s fun and educational. When we were finished, my boys identified as many leaves as they could and used our leaf identification app for the unknown leaves.
My boys returned to this game several times throughout the day and I’m already planning a follow-up activity for these beautiful leaf outlines! Stay tuned….
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I hope you give this simple activity a try! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.